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Good start and finish for Redskins’ McCoy but issues in between

Oct 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

McCoy sacked vs Titans

Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy is getting kudos for first providing a spark to the Redskins offense in the second half by throwng a 70-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon to erase a halftime deficit and then engineering a 10-play drive in the last minutes of the game to set up the game-winning field goal.

His numbers looked pretty good in a half of work in relief of Kirk Cousins. He completed 11 of 12 passes for 128 yards with the one touchdown and, perhaps most importantly, no interceptions. That comes to a passer rating of 138.9.

But a closer look at the numbers and what actually happened during the game might lead one to wonder if he should automatically get the start in Dallas next Monday night if Robert Griffin III is not yet 100 percent.

For one thing, while McCoy gets as much credit for that 70-yard touchdown play to Garçon as he would if it was a long, perfectly placed bomb, the fact is that it was a five-yard pass to the flat. It turned into a TD because Garçon was able to spin away from cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and because safety Michael Griffin did a poor job of being the last line of defense, taking a bad angle on the receiver as he sped down the sideline.

If you give McCoy five yards on that completion instead of 70, he has only 63 yards passing and his yards per attempt from an impressive 10.7 to a substandard 5.3. Add in the eight yards he lost to sacks and it comes to a net yards per attempt of 3.9.

A team can occasionally win a game with a passing performance like that but it’s unusual. A team has averaged 3.9 net yards per pass attempt in 285 games since the start of the 2010 season. Those teams are 31-254, a .109 winning percentage.

Until the final drive, half of McCoy’s completions really didn’t do the offense much good. On one third-quarter drive he went to Garçon for three yards on second and nine, to Roy Helu for a loss of seven on second and 11 and to Garçon for six on third and 18. In a key possession after the Titans had scored to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter, McCoy was sacked on consecutive plays.

In between the TD pass to Garçon and the final drive, a span of about 24 minutes, McCoy completed five of six passes for a net of 10 yards and was sacked twice for a loss of eight.

But, to his credit, McCoy got it done when it needed to get done. He did what Cousins has not been able to get done since taking over for the injured Griffin.

On that final drive he was five for five for 38 yards. He had a 36-yard pass to DeSean Jackson wiped out due to offsetting penalties and he might have won the game a few plays earlier with a 29-yard TD pass to Jackson but Jason McCourty interfered, setting up the chip-shot field goal to win it.

Give McCoy credit, tons of it, for getting it done in the end of the game and for playing a part in the TD pass to Garçon. But Jay Gruden and company have to consider the whole game played by McCoy and some of it wasn’t very pretty. Will it be enough to give the Redskins a shot against the Cowboys in a week?

  1. dcfaninecuador - Oct 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    McCoy did what a back up should do. He managed the game; moved the ball; put the team in a position to win; and, most importantly, had ZERO TURNOVERS. He didn’t panic, took what he could get. We shouldn’t expect a back up to come in and set the field on fire. McCoy’s performance was exactly what one should expect from a back up: not sensational but serviceable.

    • realfan82 - Oct 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      perfect analysis, I don’t know what happened to kirk, may be personal issue but he has played so horrible that he may not even be here next year. Meanwhile where’s Joe Thiesmann, I gotta tell him something.

      • DeMarco - Oct 20, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Yes….where is that loud mouth Joe @one point I thought he was the coach.

        • skinsgame - Oct 20, 2014 at 11:36 PM

          I’ve said it before but it bears repeating; Cousins playing poorly does not mean Griffin is suddenly playing well. It means only he is going to regain his role once he’s healthy. I hope he amazes us all but, I’m not expecting much.

  2. farazahsan - Oct 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    THANK YOU! Sports fans in general are just way too reactive over small sample sizes. I’ve been telling people this all day yesterday, McCoy’s real achievement was not turning the ball over in crunch time. Kirk could’ve thrown the hitch to Garcon, hell I could’ve thrown that hitch route yet we have actual commentators and analysts on tv and the radio calling it a “back shoulder fade” and overhyping him. Thanks for some actual analysis.

  3. colmac69 - Oct 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Said yesterday with my last post credit is due to mccoy and team for game winning drive……win is a win and it was badly needed even against team as bad as washington is right now

    But nxt wk completely different. …with team playing as well as dallas…away in dallas….mon night. ….sorry but no matter who qb team if it mccoy or rgiii cant see anything other than big dallas win…

    Bring rg bak for vikings then bye then bucs home….opportunity to get to 4-6…hopefully some confidence for two hard away games…..

    Looks like teams gonna nd 9,, 10 to reach playoffs as wildcard…..

    • bangkokben - Oct 20, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Love your optimism about playoffs but it looks as if you’ll need 11 wins to get a wild card this year. Ten might get you in or it might leave you out. Right now Dallas, Philly, Green Bay, and Detroit are fighting for both division and wildcards and the Seahawks, Niners, and Cardinals figure to be in the picture as well.

      Skins already have lost tiebreakers with Cards and ‘hawks not to mention the division losses. Bottom line: it’s a bad year to be bad. No sneaking in this year.

  4. goback2rfk - Oct 20, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Rg3 needs to get out there! Dr. Drakos said that if RG3 did not break any bones or need surgery, which he didnt break anything, than he would be out 4 – 8 weeks. 8 Weeks being the worst case scenario. Now if he really goes a full 8 weeks and comes back, or wait till after the bye week to come back against the Bucs, than what is the point?! At the point the season is lost, and we have another why play him scenario like Shanahan had with him last year. If he is going to be our future why play him at the end of the year in a hopeless season. If he is really the future, and a franchise quarterback, he will not need the “reps” of the last 4 meaningless games of the season.
    I want Rg3 to suprise everyone and come out there Monday night and beat the Cowgirls like he did in his rookie year. Thats when Rg3 made me feel proud. I hate the Cowgirls more than any other team and it would make my day for the Skins to beat them up in Jerry;s world regardless of their current record

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Oct 20, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      It has more to do with just his injury. RG3 needs to have timing down with the WRs and be at some comfort level running the Gruden offense that he already has demonstrated he is struggling to do. Why put him out there recovered from an injury but ill prepared to run the offense? All that does is increase the possibility of further injury if he can stand comfortably in the pocket.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Oct 20, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Statement correction:
        “All that does is increase the possibility of further injury if he can’t stand comfortably in the pocket.”

        • goback2rfk - Oct 20, 2014 at 9:36 PM

          Well When Exactly Is RG3 Going To Be Ready This Year? I Wish Someone Would Just Give Me A Date. lol
          I am not sure how many weeks of Colt McCoy I can take, no offense to McCoy but he is not exactly a big time quarterback. However, as long as he does not throw like 3 – 4 picks a game like Cousins I guess it might be an upgrade, i think?! lol Either way, another 7 game win streak would put us at 9 – 5 with 2 games to play to make it to 10 -6 or 11 -5 and the only one that could do that is rg3

  5. skinsgame - Oct 20, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    When healthy, Griffin wasn’t showing improvement. It’s funny how people think him missing 5-6 weeks of practice and games will somehow make him accurate or more decisive with the ball. In his absence, the offensive line wasn’t brilliant but proved to be a middle of the pack bunch. Let’s see if Griffin continues to be a statue in the pocket and make them the worst line every week. Hopefully he stays out until his mind is right. I’m more concerned with that than his foot. Archives

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