PFF on Redskins: Baker cooking, Hatcher dips

More grades from Pro Football Focus includes defensive line strength from an underrated source.

Earlier we shared analysis from on the Washington Redskins' offense in the 32-21 loss at the New York Giants Thursday night. Now, the defense.

  • For all the positive talk about offseason additions Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois joining the defensive line, one of the holdovers ranks highest through three games, according to PFF. Nope, not Jason Hatcher, but Chris Baker. PFF: "The upgrades brought in via free agency have bolstered Washington’s defensive line early in the season, with Terrance Knighton (+1.3) producing his best game of the season so far. However, the star of Washington’s defensive line is arguably Chris Baker (+5.0), whose six stops last night tied Keenan Robinson (+0.1) for the most on the team. Through three games, Baker is Washington’s highest graded defensive lineman, and is the only member of the Washington front seven—aside from Ryan Kerrigan (+0.3)—to boast a positive grade as both a run defender and pass rusher."

  • Baker's 5.0 rating was the highest for Washington on either side of the ball against New York. Two other defenders ranked among the top 5: Knighton and inside linebacker Will Compton (1.1), who replaced the injured Perry Riley in the starting lineup. 

  • On the other end, Hatcher's -2.3 rating was his worst overall grade since joining the Redskins last season.  He had a single hurry on 27 rushes and an assisted tackle. The rating meshes with coach Jay Gruden's postgame comments on how New York quarterback Eli Manning neutralized the defensive line. "It's hard to get home when he's getting the ball out so quick and when we did have some opportunities to rush him, we just didn't get there. It was very uncharacteristic of some of our rushers. [Jason] Hatcher didn't have his best game and [Ryan] Kerrigan had a couple of opportunities and couldn't get home and we just didn't get there." PFF graded Hatcher the highest rated defender during the Week 2 win over tthe Rams thanks to five hurries.

  • The Redskins had a season-low two missed tackles. One of those misses was credited to Bashaud Breeland, whose biggest issues came defending passes According to PFF, Manning completed 8 of 10 against Breeland for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

  • The Giants also completed passes against Keenan Robinson (5 of 6), but for only 35 total yards. Catch a pass is one thing. Yards after the catch is another.

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