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News & Notes: 'D' Intensifies Pass Rush

By Gary Fitzgerald


October 1, 2006

All week long, the Redskins' offensive players heard about Jacksonville's dominant defensive line and stout run defense.

Turns out it provided motivation for the Redskins' defense, too.


Demetric Evans records a sack of Byron Leftwich in the fourth quarter. (AP Photo)

Entering Sunday's game against Jacksonville, the Redskins' defense had logged just three sacks in three games. But in the first 18 minutes of the 36-30 win over the Jaguars, the defense had doubled that total.

The unit finished the game with four sacks in all: one each by Andre Carter, Phillip Daniels, Adam Archuleta and Demetric Evans.

Equally as important, the Redskins' run defense yielded just 33 rushing yards to the Jaguars. Running back Fred Taylor rushed for just 16 yards on seven carries, and speedster Maurice Jones-Drew had three carries for three yards.

The Jaguars did most of their damage through the air, as Byron Leftwich completed 21-of-35 passes for 289 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

In the first quarter, Carter beat left tackle Khalif Barnes for a sack on a first-down pass attempt. It was Carter's first sack of the season.

Later in the first quarter, on a 3rd-and-4 play, Daniels pulled down Leftwich for his first sack of the season.

With the Redskins leading 27-17 in the fourth quarter, Evans logged his sack in the fourth quarter as the defensive line began to increase the pressure on Leftwich.

Even rookie defensive tackle Kedric Golston made an impact, batting down a Leftwich pass in the first half. Golston was starting for Joe Salave'a, inactive due to a lingering calf injury.

Carter finished with four tackles, to go along with his sack, and added two quarterback pressures. Evans and Cornelius Griffin had three tackles apiece.

Daniels logged his first NFL interception in the third quarter. Leftwich's third-down throw to Williams was batted away by Carter, who had drifted back into coverage. Daniels, an 11-year veteran, grabbed the ball and cradled it as he fell to the ground.

Through three games, the Redskins had only three sacks. In the early going of the NFL season, that ranks them 28th, ahead of Houston, Minnesota, Kansas City and the New York Giants. Middle linebacker Lemar Marshall leads the way with 1.5 sacks. Defensive end Demetric Evans has one sack, and defensive tackle Kedric Golston has a half-sack.

It's not uncommon for Williams's defenses to experience sack droughts. Last year, the Redskins logged three sacks in the season-opening win over the Bears. But over the next four games, Washington had just two sacks. The drought came to an end against San Francisco on Week 7, when the defense logged five sacks.


Both Clinton Portis and Santana Moss commented after the game that Jaguars middle linebacker Mike Peterson did plenty of boasting on the field, even making a bold prediction that Portis would not rush for 100 yards.

Portis ended up with 112 yards on 27 carries. It was Portis's first 100-yard effort of the season.

As a team, the Redskins rushed for 152 yards on 40 carries, a 3.8 yards-per-carry average.

Entering the game, the Jaguars had the NFL's third-best run defense, averaging just 59.0 yards allowed per game.

Ladell Betts finished with 37 yards on 11 carries.

Said Moss: "I think what got our running game really hungry out there was we heard some chalk-talk from one of the linebackers. He is a great linebacker and when you have that kind of confidence in your team, you should be able to talk like that.

"They said they weren't giving up 100 yards. When you have backs like Portis and Ladell running the ball, that's tough to say."

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"Both Clinton Portis and Santana Moss commented after the game that Jaguars middle linebacker Mike Peterson did plenty of boasting on the field, even making a bold prediction that Portis would not rush for 100 yards. "

Whooops. Gotta suck being Mike Peterson right about now. ;)

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