With the NFL season officially over, Redskins.com looks back at the best defensive plays from the entire 2017 season.
With the Super Bowl officially over, the next big calendar event on the football schedule belongs to the NFL Combine. That doesn't take place until the end of February, so in the meantime, there is still some more reflecting to do on the previous season.
So, let's look back at some of the Redskins' top plays from the 2017 season. We'll start with the defense, which improved under new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and received some strong performances from a variety of contributors.
Here they are, in no particular order.
It may be the best pass-rush Jim Tomsula has ever seen, so he tells linebacker Ryan Kerrigan after shoving the Broncos' left tackle straight onto his back and sacking quarterback Brock Osweiler. It is indeed a showstopper and a nice Christmas gift for the fans near that end zone.
Swearinger made a promise to a young fan before the Vikings game that he would intercept quarterback Case Keenum twice. Well, he did just that, nearly taking the second one to the end zone. When Swearinger makes a promise, he does everything he can to fulfill it.
Linebacker Mason Foster solidified a Week 2 victory over the Rams in Los Angeles by intercepting quarterback Jared Goff. But what makes this even more impressive is the fact that he did so after separating his shoulder during the game. Foster couldn't last the entire season but was rewarded with a new contract in January.
It wasn't a great end result, but cornerback Bashaud Breeland found a silver lining intercepting a poorly thrown red zone pass from quarterback Phillip Rivers back for a touchdown. He got the Redskins fans in attendance involved at the end, too.
It was pretty clear that defensive lineman Anthony Lanier II had started to find his rhythm along the line in the last month of the year. That was confirmed against the Cardinals, batting balls at the line of scrimmage and pulling off moves like this, sacking quarterback Blaine Gabbert and forcing a fumble in the process. The D-line should be a big strength next season with everyone healthy.
D.J. Swearinger knows how challenging it is to intercept Drew Brees, making his pick against the Saints quarterback at the beginning of the November game that much more meaningful. He definitely needed two spoons to eat after that.
Had the ball been batted to the ground it would have ended the game, too, but cornerback Kendall Fuller intercepted quarterback C.J. Beathard nonetheless and sealed the Redskins' victory.