So far this season the Washington Redskins are ranked last in the NFL in defense. Over Mike Shanahan’s four seasons as head coach the team has an average ranking of 26th in the NFL defensively. That average could go up depending on what the Redskins do for the rest of this season. But if the trend continues, then the Redskins could finish the season as one the worst defenses in NFL history.
The magical season put together by quarterback Robert Griffin III last year took the focus and pressure from an injury plagued defense that finished the season ranked 28th in 2012. But this season with RGIII struggling to regain his form coming from a torn ACL, the defense hasn’t performed well enough to help take up the slack.
Other than inspired play from cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who has two defensive touchdowns and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan with three sacks, the rest of the defense has displayed shoddy tackling, and at times confusion in the secondary. Mike Shanahan stated in the preseason that this year was super bowl or bust for the Redskins. But so far it’s been all bust.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has been under fire from fans it seems his entire tenure with the team, yet Shanahan has continued to stick by him. But if the poor performance on defense continues in the coming weeks, then Shanahan may be forced to consider another option at coordinator or risk having all the blame falling on to him.
The defense can’t be held totally accountable for the Redskins 0-3 start, as the offense has been inconsistent and turnover prone. But Shanahan should have expected RGIII to be rusty without having played in the preseason, and yet the team has appeared unprepared for that possibility. The Redskins need its defense to improve, and Sunday against the Raiders is as good a time as any.