Anyone who laughingly dismisses the Washington Redskins as having a chance to win the NFC East is stuck on offseason headlines and hasn’t paid attestation to the field through two weeks.
The Redskins have been one of the most physical teams in the NFL on both sides of the ball, leading the NFL in rushing yards per game (171.5) and total defense (234.5). The Redskins rank Top-5 in all three defensive categories after two games, including No. 2 in passing yards allowed (164) and No. 4 in rushing yards given up (70.5).
While the sample size on those stats is minute compared to a 16-game slate, what we know is physical play is lasting in the NFL. Through two games, the Redskins have flashed their new team mantra of physicality.
“The only thing that matters is to break the man in front of you,” the Washington Redskins defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois told the Washington Post. “Beat him as many times as you can.”
Enduring physicality is the goal general manager Scot McCloughan vowed to instill in the franchise when taking over this offseason. Thus far the plan is shaping up beautifully.
Jason Hatcher looks dominant, Ryan Kerrigan has been a bull on the edge and the rotation of Chris Baker and Jean Francois has helped batter opponents along the line.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins are pounding it down opponents throats with Alfred Morris and rookie stud Matt Jones, while negating opponent’s pass rush with a quick passing game.
“I understand everybody’s giving us compliments and everything,” Jean Francois said. “That’s great. Leave that to the fans. Leave that to the media to talk about. For us, that’s just the way we play. We’ve got to go out there, break the man in front of you. We’ve got to hit. We’ve got to play Redskin football, basically.”
It was easy to dismiss Washington this offseason with their bevy of comical, self-inflicted headlines.
If the Redskins beat the New York Giants on the road Thursday night with their physical brand of football, they will be dismissed no longer, especially in a weak NFC East.