Defensive line way underperforms
Warpath|November 2020
Defensive line way underperforms
The Washington Football Team's defensive line was expected to be a strength in 2020. It's been anything but that through the first third of the season, though. The projected anchor of the defense is taking on water and largely stuck in neutral.
Chris Russell

Despite the much-desired change from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defensive front that many fans whined and cried over for 10 years, as if it were some magic potion to solve the defensive issues, the defense now looks in some ways like it has for the last decade.

It all starts up front where you have to generate pass rush pressure while maintaining run discipline and gap control. It doesn't appear as if Washington is doing that consistently.

In the season opener against Philadelphia, the defense was carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey for much of the first half despite generating pressure and three sacks, including rookie Chase Young's first and Ryan Kerrigan surpassing Dexter Manley's franchise mark.

The defensive group settled down on the back end and the line then wreaked havoc on an injury-riddled offensive line for Philadelphia. Washington walked away with a win and eight sacks. Seven were from the defensive line.

Then came Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Washington’s pass rush was mostly negated. The run lanes were gaping. The defensive line dove hard and seemingly recklessly at the mesh point of the quarterback keeper option with talent like Montez Sweat and Ryan Anderson sucked in early and often.


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November 2020