Through the first four weeks of this season the Redskins have allowed the second fewest points (44) and the second fewest yards (834) to opposing offenses. Coming into their week three matchup against the Packers the Redskins had the number one ranked defense in the NFL, and proved why against Aaron Rodgers and the high octane Packers offense.
After the week four bye, the Redskins defense has had an extra week to rest and prepare for their week five matchup against another explosive offense in New Orleans. But the question remains: is the Skins D legit?
Successful defenses start with winning the trenches, and for the first time in a long time the Redskins have been successful in stopping the run. With a young and talented defensive front that boasts two first round defensive lineman in Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne, the run defense has been nothing short of stellar. Rounding out the rotation is Matt Ioannidis, an absolute boulder of a man who has been bulldozing offensive linemen, recording a sack in each game of the season thus far, the first Redskins player to do so in years. In the middle Zach Brown and Mason Foster have been all over the field. Zach Brown already has 20 tackles this season, meaning he is on pace for about 110 tackles. Combine this plethora of young talent with the go getters in the middle and established outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, and it is easy to see why the Skins defensive front has dominated so far this season.
The added pressure that the Redskins are putting on opposing quarterbacks in the trenches is translating to easier play for the secondary, which has been equally as impressive as the line. Surprise stud cornerback Quinton Dunbar has been one of the highest rated corners in the league. Lining up across from him is the highest paid defensive player on the Skins in Josh Norman, making the Skins DB’s more formidable than originally forecasted. With solid depth at corner and ferocious safeties in DJ Swearinger and Montae Nicholson, the defensive front is paired with an equally talented group in the secondary. “The flight marshalls” have surpassed expectations thanks to the fast development of young talent.
So to answer the question, yes the Skins defense is legit, but don’t get too excited , as injuries could quickly cripple the players and all of our hopes and dreams.
Emerging defensive stars have been the story of the Redskins defense so far, lets just hope they don’t get exposed in what has become classic Reskins fashion against Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas and the Saints in week five.