The Washington Redskins visit the New Orleans Saints in Week 11 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 16
Coverage by: Mark Chichester
Matchup: Washington Redskins offense vs. New Orleans Saints defense
- RB Samaje Perine vs. Edge Alex Okafor – With starting running back Rob Kelly set to miss the remainder of the season, the door starting job has been opened for running back Samaje Perine, and it’s up to the rookie to take advantage. This year, Perine has tallied 66 carries and averaged just 2.26 yards after contact per carry, the 40th-best mark among running backs, and his 35.8 overall grade would rank last if he’d have played enough snaps to qualify. In his first game as the team’s starter, he’ll be keen to improve on his start, but he’ll be in for a tough time against Alex Okafor, who has produced 14 run stops on 146 run-defense snaps this year, for a run-stop percentage of 9.6 percent, good for seventh among 4-3 defensive ends.
- WR Jamison Crowder vs. CB Kenny Vaccaro – Crowder has been battling through some injury troubles this year, but he’s been able to suit up for two of the Redskins' last three games and has played significant role in the offense, catching all 15 of his 17 catchable targets for 227 receiving yards at an average of 1.83 yards per route run, good for 14th among qualifying receivers in that span. Crowder is still yet to find the end zone for his team, so he’ll be looking to strike against Kenny Vaccaro, who has allowed just 18 catches from 29 targets this year, logged three interceptions, and is still yet to surrender a touchdown in coverage.
- C Chase Roullier vs. DI Sheldon Rankins – With Spencer long still nursing a knee injury, rookie offensive lineman Chase Roullier has filled in, and has played 81.6 percent of his team’s offensive snaps since Week 7. In those four games, he’s played 144 snaps in pass protection, and has allowed five total pressures for a pass blocking efficiency of 97.4 that ranks 12th among centers in that span. While it’s an amicable number, it’s still not quite up to the standard of Long, who has allowed the same amount of pressures on 223 pass blocking snaps this season. Roullier will sure be in for a learning curve against Sheldon Rankins, who has produced 25 quarterback pressures from 248 pass-rush snaps this year, the sixth-most among defensive tackles.
Coverage by: Andrew Fleischer
Matchup: New Orleans Saints offense vs. Washington Redskins defense
- WR Michael Thomas vs. CB Bashaud Breeland – Michael Thomas brings with him an 85.4 overall grade entering Week 11, the second-highest overall grade on the Saints roster behind only Drew Brees, and tied for the seventh-highest among 113 eligible wide receivers league-wide. He’s dropped only two of 61 catchable passes, for a 3.28 drop rate that’s the tenth lowest among 36 wide receivers with at least 52 targets, and a yards per route run figure that’s increased each game from a 1.83 through Week 6 to its current 2.27. Bashaud Breeland will line up across from Thomas, and he’s struggled to a 43.6 overall grade through Week 10. His 9.5 tackle efficiency rating in the passing game is 46th out of 80 eligible cornerbacks.
- RB Mark Ingram vs. LB Zach Brown – Mark Ingram is a very capable receiver out of the backfield, but he’s more efficient when running the ball and picking up chunks of yardage on the ground. 208 of his 672 rushing yards have come from 15-plus yard runs, for a 31.0 breakaway percentage that’s the seventh-highest figure of 18 eligible running backs. Linebacker Zach Brown will often be charged with keeping Ingram contained, and he’s been quite good at stopping the run so far in 2017. His 21 run stops on 216 snaps against the run equates to a 9.7 run stop percentage, the eighth-best mark among 56 qualified linebackers. He has also missed five tackles, which is tied for the seventh-most among the same group of linebackers.
- RB Alvin Kamara vs. S D.J. Swearinger – Alvin Kamara is now the fourth-highest graded running back in the NFL with an overall grade of 84.0, looking every bit the steal in the third round of the 2017 draft. He’s forced 25 missed tackles on 106 touches for an 81.1 elusive rating that’s third among 49 qualified running backs. Strong safety D.J. Swearinger’s 77.6 overall grade reflects an above-average proficiency defending the running game. His 5.6 run-stop percentage is the 10th-best percentage among 54 qualified safeties.