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Need to Know: Redskins are lost away from home

Oct 9, 2015, 5:05 AM EDT

Tress-Way-punt-blocked-NYG

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 9, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons.

Lost away from home

Among the issues the Redskins must solve before they can be considered a competitive NFL team is their inability to win on the road.

Under Jay Gruden, the Redskins are doing a better job of sending the FedEx Field fans home happy. They are 5-6 at home since the start of the 2014 season. That is a .454 winning percentage, certainly not where they want to be. But it is an improvement on the 12-20 home record (.375) they posted in four years under Mike Shanahan.

But Gruden has plenty of work cut out for him when it comes to games on to road. The Redskins are 1-8 away from FedEx Field under him, a dismal .111 winning percentage. With Shanahan in charge they were 12-20 on the road, the same .375 winning percentage they had at home.

Over the years in the NFL, home teams (going back to 1966), home teams have won 57.3 percent of the time, meaning that to be average on the road you need a winning percentage of .427. The Redskins aren’t there.

“I don’t what the reason is, to be honest with you,” said Gruden. “We’ve just been outplayed on the road for whatever reason. I guess the only game we’ve won was Dallas on Monday night. I don’t really have a reason for it. I don’t have an answer. We just have to come out of the tunnel and start fast and try to get some momentum on our side and take the crowd out of it. A lot of times, we go on the road, like the Giants game for instance, we weren’t able to maintain the momentum and quiet the crowd. We’ve got to try to figure out ways to do that. That’s forcing turnovers. That’s obviously protecting the football and making some plays on special teams.”

The thing is, this is not a team that forces many turnovers, protects the ball particularly, and makes plays on special teams, the kinds of things that take a crowd out of a game.

But another thing that can blunt the home team’s momentum and lull a crowd to sleep are long, time-consuming drives by the visiting team’s offense. The Redskins are pretty good at these. They have 13 drives of 10 plays or more, the most in the NFL. Those drives have consumed an average of just under six minutes of clock time and 11 of them have finished in scores (6 touchdowns, 5 field goals).

If they can get a few of these going, and avoid the mistakes that had them back on their heels from the start against the Giants, they might have a shot in the dome in Atlanta on Sunday. But since they have not demonstrated the ability to get it done on the road, the best course is to remain skeptical until they do.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:15; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 12:30

Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 2; Redskins @ Jets 9; Bucs @ Redskins 16

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  1. colorofmyskinz - Oct 9, 2015 at 5:34 AM

    Skeptical is right and the only way to have some pleasure as a Redskin fan. That way when the wins come, the are a pleasurable surprise.

    We need to first stop this special teams gaffe we have been producing. To think we have to be very concerned every time we have a procedural punt is crazy. It almost would be safer to go for it in every 4th down than punt for our team. That needs to change Bigtime. I love tress way but he holds onto the ball one step and 0.75 seconds too long to get the kick off. That has to change, even if the punt is shorter.

    Our running game has to be edtsblidhed quickly and then our defense has to create a 3 & out on the first series. That would place the momentum clearly in our favor.

    Road games… We need a different mindset. Like, let’s make these fans mad at their own team. That creates tension with a team more than you know. If you can get the home team crowd booing their own team, you are doing it right.

    To your point that happens when the QB throws the INT, takes a sack, or worse takes the sack and fumbles. We need to play hot for 4 freaking quarters to win this game. It is a 4 quarter game not 2 or 3.

    We play 2 or 3 at best and try to count on those few good quarters. Murphy modeled what a 4 quarter game looks like and how to close out a lead. Not lagging your lead to a tied game or upset.

    Murphy modeled it, now the rest must follow!

  2. colorofmyskinz - Oct 9, 2015 at 5:59 AM

    Pretty sad when it is safer to throw in interception on fourth down versus punting.

    Pretty simply put we need for quarter team a team that wants to play for four full quarters.

    If the team wants to see how to do it all they need to do is look at Trent Murphy and how he closed out that last game.

    • colorofmyskinz - Oct 9, 2015 at 6:42 AM

      Our team mantra should be, EVERY QUARTER COUNTS!!

      We seem to think a 14 point lead means we can come out of the locker room at halftime all warm and cozy.

      We also think a 14 point deficit means we can’t win. We have a 14 point problem period.

      We need a mindset that every quarter is a new game. And we need to play to win every quarter.

      What PGA golfer worth their salt thinks there are only 9 of the 18 holes that matter? What Tour de France racer thinks only certain stages matter? What MLB team believes only the first couple of innings matter?

      Our team mindset needs to change and that starts with Gruden and the coaches. They need to all be saying the same thing, yelling the same thing, in every ear-hole, every practice. If they are not, they are missing a huge opporunity to effectively lead these young men.

      EVERY QUARTER COUNTS!!

  3. troylok - Oct 9, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    When your team plays the same caliber of players and loses more on the road, this comes down to coaching.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 9, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    The team literally didn’t have enough talent to compete…I wouldn’t focus on the home and away differential that much. Our O.L. got pushed around, there were too many turnovers coming from the skill positions, and unless we blitzed, we got no pressure on the opposing QBs.

    All that is changing. We’ve been hit hard with the injury curse, but it’s clear that McGlue has the right approach.
    ~

    • troylok - Oct 9, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      Thunder, that was last year. This year they have a little more talent – especially on the offensive line – and their road win total is still zero. I say the difference is coaching. What I have seen from Gruden is he can scheme very well if he has players that fit his mold. That’s a strength. The bad thing is it doesn’t look like he can modify his scheme to support the strengths of his players. He also doesn’t – and this is really my point – seem to be able to get his players pumped up that extra bit more that it takes to win in enemy territory. McGlue has given Gruden what he needs to compete as far as talent. Gruden has not given his players what they need to compete as far as motivation.

      • bangkokben - Oct 9, 2015 at 9:50 AM

        “their road win total is still zero”

        Great sample size, ONE GAME! Don’t be a tool, you’re smarter than that. 0-1 against a division foe and you’ve got it all figured out..

      • ET - Oct 9, 2015 at 10:34 AM

        0-1 against the Giants, who historically have the Skins number. The Giants have a five game win streak dating back to 2013. (NY leads 98-65-4 all-time.) How does Gruden’s ability to motivate factor in there?

      • cmehustle - Oct 9, 2015 at 2:50 PM

        Lol right! The honest truth is we’re better, but we’re not there yet. Still going to be a rough season, we dont have the talent and too many things have to go ‘right’ just for us to win by 3. This is still a bad team. Jury is still out on Gruden. People gotta stop clamoring to fire a coach after one or two seasons. Thats just idiotic. We need a culture here, which will take some time. A GM? A absolute step in the right direction. Next up, a QB who can win games. That will be the ultimate. For now, especially with the injuries, Ill be happy with us being competitive and not getting blown out this year.

  5. sidepull - Oct 9, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Half time adjustments. Are they adjusting? Teams we play seem to have a plan in the 3rd quarter. I used to love Pettibones halftime defensive adjustments. First rate.

  6. bangkokben - Oct 9, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    So if the Redskins go 5-2 on the road the rest of the year, then Gruden can match Shanny’s stellar road winning percentage.

    @Atl
    @Nyj
    @NE
    @Car
    @Chi
    @Phi
    @Dal

    That’s a tall order for any coach.

    • cmehustle - Oct 9, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      Lol! Probably not going to happen.

  7. berniebernard666 - Oct 9, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    you act like its some mystery why the Redskins haven’t won on the road and so does Gruden. Let me clue you in: its called Management, Coaching and Players.

    This is why a lot of players who were here over the last 4 years are NO LONGER HERE. and I don’t blame Gruden completely either because last year was the 1st year of a new system, Griffin was forced on him, Cousins was still developing and had less than 10 full starts in the NFL, and then there was Haslett.

    Folks, this is no mystery. When ya have bad players and poor coaching ya play poorly. For more information google Jacksonville, Oakland, Cleveland, or Tennessee. Oh…and plus we didn’t have Scott M…but now we do.

    This road game will be a close one. No more blowouts now that we have Scott M. and his vision of TUFF.

    • goback2rfk - Oct 9, 2015 at 11:47 PM

      This road game will not even be close. The Redskins will be up by 20 by halftime. The Falcons can not stop our ground game. The Skins will pound them into submission. Would like to see a mix of all 3 backs this game. Keep Cousins under 30 throws hopefully.

    • goback2rfk - Oct 10, 2015 at 2:22 AM

      Im just kiddin. I think the Redskins will keep it close and slow the game down but will ultimately not be able to stop Matt Ryan and Jones/Hankerson. Hankerson is really gunna be motivated for this one.

  8. Skulb - Oct 10, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    74-12 Redskins!

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