Washington Redskins: Defense needs more from edge rushers

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a first half pass against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 16, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a first half pass against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 16, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Redskins may have the top-ranked defense, but they aren’t getting much from their top edge rushers and that needs to change.

The Washington Redskins are coming off a tough 21-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in which the offense failed to score a touchdown. Their rushing attack looked good in Week 1, but the Colts shut down Adrian Peterson holding him to 20 yards on 11 carries. Meanwhile, quarterback Alex Smith dinked and dunked his way down the field, failing to open up much for the passing game.

The one bright spot for the team through the first two weeks is a No. 1 ranked defense. However, the team really needs more from their top edge rushers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith. Kerrigan and Smith have combined for 172 snaps with not much to show for it. Neither has recorded a sack and their tackle total stands at two.

As a team, the Redskins have a done a poor job getting home when rushing the quarterback with a total of three sacks, good enough for 23rd in the NFL. Despite early struggles, the three-time Pro Bowler Kerrigan isn’t getting worked up over things, saying the following:

"“I mean obviously I would love to have a few sacks and some forced fumbles, but it hasn’t worked out that way the first couple games,” Kerrigan said via Redskins.com. “But like I said, it’s something that you can’t get frustrated about and you can’t start worrying about it because it’s still early in the season.”"

Washington drafted interior lineman, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne, hoping it would take some attention off of their outside linebackers. While Allen and Payne have had strong starts to the 2018 season, the same can’t be said for the rest of the defensive front.

In Week 3, the Redskins take on the 11th ranked passing offense held by the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is still dealing with a sprained knee that limited his mobility last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings — but he’s also still Aaron Rodgers.

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The pass rush should be a point of emphasis as it could go a long ways toward limiting Rodgers’ impact on the game. When healthy his mobility makes him the most dangerous quarterback in the league, but now he’s having to win solely from the pocket. Kerrigan and Smith will aim to have a big game attacking a stand still target.