Albert Haynesworth’s Impact on the Defense Is Enormous
The Redskins played the Eagles on Monday Night Football, losing 27-17. Washington’s defensive line performed pretty well, getting to Donovan McNabb for three sacks and several other pressures. At one point the MNF crew displayed a graphic showing how much playing alongside All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth helps everyone else on the line; much like a good cornerback, a good defensive tackle’s stats usually aren’t that impressive. Haynesworth however is so dominant he requires extra attention from the offensive line and that frees up other defenders with one-on-one matchups. As they pointed out, when Haynesworth was with the Titans, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch had 35.5 sacks in 58 games including two 12 or more sack seasons. This year, Vanden Bosch doesn’t have any sacks.
Meanwhile, playing alongside Haynesworth in Washington this year, Andre Carter has 6.5 sacks through 7 games. Carter did have 10.5 sacks two years ago and 12.5 sacks in ’02 with the 49ers, but he’s on pace to blow past his season highs. Any coincidence he’s enjoying this much success this year? Of course not — Haynesworth gets tons of attention on the line and Carter’s taking advantage of it. The bottom line is that unlike quarterback, running back, linebacker, or wide receiver, it’s hard to measure the success of a defensive tackle using his statistics. As we’ve come to see, while Haynesworth’s stats aren’t blowing you away, his impact has been tremendous. Now if they could only get some freaking production from their offense they’d be set.