- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2015

Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall played 48 snaps in Sunday’s 20-14 win against the New York Giants after playing just six against Carolina the week before.

When Hall returned in Week 10 against New Orleans after missing five games with a toe sprain, he was rotating at free safety with Jeron Johnson. Against Carolina, though, Hall played just six snaps, while Johnson played 41.

On Sunday, Johnson did not play a single defensive snap. It was mostly Hall and rookie Kyshoen Jarrett, who played a career-high 62 snaps. With cornerback Chris Culliver out for the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee, rookie receiver-turned-cornerback Quinton Dunbar played 36 snaps. Entering Sunday, he had played just 20 all season.

The key for the Redskins‘ secondary on Sunday was their versatility and ability to disguise their looks. With Bashaud Breeland and Dunbar at the outside corner positions, Jarrett and Blackmon played in nickel and dime packages, but Hall mixed in at times as well, with Jarrett moving to safety.

That all changed once Dunbar dislocated his left index finger in the third quarter. After that, Blackmon switched to the outside and Jarrett mostly played nickel while Hall remained at free safety.

Before Culliver injured his right knee in last Thursday’s practice, he missed Wednesday’s session to get an MRI exam on his shoulder. That actually helped the Redskins in the sense that once Culliver injured his knee, the team had already started preparing as if he would not be able to play.

“We were unsure about Culliver, so we had already practiced with Dunbar out there,” Hall said. “It really threw a wrench in our plans when he went down. We weren’t able to play a lot of the packages we were successful with in the first half.”

After Dunbar was injured, the Giants scored 14 unanswered points but the Redskins ultimately held on. The fact that Dunbar was able to have such an impact in the secondary after Culliver was injured speaks to his confidence and the way he has prepared in practice.

Most members of the Redskins‘ secondary all made a similar point after the game. They’ve seen Dunbar shine in practice and were just waiting for him to get the opportunity to do it in a game. When trying to overcome a major injury at any point in the season, let alone in Week 12, that confidence is critical.

Here are a few other observations from the snap counts on Sunday.

** Running back Alfred Morris played 42 snaps, the most he’s played all season since registering 49 in the season opener when he rushed for 121 yards. He carried the ball 23 times on Sunday and gained 78 yards, an average of 3.4 yards per carry. On second-and-four, with 2:35 remaining, he picked up seven yards to force New York to burn its final timeout. Coach Jay Gruden has said all season that his confidence has never wavered in Morris and it showed on Sunday. The Redskins have routinely alternated Morris and rookie Matt Jones this season, but Morris was running well early so they stuck with it. Jones played just 18 snaps and carried the ball eight times for 19 yards. After Jones fumbled for the fourth time this season against Carolina, Gruden said it creates a feeling of uneasiness when the coaches call plays for the rookie. That likely played a factor on Sunday, when ball security was paramount in a game for the division lead.

“[Running Backs Coach] Randy [Jordan] is handling the substitution pattern and I really don’t care who is in there, I like them both,” Gruden said. “Alfred, when you feel like someone is rolling pretty well and protecting the football, then Alfred was the guy.”

** Tight end Derek Carrier played just two snaps before he sprained his Achilles, which put a wrinkle in the Redskins‘ offensive plans. Carrier has played nearly 60 percent of the snaps this year, as the Redskins have favored multiple-tight end sets. Once he was injured, offensive tackle Tom Compton was called on and played 28 snaps. When Carrier is healthy, Compton has lined up as a blocker in three-tight end sets. Compton was not in an unfamiliar position as a run-blocker, but losing Carrier eliminated a considerable amount of plays the Redskins could have run.

“When we had a lead and we were in some different personnel groupings, we had a lot more plays drawn up, but when Carrier got hurt that personnel grouping went down the tube,” Gruden said.

** Cornerback Dashaun Phillips was signed to the active roster from the practice squad on Friday after Culliver was injured and excelled on special teams against the Giants. He played 19 of 28 snaps, the fourth-most on the team, and was impressive as the gunner on punt coverage. On three of Tress Way’s six punts, Phillips was the first to the punt returner. On one in the fourth quarter, Giants‘ wide receiver Dwayne Harris muffed the punt as Phillips pressured him. Though Harris recovered, he was downed by Phillips at the 23-yard line.

The full snap counts are listed below, with the total number in parentheses.

Offense: LT Trent Williams (71/71), LG Spencer Long (71/71), C Josh LeRibeus (71/71) RG Brandon Scherff (71/71), RT Morgan Moses (71/71), QB Kirk Cousins (71/71), TE Jordan Reed (64/71), WR Jamison Crowder (58/71), WR Pierre Garcon (53/71), RB Alfred Morris (42/71), WR DeSean Jackson (41/71), T Tom Compton (28/71), RB Matt Jones (18/71), WR Ryan Grant (15/71), FB Darrel Young (13/71), RB Chris Thompson (10/71), WR Andre Roberts (7/71), T Ty Nsekhe (3/71), TE Derek Carrier (2/71), WR Rashad Ross (1/71).

Defense: ILB Will Compton (69/69), FS Dashon Goldson (69/69), CB Bashaud Breeland (69/69), CB Will Blackmon (69/69), OLB Ryan Kerrigan (64/69), FS Kyshoen Jarrett (62/69), ILB Perry Riley (55/69), CB DeAngelo Hall (48/69), OLB Trent Murphy (41/69), DE Jason Hatcher (40/69), CB Quinton Dunbar (36/69), DE Chris Baker (35/69), OLB Preston Smith (33/69), DE Ricky Jean Francois (27/69), DE Stephen Paea (22/69), NT Terrance Knighton (12/69), NT Kedric Golston (8/69).

Special teams: Young (21/28), Mason Foster (20/28), Houston Bates (20/28), Dashaun Phillips (19/28), Jeron Johnson (18/28), Smith (18/28), Murphy (14/28), Jarrett (13/28), Grant (12/28), Tress Way (11/28), Nick Sundberg (11/28), Dustin Hopkins (10/28), Blackmon (10/28), W. Compton (9/28), Golston (9/28), T. Compton (7/28), Jones (7/28), Thompson (7/28), Breeland (7/28), Goldson (7/28), Ross (6/28), Williams (5/28), Moses (5/28), Long (5/28), Scherff (5/28), Crowder (5/28), Jean Francois (5/28), Knighton (5/28), Hatcher (2/28), Hall (2/28), Riley (2/28), Kerrigan (2/28), Nsekhe (2/28), Jackson (2/28), Reed (1/28), Garcon (1/28), Morris (1/28), Roberts (1/28), Dunbar (1/28).

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