Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 27, 31 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.
—The Redskins last played a game 169 days ago. It will be 77 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 18; Preseason opener @ Falcons 45; Final roster cut 68
The five toughest defenses the Redskins will face in 2016
Panthers (-18.4%, ranked 2nd in NFL)—They will be missing Josh Norman, their All-Pro cornerback. But their front seven, led by tackle Kawann Short and linebacker Luke Kuechly, will likely have them near the top of the heap defensively again this year.
Cardinals (-15.6%, 3rd)—They have top players at all levels of defense—DE Calais Campbell, LB Deone Bucannon, CB Patrick Peterson, and S Tyrann Mathieu. Their defense is well balanced, ranking second against the pass and fourth against the run.
Packers (-7.3%, 9th)—I’ll bet “top-10 defense” doesn’t come to mind when you talk about the Packers but it’s a solid unit. One thing that they have going for them is that coordinator Dom Capers is entering his eighth year in Green Bay and GM Ted Thompson knows what players will fit Capers’ scheme.
Bengals (-7.1%, 10th)—The Redskins’ offensive front had better tighten their chinstraps in London. That Bengals front seven with Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap up front and Vontaze Burfict (assuming he’s not suspended again) at linebacker is among the best and nastiest in the game.
Steelers (-3.8%, 11th)—With Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell we have come to think of the Steelers as a offensive minded team. And while they are not the Steel Curtain they did well enough to be one of 11 teams that held opponents under 20 points per game last year. They did it in part because they were third in the NFL with 30 takeaways and fourth with 48 sacks.
A DVOA of zero represents an average defense; negative numbers are good. For comparison purposes the Redskins had a DVOA of 5.4%, 21st in the NFL.
The Vikings are the only other team with a negative defensive DVOA on the Redskins’ schedule (-1.8%, 14th). The lowest-ranked defense they face belongs to the Bears (11.3%, 31st).
In case you missed it
- Luck deal could make Cousins very expensive for the Redskins
- The competition at ILB could get fierce in Richmond
- Spotlight is on Redskins RB Matt Jones