5. The Redskins Play Better Defense
Let's be honest, if the Redskins want to win some games, they have to play better defense — period.
Being ranked last in the league defensively isn't going to help their playoff push. But as I said before, if anyone in the NFC East can change and play strong defense, it's the Redskins (the 'Skins do have some impressive personnel on defense).
Let's start with the heart of Washington's defense: the linebackers. This is by far the most talented component of the Redskins' defense. The four starting linebackers are Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher, Ryan Kerrigan and Perry Riley. Fletcher has been a stalwart middle linebacker in the NFL for over a decade, and has four pro bowl selections all coming in the past four seasons; suffice to say, he's playing his best football now. OLBs Orakpo and Kerrigan are fifth- and third-year players, respectively, and have three Pro Bowl appearances between them. Also, both are excellent pass rushers.
The secondary has proven and experienced defensive backs such as CB DeAngelo Hall, CB Josh Wilson and S Brandon Meriweather. Hall, over his 11 year career, has 40 interceptions. Together, these three backs have 63 career picks — a number which the Redskins would like them to add to now.
The experienced secondary and the pro bowl linebacking core can improve their play enough in the final 12 games to hold the other teams' point totals below their own. While Washington's offense has been playing statistically well this season, they will need help from the defense if they are going to make a real attempt at securing the NFC East title.