Embattled Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton found the perfect remedy for the criticism he’s personally received for his team’s slow start: the Washington Redskins’ defense. If the Redskins’ defense wasn’t slowing down on a touchdown run by Panthers’ running back DeAngelo Williams, it was giving up a pair of touchdown drives of ninety plus yards. These are things that cannot happen if Washington is to halt the team’s current losing streak.
Wholesale changes on the defensive side of the ball must be made fast. Redskins’ fans have to be tired of seeing Washington cornerback Josh Wilson being repeatedly burned for touchdowns. On the other side, cornerback DeAngelo Hall didn’t fare much better containing Carolina’s wide receivers. As for safeties Reed Doughty and Madieu Williams, they were only out there because the defense needs eleven men on the field at all times. That was their contribution to the defensive effort, and nothing more.
Washington’s defensive line has also been missing in action. Newton had all day to throw because linemen Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, and Stephen Bowen didn’t so much as lay a hand on him. In fact, the only time Newton’s uniform got dirty was after he dove into the end zone on a touchdown run, with the game well in hand.
With the Redskins heading into their bye week, they will have two weeks to ponder another loss where the defense hasn’t performed well. Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett may not be the only scapegoat if the defense continues its poor play. The Redskins still have to face receivers with game breaking potential like the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, as well as the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. If Wilson and Hall continue to show an inability to contain top flight receivers, their stay in Washington could be a short one.