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State of the Redskins, Week 14: Falling back into the NFC East pack

Dec 9, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT


Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 5-7, T-1st in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 5-4
vs. AFC: 0-3
Home: 5-2
Away: 0-5

Key stats changes from 2014-2015


Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 333.4 (25th)
Defense (yards/game): 362.5 (21st)
Passer rating offense:  92.2 (13th)
Opp passer rating: 93.5 (20th)
Yards/rush attempt: 3.7 (26th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th)
DVOA through Week 13 (Football Outsiders): -5.2% (18th)

Top three storylines:

Back in the scrum—The Redskins had plenty of chances on Monday night to put themselves a game clear of the division and have a defined path to the playoffs. But they didn’t get it done and while they are still in first place via tiebreakers they need help to win the division unless they win out.

Running game staples missing—Alfred Morris and Darrel Young were the keys to one of the more productive rushing attacks in the league from 2012-2014. On Monday in the most important game since 2012 they played a combined 8 snaps on offense (all of them by Morris). Sure Tom Compton at tight end is a good blocking option but his presence tips off the play; they run four out of every five snaps he plays. Why not keep your intentions a secret and give Young a shot?

Mason Foster—The inside linebacker who played well with Perry Riley sidelined is not the Cinderella story that Quinton Dunbar is. After all, he was the Bucs’ starting middle linebacker for the last four years. But he was on the scrap heap when the Redskins picked him up in late September and he joins the list of players Scot McCloughan has picked up for nothing who have played vital roles.

Next three games

Sunday @ Bears (5-7)—The Bears were in disarray early in the season and Jay Cutler was either the joke or the punch line. But coach John Fox righted the ship and they have gone 5-4 since their 0-3 start. They were starting to look like a Wild Card contender until the dropped an inexplicable stinker to the 49ers on Sunday.

December 20 vs. Bills (6-6)—The Bills’ defense was supposed to be dominant but that hasn’t materialized. LeSean McCoy, who burned the Redskins on occasion when he was with the Eagles, seems to be healthy and is playing better the last four games than he has all year. We will see what Rex Ryan brings to town in a couple of weeks.

December 26 @ Eagles (5-7)—You think the Redskins are inconsistent? The Eagles gave up 10 touchdown passes in two games in a four-day span. Then, of course, they went to Foxborough and stunned the Patriots. We will see if Eagles fans are showering Chip Kelly with gifts the day after Christmas or if they are putting lumps of coal in his stocking.

  1. hail74 - Dec 9, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    I think everyone would agree that DY should be getting more snaps.

    • sidepull - Dec 9, 2015 at 1:35 PM

      Agree. I just do not see how they can justify keeping him out of the offense. They cry and whine about the running game being derailed. The ineptness of the coaches who decide DY cant be effective are the ones derailing the running game. Youd figure the coach would be on our side. Hes helping the opposition by keeping DY out of the game plan. Stupid, inexcusable, pathetic, sorry a$$ junk. I am really ticked about this. I will get over it but it worries me that they are liable to let both ALF and DY roll out of here just because they dont know how to use them. A good coach will get the most out of them if the Redskins cant get it together.

      • ET - Dec 9, 2015 at 3:15 PM

        “I will get over it but it worries me that they are liable to let both ALF and DY roll out of here just because they dont know how to use them. A good coach will get the most out of them if the Redskins cant get it together.”

        I’m afraid of that, too. Darrel has always been underutilized, but this year with all the TE and run game issues, it’s inexplicable.

      • troylok - Dec 9, 2015 at 4:18 PM

        I’ve been thinking the same thing. The guy is a great blocker, receiver out of the backfield and he can carry the rock with power when they need an extra yard. Now, I’d say he is one of their slower players and maybe that is Gruden’s hold up, but man, productivity has to trump speed.

      • John - Dec 9, 2015 at 6:35 PM

        They don’t use DY because in most instances when they go single tight end, 2 receivers and 2 backs, the tight ends either block the wrong guy or whiff (Carrier) or hold (Reed).

        In regards to Alf, he looks lost out there. If you look at Cooleys film breakdown from the Tampa game there’s a perfect example. He starts in the right direction where everything is blocked with 2 possible holes, leaning toward the wrong one, moves back to the other side, where there is a lane (but not the best option) then goes back to the left side and puts his hand on Leribus, making him lose his block and the play goes nowhere. There have been plenty of runs like that from him this year. Plenty of holes with double teams and blocking to the 2nd level for at least 8 yard gains or more. Just not decisive.

  2. JOHNNY B - Dec 9, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Yup that reminds me of the 2 and 1 that turned in to a 3 and 2 and then nothing. So where was DY not holding the football.

  3. colmac69 - Dec 9, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    Gd possibility Thompson b missing sunday…slight tear in his labrum…that b big blow especially if he has to miss games

    Foster and compton looked real gd on Monday. …possibly best game the two inside guys have had as combination all season

    Watched game couple times……what jumped out was pens that really gave them problems because offense actually moved the ball a number times but at least two decent drives ended due to pens on grant,,,garcon in particular

    Also Jackson punt ret….he fields it bout 20 yrd line and had bout ten yrds of space in front of him. …understand he trying to make something happen but what can you say….

    First half pressure def got to cousins….couple times he looked jittery when passing….second half was better by qb and line

    Didn’t like the two calls on 2-1 and 3-1….that was time to put dagger into dallas cause offense had cowboys on the ropes for prob first time and ended up with the fg

    U can’t see any of the four teams winning their nxt two games…..think dallas will definitely lose sunday….philly,, wash could go either way and Nyg I think got best chance of

    Following wk xpect ny and philly loss to carolina and arizona. …dallas/wash could win

    U could b looking Nyg, ,philly,,,wash 6-8 and dall 5-9

    Then u got ny/dallas away to minn/buff with wash at philly the crunch match up on boxing night

    Lots to play for sure

  4. Skulb - Dec 9, 2015 at 8:32 PM

    Gruden must really despise JeRon Hamm btw. I can’t remember ever seeing a team in a more dire need of a tight end of any kind, and particularly a blocking TE, yet Hamm just sits there while Ty Nsekhe lines up as TE. Ty Nsekhe is not catching the ball and everyone knows it. Talk about making life easy on opposing DCs. Also, Jordan Reed has to be the worst blocking TE in team history. The team in general has a real discipline problem on offense and it cost us dearly in the Dallas game just like it cost us dearly in the Miami game.

    And what is with the play calling? Third and one and the entire observable Universe knows we’re going to run the ball and we don’t put Young in to lead the charge? No boots to set up runs, no runs to set up PA and almost no PA to set up the deep. I mean what are we trying to do here? They just got completely away from their much ballyhooed identity I thought. If you want to run then you have to block. if you want to block you need tight ends who know how. If you don’t have tight ends who can block you have to use a full back to at least make it plausible that he might catch the ball on passing plays. Ty MF Nsekhe is not catching the ball. If you’re going to have him impersonating a TE then ffs rehearse a play with him catching the ball to sell the idea and run that first.

    • goback2rfk - Dec 9, 2015 at 8:38 PM

      When we get healthy next year and sure up a couple of positions we will be beast. I believe we are strong playoff contenders as early as next season. We fell short in some key areas this year but have some really decent players to build around. We just need to add a little depth here and there and wait on some injuries to return and we will be a tough out.

      • Skulb - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:11 PM

        I would have agreed before the Dallas game. But they reverted to too many old sins I thought they were done with for the year: offensive penalties and special teams gaffes in particular.

        And the play calling is too unimaginative. If the opposing defense knows what we’re going to do all the time, like Sean Lee knew what we were going to do all the time in this game, then we are not going to the playoffs next season.
        I know Sean Lee is a great LB. But that’s precisely why we need to make him guess. If we don’t he’s going to run down every play. And he did. The run game was appalling because of this and that made the passing game bad as well.

        It was not good enough at all on offense and special teams on Monday. If they continue like this then 6-10 is the best they are going to do here. Defense was great though so at least that’s something.

        • realfan82 - Dec 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM

          I’m surprise nobody realised how bad our offense is. The patriots were beatable, the panthers could have been a competitive game, the giants should have been blown out, and dallast should have been shoved in the basement. But our offense is weak. The play calling is predictable, we have an alex smith type qb at the helm who is only good at check downs and bootlegs (which could be called more often because kirk sees the field well when on the move imo) and the running…….don’t get me started on how awful that is.

        • Skulb - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:56 PM

          Yes and no really. I don’t think a QB needs to do any more than game manage, as long as the rest of the offense makes plays. And I don’t really mind when the play calling is adventurous while the execution fails, like against the Patriots. They had a good game plan, called the right plays and Kirk played a decent game. The execution was the one thing that let them down.
          What bothered me with the Dallas game more than anything is that it was all of the above, for the first time this season. The play calls were weak, the schemes were suspicious (Who the hell runs a 3TE set with one active TE on the roster?), the execution was pathetic (Two long passes for 14 probably points dropped in the first half by a combined distance of about half a yard. Run faster you slackers!) and the playmakers made mistakes instead of plays (Jackson, Hopkins directly, Pierre, Grant and Reed through stupid penalties). This left Kirk to rescue the game all by himself and he wasn’t up to it.

          Offensively there was nothing good about the Dallas game at all. Nothing. From the game plan to the execution on the field it was all trash. I don’t even need to get into the run game and the complete inability of this team to block running plays. That was also trash, as usual. Why even keep trying to run the ball when it’s like this?\

          This is the Redskins running game in 2015:

  5. goback2rfk - Dec 9, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    The Skins have a nack for Winning after losing a game. I believe they will play better football this Sunday. I also remember Jgay Cutler thowing 4 INT’s to Mr. Deangelo Hall years ago. Lets hope Cutler does not have a good game and the Skins can finishing this one up strong.
    Equally important is what the rest of the NFC East does. Maybe we can all lose this week! Turn this thing into a 7 and 9 gets you into the playoffs type of season.

  6. goback2rfk - Dec 9, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    The Redskins are the only team in the entire NFL that have not won a road game on the year. Houston! I think we have a problem!

  7. greed - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    man i been tellin u guys all yr long that gruden should be playing young ! And that he seemed intent on phasinp both alf and young out the offense, he barely used the fb in cincy i remember him doing am interview sayinp he didnt have a fb as versitile as young in cincy and young was a weapon who would be used in all 3 phases blocking catching and running , yr 2 he tryin to distance himself from shannys main cogs on offense rg benched , alf , benched, young benched, atleast wit the first two u can say well performance not the same but what in the hell is your excuse for young? Lockeroom leader gd blocker ,runner,catcher excels on special teams he’s as coach gibbs would call a core redskins, you run out 2 tackles as te get the same bad result but cant get young on field head scratcher look how panthers ure tolbert that the way young should be used , gruden so intent on proving a point he cut his nose off to spite his face, i hope dan come to his senses and get rid of this guy and his nondeserving ego Archives

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