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Redskins vs Seahawks pint sized GT Defensive Review

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Old 11-28-2008, 01:08 AM   #1
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Redskins vs Seahawks pint sized GT Defensive Review

One of the problems with having no game film to fall back on is that I can't do the coverage numbers, but it's clear that Carlos Rogers is not exactly the same player he was in the first three weeks. Back then, Rogers appeared to be a shutdown corner, but since then I think he's been more of a run-of-the-mill No. 1 corner on a mediocre pass defense. Which, of course, is exactly what the Redskins are. Rogers is still having a pro bowl season, because of the responsibility that has been thrust upon him, but he's not a special zone coverage player.

But with Shawn Springs back in the lineup, a lot of pressure is taken off of Rogers. No longer does he need to be the shutdown corner that gets the Redskins off the field on third down when Fred Smoot is giving up pass completions like a charitable grandmother gives out candy on Halloween. Springs is still a top cover corner, and with him in the lineup, Carlos can just play a side of the field instead of chasing the best receiver on the other team all over the yard.


The return of Springs turns the direction of our anger to the run defense. Sure, Jason Taylor has been terrible against the run all year, and to a lesser extent the most of his career, but is he really the problem? Not really, at least not anymore so than normal. The problems with the run defense are multi fold:
  • Kedric Golston was a force on the inside in the first half of the season, but has been totally neutralized the last two games.
  • London Fletcher has been neutralized, and has been overrunning a lot of plays the last two games.
  • Demetric Evans, for as well as he's played this year, can still be taken out of running plays by one blocker (though not as bad as Taylor, who twice on Sunday was eliminated from a big running gain by rookie TE John Carlson).
  • Rocky McIntosh has improved his pass recognition skills in the bye week, but he doesn't always know his assignment, and has a tendency to get lost in the wash.
  • Fletcher and LaRon Landry have struggled with fundamental tackling AND poor pursuit angles the last two games.
The 44 yard run by Morris on the Seahawks second drive is a good example of all of the above. It was the first play of the drive, and the Redskins came with a fire of Horton off the left side. Horton, also responsble for contain, comes off the edge unblocked and looking to blow up the play. A win for the Skins off the snap. RT Sean Locklear moved Jason Taylor out of the hole with ease. This should have opened up a nice lane for McIntosh to fill and blow up the play. But instead of hitting the B gap with authority, Rocky tries to use Taylor as a shield from his blocker, and run around his gap to the outside. This did two things: 1) it forced Horton to peel out away from the tackle as not to run into Rocky, and 2) It opened a gaping hole in the run defense for Morris. Meanwhile, Griffin got some penetration, but Golston got none, which allowed the fullback to chip Griffin and get on Fletcher, who was slow in diagnosing the play. Morris dashed through a huge hole with only Landry to beat, and Landry, instead of filling the hole, got caught flatfootted and had to chase Morris down to prevent the TD.

Of all the problems that the Redskins are facing now, it's the problems that they weren't facing before: namely Golston and Fletcher, that can be attributed directly to injury. No Redskin defensive end is stronger against the run than Andre Carter, so if he can't play on Sunday, it's a huge blow to the Redskins run d. Losing Fletcher would be a killer, but if he's this ineffective, it won't matter. Getting Anthony Montgomery back should help, as he was underutilized against the Giants power rushing attack in Week 1.

I don't have any coverage numbers, and the tackle chart/pass rush chart is incomplete, and thusly, will not be used.

Pass Coverage

Vital Statistics
Total Adj Yards = 100
Yards per play = 3.57
Success Rate = 35.7% (10/28)

I don't understand what made the Seahawks pass 60% of the time when their line can't block and their receivers don't know the routes, and the QB is not playing well, and oh yeah we're getting killed by the run, but whatever. They can lose how they want, I suppose.

Pass Rush

3 sacks.

Two by Lorenzo Alexander, who saw a lot of playing time with Golston out. Alexander is a sieve against the run though, so injured Golston vs. Alexander is just a matter of pass pressure. And yes, for those of you keeping count, Alexander is now tied for the team sack lead with Demetric
Evans with 3. Isn't that the season in a nutshell?

Carter is still bringing a lot of pressure, as he beat Walter Jones in this game 5-6 times. As I write this, DeMarcus Ware is making Walter Jones look like a statue, so perhaps it's not all that impressive. Anthony Montgomery will absolutely improve the pass pressure on Eli Manning this week, as he figures to get the start. He and Griffin/Alexander can combine to collapse the pocket, which is something that the rest of the DL cannot do.

Run Defense

Vital Statistics
Total Adj Yards = 128
Yards per play = 7.11 (!) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Success Rate = 55.6% (10/18)

Um, yeah. This is a full on problem. Worse than fixing the OL. You know, the Giants have the best running game in the league. Until the Cowboys' game, no team had gashed us quite like the Giants had in Week One. Eight in the box will not be enough. There must be eight in the box, plus disiplined gap play, plus nine in the box when it's short yardage, and the corners must tackle flawlessly in this game. We stopped their running game last year, and we'll have to do it again to have a chance to win.

Maurice Morris and Julius Jones should not be scaring any team, much less a playoff contender. This was embarassing to watch, and I'm glad I didn't have to go over this one play by play.

Overall Defense

Vital Statistics
Total Adj Yards = 228
Yards per play = 4.96
Success Rate = 43.5% (20/46)

The pass defense played just well enough to win this game, ending two drives with interceptions. The Redskins have now forced two interceptions in back to back games. This is a great thing, but I think it has masked some clear issues on the defensive side of the ball.

The Seahawks enjoyed a streak of nine successful plays in a row to end the first half. This cannot happen against a poor offense. Someone has to step up, beat their man, stop the streak and force the punt. The Redskins offense is not a big play offense, and they can't afford to have a defense that gives up big plays. The 44 yard run is the biggest example, but the Seahawks had 9 plays that went for ten or more yards, and that's simply too many.

The Redskins must correct their special teams and run defense issues in order to make the playoffs. But with this win, they are still in a commanding situation. If they can beat the Giants at home, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that this team is playoff bound, and it will at least re-open the division race between the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys.

It will be the biggest game of the year to date on Sunday.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:22 AM   #2
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Re: Redskins vs Seahawks pint sized GT Defensive Review

i always like the analysis. this is the time of year Campbell starts earning that contract extension. the one which alot of people around here would have already given him. our defense has played pretty consistent all year. which is really surprising, considering the change in coordinators
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