Despite playing below their expectations in a loss to the Panthers, the Redskins added members to Dan Graziano’s ESPN NFC East All-Division Team this week.
The value of the All-Division Team is to highlight individual effort–which is not as important as winning–but provides another degree of global perspective.
The Redskins were bestowed with seven of the divisions 27 possible honors. The first-place Giants received nine, the Cowboys eight, and the Eagles three:
Fullback: Darrel Young, Redskins (Henry Hynoski)
Center: Will Montgomery, Redskins (Montgomery)
Outside linebacker: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; Brian Orakpo, Redskins (Ware, Orakpo)
Inside linebacker: Sean Lee, Cowboys; London Fletcher, Redskins (Lee, Fletcher)
Safety: Kenny Phillips, Giants; LaRon Landry, Redskins (Phillips, Landry)
Punter: Sav Rocca, Redskins (Rocca)
Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)
This is a pretty fair assessment of the top Redskins at their positions, so far.
On offense, I correctly predicted that once Young returned from injury, he would regain his designation as the division’s top fullback. No surprise that the running game picks back up when he returned to full health.
On special teams, through six games (prepare to knock on wood), Rocca still has yet to yield a touchback, and leads the league by downing 53.8 percent of his punts inside the 20.
You could say that he brings the right kind of excitement to a position that isn’t supposed to be exciting.
And on defense, despite finishing Sunday with six tackles and a sack, Graziano put Orakpo on the hot seat. Orakpo didn’t disappear on Sunday, but Graziano said that he needs to remain a game-changer in order to keep his spot:
I gave some serious thought to moving Mathias Kiwanuka into Brian Orakpo’s outside linebacker spot. It’s a tough situation, since Kiwanuka’s role in the Giants’ 4-3 is so different from (and so less statistics-intensive than) Orakpo’s role in the Redskins’ 3-4. But Orakpo wasn’t at his game-changing best Sunday.
He also noted the Banks and Devin Thomas were able to retain their respective returner positions, despite putting up dull statistics:
Can someone in this division return a kick or a punt for a touchdown? Please? Those categories could stand some excitement.
It’s good to get the individual accolades, but I’m certain that all of these players would trade their designation for a win on Sunday.