When assessing an overall unit from a preseason game, you must be careful. You take into account that all starters are rarely going to be on the field at the same time together in preseason action. In the loss to Denver, the Redskins played most of their defensive starters well into the second quarter. At times, starting defensive linemen Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne were on the field together. When they were, the front seven was solid.
However, the biggest issue for Washington was its secondary. Norman had his share of issues, Dunbar got turned around and Fabian Moreau got beat on a go-route down the sideline. Moreau, however, did make a nice play on Emmanuel Sanders out of the slot.
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) August 24, 2018
Also in the secondary, starting safety Montae Nicholson looked out of sorts on two different tackle attempts, while rookie backup, Troy Apke, missed two easy tackles in the open field. One such tackle led to a Denver score. Apke is a rookie and a backup, but he is always just one play away from being the starting free safety. That’s concerning. He looks nowhere ready to help Washington right now.
It’s also important to note that the Redskins didn’t blitz or go hard after Keenum. Much like the offense, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky kept things basic.