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The Redskins suffered a tough loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night, and given the ridiculous injuries that piled up, it isn’t that hard to understand why a Washington defense that was stuffing Kansas City – suddenly couldn’t.

While there have been mentions of the injuries in many articles, few seem to talk about the collective effect that these injuries had. There were so many that it was hard to follow. Several players went down – only to return; making it even harder to follow.

I have to admit, even though I am used to the fickle nature of NFL fandom, I was quite surprised at the number of people in the twitterverse that were throwing the Redskins under the bus for losing the Monday night game. Not because they lost to a good NFL team – but for failing to recognize some very glaring NFL game facts. Like the injuries the Redskins had to contend with.

I’m just going to take a quick look at the defense and point a few things out. I grabbed the Redskins depth chart from ESPN, and then started making a few annotations. Here is what I came up with.

There are 27 players listed on the standard depth chart above.

Of the 27 players, 15 of them were affected by injuries in some way

Six defensive players came out of the game for varying lengths of time (up to and including the remainder of the game. Five of those six, came from the secondary – Norman, Nicholson, Fuller, Dunbar and Everett. Just think about that for a second and look at the chart, they dressed NINE defensive backs and yet at one point, the Redskins were down to four guys – Breeland, Swearinger, Moreau and McClure. How many snaps do you think Moreau and McClure took last week in practice?

Three players in the above chart were inactive – Holsey, Lanier II, and Harvey-Clemons. They weren’t injured but they weren’t on the active roster to be used in place of any of the injured players.

The second chart is to show the players that were nursing injuries coming into the Chiefs game. It lists wether players were held out of practice or limited, in the days leading up to the game. The Redskins had 7 defensive players on that list – Norman, Nicholson, Swearinger, Allen, Compton, Foster and Ioannidis.

Obviously football is a tough sport, and injuries are going to happen. Good teams have better depth, and can account for more injuries.

But is there any NFL team that could “handle” losing not only two of their four starting defensive backs, but three of their would-be replacements as well?

Not likely.

Think about it… at one point, with Fuller and Dunbar both (temporarily) on the sideline, Norman was replaced by Breeland in the number one CB slot, and Breeland’s number two spot was filled by his replacement’s, replacement’s, replacement!

As the injuries piled up, so did the Chiefs’ offensive yards. But not until.

That’s without even addressing that the Chiefs were considered one of the strongest teams (and offenses) in the NFL coming into the game, as well as the only undefeated team left in the league. And by and large, the concensus the day after the game was that they were the undisputed number one team in the NFL.

Keep that in mind when you’re throwing around terms like “cult of losing” and “lost opportunity” and “losers”.


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