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Where are we? The state of the Redskins going into the 2014 season

Sep 3, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

Garcon-vs-Atl

We’ll start this weekly look at where the Redskins stand by glancing at where they finished last year and a look ahead at what’s coming.

2013 Record: 3-13, fourth place in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-6
vs. NFC: 1-11
vs. AFC: 2-2
Home: 2-6
Away: 1-7

Rankings

Offense (yards/game): 9
Defense (yards/game): 18
Point differential: -144
Passer rating offense: 76.1 (23rd)
Opp passer rating: 96.1 (27th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.8 (3rd)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.0 (13th)

2013 Offensive MVP: Pierre Garçon broke the team record for receptions in a season with 113. He was the one consistent target for Robert Griffin III, who would have been in a world of hurt without Garçon. Honorable mentions go to left tackle Trent Williams, who continues to evolve into one of the best in the game, and running back Alfred Morris, whose encore season highly productive if not as spectacular as his rookie year.

2013 Defensive MVP: For the first time since his rookie 2009 season Brian Orakpo hit the elusive double-digit sack total. He finished with 10 and got his first career interception and touchdown on the same play with a 29-yard return against the Bears. Honorable mention for DeAngelo Hall, who had two pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown.

Top three storylines:

The debut of Jay Gruden—After toiling in the Arena Football League and in the UFL, Gruden gets his shot at the big time at the age of 47. He is known for his creative offensive schemes and he seems to be a good fit for the job. But we won’t know for a while if he will be successful.

Griffin’s struggles—The Redskins’ quarterback seemed hesitant and indecisive at time in training camp and it carried over into the preseason games. He is learning a new offense in addition to adjusting to Gruden’s fiat that he has to become more of a pocket passer and less of a running quarterback. It’s a work in progress.

Attacking on defense—The team surprisingly decided to retain Jim Haslett as the defensive coordinator. The spin is that he will be able to do things his way without interference from former coach Mike Shanahan. The more aggressive scheme showed some fruit in the preseason as the team recorded 13 sacks. But that doesn’t mean anything now that the games count and we will have to see how it works out.

First three games

Sunday @ Texans (2-14)—Washington opens up against the only team that finished 2013 with a worse record. But Houston has plenty of top-notch players like wide receiver Andre Johnson, $100 million defensive end J. J. Watt, running back Arian Foster, and top draft pick Jadeveon Clowney.

Sept. 14 vs. Jaguars (4-12)—The Jags have improved to the point where they can’t be taken for granted (not that a team that went 3-13 should take anyone lightly). For some reason they will start Chad Henne at quarterback and leave top draft pick Blake Bortles, who looked very ready to play from what we saw of him in the preseason.

Sept. 21 @ Eagles (10-6)—The headline will be the return of DeSean Jackson. The most important dimension here, however, is the need for the Redskins to show that the can play with their division rivals after two mostly uncompetitive games against them last year.

  1. deepball1 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    RGME is going to have to explode and be worth those THREE number 1 draft picks.

    Without Griffin playing like an all pro the Skins will not win this Sunday. No interceptions please.

    Reply
    • dynam01 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      RG3 would have to put up Tom Brady numbers for the REST OF HIS CAREER to justify that trade.

      http://harvardsportsanalysis.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/evaluating-the-redskins-trade-for-robert-griffin-iii/

      Reply
      • lorcanbonda - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        That analysis makes no sense at all — you know that, right? Basically, they’re using economic analysis for things which defy economics. By comparison — look at most teams daft picks over three years. Do any of them have the economic value of an RGIII? Even if RGIII is mediocre, his economic value is sky high to the Franchise. Add to the fact of free agency and 4-5 year contracts, and it’s even greater.

        Bear in mind, the Redskins were penalized heavily in the salary cap last two years — which means they could not have paid for high draft picks last year without losing a few other players (they had already sacrificed the special teams and defensive backfield because of that reason.)

        Reply
      • skinsgame - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        Using that theorem, the Rams should be dominating the league as they ended up with those picks.

        Reply
    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Do we really need Cowbay Fan like antics from a Redskins Fans? RGME? Deepthroat1?

      Reply
      • deepball1 - Sep 6, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        quit being such a homer, take off the Bergundy glasses and allow some of us to reveal the truth.

        Reply
  2. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    The CAVOA used is terribly flawed.
    First off it assumes that every position is equal (i.e. Running Back, Wide Receiver, Quarterback). The cost for a franchise quarterback would be significantly higher than any other position. The cost of a Hall of Fame Franchise quarterback would be even greater.
    Second, it assumes 1st round picks are always better players than other rounds which is also unrealistic.

    Lets put this CAVOA in a real world perspective:
    Cincinnati had the following picks in consecutive years of 1999 to 2001 :
    1st round 3rd overall Akili Smith, 2nd round 33rd Charles Fisher
    1st round 4th overall Peter Warrick,
    1st round 4th overall Justin Smith.
    Do you want to tell me that those players provided equal value as Tom Brady?

    Yes it is one of the worst case scenarios but it still shows the flaw in using mathematics to try and quantify real life value of a NFL player.If you ask any NFL personnel in the league, they’d probably give twice what the Redskins paid for RG3 to obtain a quarterback like Tom Brady. If RG3 can get us half the Superbowl appearances that Brady has given New England would you still tell us that it was not worth the price of those picks?

    Reply
  3. kenlinkins - Sep 3, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Rich, As someone who has reported on football for a while now (and the Redskins in general) what do you feel is the improvement for the Redskins from the end of 2013 to now (as measured in wins)?

    Reply
  4. Phillip - Sep 5, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    We want and need wins. How long are we going to give RGIII time to learn and adjust until we expect W’s ? I’m a skins fan, I don’t care which QB we use as long as they lead our team to victory

    Reply
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