It’s hard to imagine there being a silver lining concerning the Washington Redskins in 2013. The Redskins are currently struggling at 1-4, with a myriad of problems to deal with. Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris are struggling to lead an offensive unit that appears to have lost some of its efficiency. The Redskins’ offense is averaging 21 points per game, a decrease from the 27 points per game the unit averaged last season. Making matters worse, the much maligned Redskins’ defense ranks 27th in the NFL in points allowed, giving up 28 points per game. Considering that statistic, it’s no wonder why Washington is struggling with their 1-4 record.
Despite the aforementioned points allowed statistic, the silver lining for Washington is the surprising improvement from their defense. The unit currently ranks 14th in the NFL in total defense, which signifies improvement, considering the inconsistency and adversity the defense faced this season dealing with injuries and suspensions.
Despite losing 31-16 to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6, Washington actually turned in their best defensive performance of the season. They limited the proficient Cowboys’ offense to 213 total yards a week after Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo threw for over 500 yards against the Denver Broncos. Redskins’ linebacker Rob Jackson even recorded an interception of Romo in his first game of 2013 after serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Unfortunately, Washington’s defensive effort was wasted by turnovers committed by their offense, as well as a porous special teams unit against Dallas. The Redskins are not good enough to overcome such issues against good teams.
But I digress. The Redskins’ defense has turned in a few big plays in 2013, evidenced by their three defensive touchdowns. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall (above, left) has a knack for finding the football, returning a fumble recovery and an interception for a touchdown. In addition, outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan leads Washington with five sacks. Washington’s defense has kept them in their last three games, only to have the offense let them down with their inability to sustain drives.
Things won’t be any easier for the Redskins; they’ll face the Chicago Bears at home in Week 7. Asking Hall and cornerback Josh Wilson to contain Bears’ wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery is asking a lot. The defense will need to come together in an effort to contain Chicago’s offense. If they can do that, the Redskins will have a chance to beat the Bears and gain some positive momentum.