With all of the questions swirling about the quarterback position, the Redskins’ first-team defense has been flying under the radar. That’s good for coordinator Joe Barry because the unit has been struggling, especially against the opponents’ top quarterback.
In three games, Josh McCown, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco have combined to go 17 of 26 for 288 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. That comes to a passer rating of 128.36. The Redskins sacked Stafford once for a loss of seven yards. That means their net yards per attempt is an impressive 10.8.
I’m sure that the Redskins would offer a number of explanations here. Ryan Kerrigan, their top pass rusher, has not played a snap during the preseason. He will play virtually every snap when the games start to count. Bashaud Breeland has been out with a knee injury; he will be back after serving a one-game suspension to start the season. DeAngelo Hall was out for the second game with a toe injury. He should be healthy for Week 1.
Those reasons, which are called excuses by some, do have some validity. And you throw in the fact that it’s a relatively small sample size and that in a four-quarter game the defense would game plan and make adjustments.
Still, that doesn’t mean that the performance of the defense isn’t a cause for concern. It’s just not a cause for panic, at least not at this point.