That's right. The team's defensive coordinator says anyone who picks apart Washington's defense -- or any defense -- by pointing to yardage allowed, the NFL's default ranking tool, doesn't understand how the game truly is measured.
"The year before, we were third in the league in turnovers," Haslett told WTEM-AM on Thursday, per The Washington Post. "And the offense was number one in the league; they only turned it over 14 times. So if that ratio comes up, you're gonna win a lot of games. Yardage? People look at that. That's kind of for losers."
Said Haslett: "Teams that are winning and got big leads, you give up yards at the end of the game. Offenses that aren't very good, they get yardage at the end of the game, so they can rank high. That's not the object. The object is to get the ball back for the offense, let them score points."
Totally agree. Measuring a defense purely on yardage allowed is dodgy territory. Today's fans possess much better tools to judge a team's performance. Of course, Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris noted last month that "stats are always for losers," an argument that benefits a Washington defense -- and special teams -- that graded out horribly by the people over at Pro Football Focus.
In terms of yards allowed, the Redskins landed 18th in the league, giving up 354.1 yards per game. Much more troubling was the second-worst 29.9 points per outing they allowed during Washington's tumble-from-grace three-win campaign.
Last season's game tape reveals a team that exhibited poor tackling week after week, especially in the secondary. While we agree with Haslett's yardage argument, his defense was a core reason the Redskins were "losers" 13 times, a figure topped by only the lowly Houston Texans in 2013.