Biggest concern for Washington Redskins over remainder of the season

Both ends of the running game are struggling with one more concerning though a depth chart change could make the difference.

Some concerning stats entering the Week 8 bye week

Running the ball

* The Redskins led the NFL in rushing after Week 2. They now rank 21st in yards per game (99.0) and 27th in average per carry (3.7) entering their Week 8 bye.

* In those first two games, Washington rackd up 343 yards on the ground. Over the next five games, 350.

* The direct cause and effect seems evident as the ground game turned when left guard Shawn Lauvao suffered a season-ending injury early in the Week 3 loss at the New York Giants. The play at center hasn't rocked whether Kory Lichtensteiger or Josh LeRibeus.

* Truth is there might not be much an OL solution unless somebody improves dramatically. The two potential ways to help the cause:

  • More Matt Jones and Chris Thompson with less Alfred Morris. Sure, Morris ran wild when the Redskins ran the read-option religiously. With the current setup, it often appears like he has no prayer for success. Morris is down to 3.3 yards per carry. Take away his monster season opener and the average drops to 2.7. Not that Jones is having tons of success, but he punishes defenders and offers more speed, all of which leads to more missed tackles. Though a work in progress, Jones also offers more help than Morris in the passing game, which is where Thompson shines brightest.

  • Short passes in the passing game. Let Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed essentially "carry" the load on first down ad set the run game up with second-and-short scenarios. Ideally the Redskins limit QB Kirk Cousins to 30 or fewer passes each game, but that might not be realistic at this point.

Stopping the run

* Washington entered the Week 5 matchup with the Falcons ranked top 5 in run defense, allowing 78 yards per game. No opponent topped 87 yards and the first four combined for three touchdowns. Here's what happened since:

  • Atlanta - 176 yards, three touchdowns
  • New York Jets - 221, three touchdowns
  • Tampa Baty - 190, one touchdown

* Now Washington ranks 26th with 128.4 yards per game and is tied with Cinicinnati and New Orleans for 28th in yards per carry (4.9)

* There is also something of a cause and effect here with the lack of running by the offense. The defense benefitted from the offense winning the time of possession battle.Still, this unit should better considering the talent up front, specifically Jason Hatcher and Terrance Knighton. Other than Stephen Paea, the line has largely remained healthy. The same cannot be said of the linebacking corps and that was before Ryan Kerrigan suffered a hand injury Sunday that require surgery. Losin strong safety Duke Ihenacho for the season also hurt.


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