Redskins-Bills Film Review: Defense

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This goes beyond that breakdown, though. Landry isn’t impacting games the way he’s capable of. My guess is that he’s not fully healthy. How else to explain zero interceptions or forced fumbles and only half a sack in four games since he made his season debut on Monday night against Dallas? Landry could’ve forced 10 fumbles in this game and the Redskins wouldn’t have won, but the point is Landry has not played at as high a level as he did last season. The production isn’t there, and it’s hurting a defense that has no margin for error these days. Don’t forget he’s playing for a new contract.

CB JOSH WILSON: I’m curious why Wilson didn’t sell out to defend the goal line on TE Scott Chandler’s first touchdown catch. With ILB London Fletcher pursuing the play from behind, Wilson initially appeared intent on beating Chandler to the pylon. But when Chandler dove, Wilson seemed to pull up. It was in stark contrast to how Fletcher launched himself at Carolina QB Cam Newton two games ago when Newton dove for the goal line.

Wilson committed a pass interference penalty in the second quarter that cost the Redskins 34 yards and set up Buffalo’s first field goal. His coverage of RB C.J. Spiller’s go route was OK, but he didn’t turn his head to find the ball. When a corner faceguards a receiver and makes contact, it’s an easy call for the referee.

Wilson in the fourth quarter missed tackling WR Brad Smith out of the Wildcat formation. It would have been a really nice tackle if he had finished the play after getting around Smith’s lead blocker, but Smith ran through Wilson’s attempt to wrap up.

Overall, I thought Wilson and CB DeAngelo Hall benefited from playing tighter to the line of scrimmage. Wilson, for example, gave up a 10-yard completion on third-and-12 on Buffalo’s first series, but he was tight enough on WR Stevie Johnson to make the tackle short of the sticks. Perhaps that limits the corners’ ability to intercept passes by playing with vision, but they had struggled in coverage recently, and this technique helped.

ILB ROCKY MCINTOSH: Some of McIntosh’s past problems with missed tackles and over pursuit reappeared. The most glaring was his whiff on RB Fred Jackson with less than a minute remaining in the first half. Buffalo was able to salvage a field goal before halftime after McIntosh failed to wrap Jackson up after a catch near the left sideline. Jackson gained 38 yards after the missed tackle, running to the Redskins‘ 23-yard line.

McIntosh also fanned on Jackson at the line of scrimmage after he filled a gap on a fourth-quarter run. McIntosh was unblocked in his run fit; he just didn’t finish the play. Jackson gained 9 yards for a first down.

It’s possible that McIntosh was affected by an injury. He rotated in and out with Keyaron Fox, and he noticeably limped after ILB London Fletcher‘s second-half interception.

OBSERVATIONS

Big plays and isolated breakdowns undid some otherwise solid work by the defense. ILB Rocky McIntosh’s missed tackle of RB Fred Jackson and CB Josh Wilson’s pass interference penalty are two examples.

Jackson also ran for 43 yards on the first play of the second half. I can’t be sure of the Redskins‘ run fits on that play, but ILB London Fletcher ended up running into backup ILB Keyaron Fox, who didn’t start to flow toward Jackson until it was too late.

Most notably, the Redskins blew coverages on both of Buffalo’s touchdowns. SS LaRon Landry took responsibility for the error on the second score. The first touchdown is more difficult to figure out. Fletcher and FS Oshiomogho Atogwe followed RB Fred Jackson into the left flat immediately after the snap. When TE Scott Chandler ran a corner route, Fletcher was too flat to recover. He confronted Atogwe after the play, so the mix-up might have been between those two.

Again, it’s a reminder that the Redskins‘ defense has no margin for error because of how bad the offense is right now. The Redskins held the Bills to 8 points less than Buffalo’s season average and their second-lowest point total of the season, but Washington still had no chance to win because the offense couldn’t sustain any positive production.

***

Including the second-quarter pass on which CB Josh Wilson committed interference, the Bills dropped back to pass 31 times. The Redskins rushed four or fewer defenders on 22.

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