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Witnessing Greatness: The 2022 Washington Redskins Defense

Discussion in 'Team News' started by Jack Tyler, May 7, 2018.

  1. Jack Tyler

    Jack Tyler Legend
    Legend Donor

    Jan 22, 2017
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    WASHINGTON - Nobody on the team is going to be interested in talking about it now, but legacies are at stake for the 2022 Redskins. It’s particularly so for the defense, which already has earned consideration among the greatest in XCFL history. Finishing out strong and it could cause all objective observers to delete the “among” from that assessment. This is no small thing, and it’s worth addressing before the season ends.

    At some point in the not-distant future, analysts will look back at the Redskins of the twenty-twenties and compare them to Super Bowl-era powerhouses like the Steel Curtain of Pittsburgh, Da Bears under Ditka and Buddy Ryan, the three-peat Cowboys and a small handful of other clubs that have strung together strong defensive seasons.

    Already having led the XCFL in fewest points allowed for three straight seasons has lifted the Redskins’ defense to among the historical elite. Only the Cleveland Browns of the mid-50s have bettered that, leading for five straight seasons.

    But that was when the league had 12 teams and played 12 games each season.

    The degree of difficulty in sustaining any streak in today’s XCFL is higher than it’s ever been, given free agency, the salary cap and rules favoring offenses.

    As early as 2019, Redskins cornerback Tomas Holland was asked how the team would stack up against some of the legendary predecessors.

    “The only difference is we play under all these different defensive rules,” Holland said. “The Steel Curtain Steelers, the ’85 Bears, those are hard-hitting defenses. But they were allowed to play defense the way it’s supposed to be played.”

    In addition to leading the points-against rankings from 2020 through now, the Redskins also led the total defense (yards) standings in 2020 and 2021, and are leading by a large margin this season.

    None of this seems to be ending anytime soon, as the five returning Pro Bowlers from last season are all still in their prime. Jatavis Brown is the oldest at 28, but Elite corners Tomas Holland and Taylor Nunley are 24 and 23 respectively, Derek Barnett 26, Montae Nicholson 26, and Cesar Clayborn 23.

    Another couple Redskins from the core group probably have deserved Pro Bowl recognition — Lane Boss, Darron Lee and Wes Cohen.

    “We’ve got a lot of great players and a lot of people who one day will be in Canton (Pro Football Hall of Fame),” Clayborn said Monday after practice. “We never look too far ahead in the season. Our legacy is just one game at a time, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to be at the top of the game. We’re going to let the writers determine if we’ve got that legacy or not.”

    Okay, Cesar, I’m saying that you do. But it will be enhanced with another two games of dominance.

    A couple reasons why they’ll achieve it:

    The Redskins can become just the third team in XCFL history to complete a season undefeated.

    They also can become the FIRST team in XCFL history to hold opponents under 200 yards of total offense for an entire season.
    steelerguy26 likes this.

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