Washington 3rd-down defense improving

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Washington entered its contest Sunday, against Tampa Bay ranked last in the NFL in third-down defensive conversion rate.

One night later the WFT is still dead-last in the NFL in third-down Defensive conversion percentage.

Yes, the WFT defense has struggled terribly to get off the field, failing to stop opponents on third down at alarming rates.

They are ranked 32nd through nine games, permitting their first nine opponents to pick up first downs on third-down plays an alarming 55.20% this season.

You may recall in Week 1, the Chargers embarrassed the WFT defense, converting 14 of 18 third downs before taking a knee on their last third down, finishing 14-19.

Other teams have embarrassed Washington on third downs as well:

The Bills were 9-15, the Falcons 10-16, the Chiefs 11-17, the Packers 6-12 and even the Broncos were converted third downs over 50 percent of the time (7-13).

In total, the defense at Fed Ex home games has permitted third-down conversions 53.62% of the time while permitting conversions 57.14% on their road games.

What’s the good news?

Despite not having Montez Sweat and losing Chase Young in the first half; facing Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, the WFT defense held the Bucs to only 4-10 third-down conversions (40 percent).

On the game’s first third down, Jonathan Allen set an intense tone for the WFT, recording a QB hit on Brady.

Additional good news is in their last three games Jack Del Rio’s defense has recorded an improved third-down conversion rate of 48.7%.

Even more, the WFT offense converted 11 of 19 third downs Sunday, resulting in Washington having 71 offensive plays to only 47 for Tampa Bay. Consequently, Washington had possession of the ball for 39:08 and Tampa Bay only 20:52.