The Redskins awful secondary and why the Packers are always good
Watching Green Bay play Washington, I thought early on that the two teams were fairly evenly matched and that the big difference came from Washington just not having that same long-time chemistry that Green Bay has in spades. But as the game went on I came to believe that it is not some overarching problem in Washington. It is a fundamentally awful secondary that will be their demise this year. They were iffy before Brandon Meriweather went out. Once that happened, they were hopeless.
Green Bay’s passing game is not designed to win one-on-one matchups like some other teams do. They do not have an AJ Green or a Wes Welker, where the idea of the game is to put one defender in a spot where he is basically outmatched. The Packers rely more on route concepts working together to exploit defenses in the alleys with a lot of post routes and deep in routes, which challenge the entire makeup of the linebackers and secondaries. The Green Bay offensive line has been one of the worst in football for Aaron Rodgers’ tenure as the team’s starting quarterback, so getting the ball out on time is everything. If Rodgers ever hopes to get an extra second to get rid of the ball, it will be by way of his ability escape. It’s a damn good thing he is so good at that.
So Rodgers was able to mostly pick apart a defense that was making silly mistakes: The first touchdown of the game was a terrible example of letting a receiver slip underneath the linebacker instead of forcing him over the top; James Jones had a 57 yard catch come from the cornerback simply playing the wrong defense and not covering him in man-to-man. These types of mistakes can happen, but after all that, the Packers had still only scored 10 points late in the first half. The reason that the Packers were unstoppable on Sunday and able to pile on is the fact that this Redskins secondary is as soft as any I have seen in the league. 5 yard gains turned into 9 yard gains all day because of defensive backs just hanging on instead of making a stick. The screen game was the worst of it all though. Jordy Nelson basically took hold of whichever his blocking assignment and completely washed him out of every play.
If you are a Packers fan, you should be very happy about how organized and efficient your offense is early in the season and how it is basically built to function without stellar offensive line play. By designing the offense in such a way that really does not rely on the offensive line to be stellar, they have essentially eliminated that concern. Even a couple more injuries at the position should not worry a team that just does not need to offer great protection and push. Any offensive line play is a happy bonus.
If you are a Redskins fan, you better hope that this secondary can learn to play a physical game of football or else it will be a very long season. There is plenty right about this team though. It is obviously a playoff caliber team if it can find the solution in the secondary. The offense really does look fine; they just cannot play the game they want to when they cannot rely on the defense for stops. Ryan Kerrigan is absolutely elite and the defensive front for the Redskins is very solid, but not totally spectacular.
The linebacker Perry Riley needs to force Randall Cobb over the top
If you have ever seen a quarterback sail a ball into the arms of the safety, it is because the linebacker did a good job of walling off and putting his body in the throwing lane. Letting Cobb get underneath here is inexcusable.
This Ryan Kerrigan speed bull rush is absolutely beastly
And this is basically what you get from the ‘Skins secondary
tl;dr: The Redskins defensive backs need to toughen the fuck up