Redskins Breakdown: Team shows nothing in embarrassing loss to Chargers
Defense: Secondary needs to step up in the future
Where to even begin with the defensive effort. For most of the game, the team was unable to stop the Chargers even remotely. They didn’t force the Chargers to punt until the second half. They allowed points on every single possession to fall behind 23-6 at the half. The defense looked like they had nothing left in the tank, and there are many to blame for this issue.
Chiefly, the Redskins secondary is responsible for the poor play. The unit did little to stop the Chargers receivers, and they allowed both Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams to record 100-plus yard games. Both of the aforementioned receivers had long catches, and Williams’ was particularly poor coverage from the Redskins. And notably, that 75-yard touchdown for William came against Josh Norman.
Speaking of Norman, he once again put forth a poor effort, and the Redskins have to be seriously questioning why his play has dropped off so significantly. It’s possible that he’s dealing with a nagging injury, but he has been careless in coverage at times. The Redskins desperately need him to step up and prove that he will play at a high level in 2018. Otherwise, the team could find themselves with an albatross contract moving forward.
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Elsewhere on the defense, the Redskins struggles against tight ends continued. Hunter Henry essentially did all of the damage on the first Chargers touchdown drive, catching three passes and the score to put the Chargers ahead. He met little resistance and was only taken out of the game when Philip Rivers started targeting his receivers more. The Redskins need to find better coverage safeties and linebackers to ensure that they fix their issues against tight ends moving forward.
Against the run, Washington generally had trouble containing Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, as they were able to gash the unit at times despite mediocre offensive line play from the Los Angeles line. Finding a true nose tackle would definitely help their cause moving forward.
At the end of the day, the defense lost this game. The secondary was particularly bad, and the Redskins have to consider making some big changes next year in terms of personnel to remain competitive.