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Washington Defense: Signs of Life?

Some signs the WFT defense is starting to get it together

Let's be frank. The Washington Football Team is 2-5 after seven weeks.

But, in the past few weeks, there have been some signs the defense is starting to figure things out. Nobody is saying defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has his unit working like a well-oiled machine, but it's hard not to see the improvements. 

WFT defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who contributed two sacks on Sunday, thinks the team is close. Most would disagree on the team level, but maybe not on the defensive side. 

For starters, the Washington defense now six takeaways in the last three straight games. This is especially significant because, after the two takeaways in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, this unit went three straight games without any.

Allen, and defensive end Montez Sweat, both contributed sacks in Week 7, and now have five and four on the year respectively. This puts Allen on pace for 12, and Sweat on pace to have right around six or seven.

Against a Green Bay offense featuring future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a team expected to challenge for a trip to the Super Bowl, the unit did fairly well. 

Washington held the Packers to their second-lowest total yardage output in 2021, and held their rushing attack to just 57-yards, which is the fewest rushing yards this team has allowed all season.

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And no, the rushing low isn't just because the Packers had success through the air. While Rodgers did throw for 274-yards and three touchdowns, not good, the passing output is the second-lowest allowed by WFT this season. 

Week 7 also marked the team's second-lowest amount of first downs allowed by their opponent, and is the second time in three games they gave up fewer than 20.

In Landon Collins' first game as a linebacker, he led the team with seven tackles, all of them coming in the solo variety, and had a fumble recovery. 

Cornerback Danny Johnson made his first career NFL start, and while he looked at times like a guy making his first start, he also came away with four tackles, one pass broken up, and a forced fumble. So, not bad. 

And defensive tackle Tim Settle came up with the franchise's first blocked field goal since December of 2016, to keep the game tied at seven, early on. 

At the end of the day, the Washington Football Team defense still isn't where most of us thought it would be in the preseason, but there are signs of life. 

If the offense can begin showing some of those same signs, and putting points on the board in the process, then this team can start competing for wins again.