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Need to Know: Are the Redskins abandoning the run?

Nov 17, 2013, 7:00 AM EST

RG3-Morris-vs-Bears

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 17, the day the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Second-half running off slightly

Are the Redskins abandoning the run?

That seems to be a popular theme among the team’s fans and on talk radio. But such impressions seem to be based on play calls in some very narrow circumstances such as the fourth-quarter series of three passes that were called after the Broncos tied the October 27 game at 21. Let’s take a broader look at the Redskins’ second-half running game.

We’re going to compare two sets of games here. The one from last year covers the last seven games, the season-ending winning streak that pushed the team into the playoffs. In theory, that stretch of games should have set the blueprint for this year, showing the way that this offense can be successful.

The other set of games is composed of the 2013 season minus the first two games. The games against the Eagles and Packers got away from the Redskins very quickly and the rushing game was not much of a factor. The Redskins’ record in these games is 3-4.

In the last seven games of last year, the Redskins rushed 235 times for 1,214 yards. That’s an average of 5.2 yards per carry and 173 yards per game.

In games 3-9 this year they have run the ball 233 times, just two fewer attempts than they had to close out 2012. They have been slightly less effective, gaining 1,182 yards, 5.1 per carry. But, overall, we’re looking at a difference of less than three percent over seven games, not very significant.

But where you do see a difference is that they are running less after halftime. In the second halves and overtime last year the Redskins ran 142 times for 754 yards (5.3 per carry). This year they have 121 attempts for 643 yards (5.3 yards/carry). The difference of about three carries and 16 yards per game. That’s not huge but it’s significant.

In the seven game’s we’re looking at from this year, the Redskins have trailed at some point in the second half in all of them, so there might be some good reasons to throw the ball rather than run it.

While most of the seven games to close out last year were competitive late, the Redskins only trailed in the second half against the Giants and Ravens.

The Redskins hope to be running out the clock late in today’s game against the Eagles.

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Timeline

—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 8; Giants @ Redskins 14; Chiefs @ Redskins 21

—Today’s schedule: Redskins @ Eagles 1 p.m.

In case you missed it

Sunday 11.10

Monday 11.11

Tuesday 11.12

Wednesday 11.13

Thursday 11.14

Friday 11.15

Saturday 11.16

  1. Ben - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Your saying that the redskins are throwing because they are losing in the second half. This assumption in your argument is incorrect because at the beginning of the 3rd quarter in their last three games they have been winning but start throwing as though they are losing. The broncos they initially did so well because they controlled the clock and kept Peyton off the field. Then at halftime changed the gameplan and made aggressive passing play calls, became sloppy and handed the broncos the win. Im not sure if they got cocky and wanted toGo for the kill, but they beat themselves. Morris and helu have been the most consistent yard gaining players on the team this year. Shanahan needs to continue giving them reps if he wants to keep his and his sons job.

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