By Steve Shoup, special to Breaking Burgundy
Where the Redskins offense stands statistically at the bye
The Redskins mid-season bye not only gives them a chance to get healthy and prepare for a tough game in New England, but it gives us a fair snapshot of where this team is in relation to the rest of the league. We have nearly half the season in the books (some teams have less as they’ve already had their bye) so we have a pretty fair sample from around around the league. Below I will take a look at where the Redskins rank among various statistical categories around the league, with some commentary on what it means:
All stats are courtesy of Pro Football Reference
Points per game (this includes ST and Def points): 21.14
League average: 23.3
League ranking: 22nd
Yards per game: 340.28
League average: 359.0
League ranking: 26th
While some might not like including the Redskins two special teams touchdowns in the points per game, it’s necessary to include them since it’s being compared to all teams which include them. As it stands right now only 7 teams have yet to have a non-offensive touchdown, and 19 teams have at least 2 touchdowns from their defense or special teams.
The Redskins last season managed just 18.8 points per game, so this is a slight improvement over last year’s numbers. It’s still below average though and the Redskins have to show they can consistently score over 20 points a game. Unless you have an elite defense it’s tough to win a lot of games if you aren’t scoring at least 20 points.
Yards are a more troubling number as not only are the Redskins further away from the league average, but here they are behind last year’s average of 358 yards per game. Now part of the issue is the league average is 11 yards higher than it was a year ago, but the Redskins would have even been considered below average from last year’s 348 total. This is clearly an area where they can improve in the final 9 games of the year.
Yards per game: 241.3 | League average: 248.7 | League rank: 18th
TD%: 3.3% | League average: 4.5% | League rank: 23rd
INT%: 3.0% | League average: 2.5% | League rank: 19th
Sack%: 2.9% | League average: 6% | League rank: 2nd
QB rating: 84.8 | League average: 88.5 | League rank: 21st
Adjusted net yards per att: 5.4 | League average: 6.3 | League rank: 26th
I don’t think it’s too surprising to see the Redskins below league average in all these categories, with the notable exception of sack%. These numbers compare pretty well to the passing offense last year with only some slight variations (with the exception of sacks% again).
What is clear is many of these numbers need to improve. While it’s good we have a positive TD to INT ratio, it needs a bigger gap to have a positive impact on this team. The Redskins need to find a way to be more aggressive down the field without raising the INT rate. The lack of yards per attempt, adjusted or otherwise is troubling, especially since it was a strength of Kirk Cousins last year. While the Redskins 5.9 adjusted yards per attempt last year (this includes the impact of sacks, TDs and INTs) ranked 18th, his 6.77 would have had him ranked tied for 8th. The Redskins have to pick up more chunk yards and hopefully the return of DeSean Jackson will help in that area.
Attempts per game: 26.6 | League average: 26.4 | League rank: 15th
Yards per attempt: 3.7 | League average: 4.2 | League rank: 26th
Yards per game: 99.0 | League average: 110.3 | League rank: 21st
TD per game: 0.71 | League average: 0.8 | League rank: 15th
What a difference a couple of weeks make. After the first two weeks of the season the Redskins were the number 1 rushing team in the league. Even after average performances in week 3 and 4, the Redskins still looked to be a top 10 rushing attack in most categories. Now though they are falling to the bottom of the pack and the only reason they aren’t worse is because the first two weeks are propping them up so much.
For a team that came into the year wanting to be known as a running football team this is definitely troubling. While a lot of people are going to point to the lack of usage, the attempts per game number suggests it’s more than that. Even if you take out the first two weeks the Redskins are still averaging 22.4 attempts per game. That is despite the fact that over the last five weeks the Redskins are averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. If the Redskins can show any level of effectiveness running the football the number of carries will surely rise.
What is also troubling is that despite an offseason geared to improving the rushing attack and greater commitment to running the football (last year the Redskins averaged 25 carries a game), the rushing attack is down in all other categories.
The problem is if they don’t improve in running the football over the last 9 games this team is going to become very 1 dimensional and that’s not a good thing.
Per Drive stats:
Points per drive: 1.74 | League average: 1.87 | League rank: 20th
Yards per drive: 30.9 | League average: 30.9 | League rank: 14th
Percent of drives ending in points: 33.8% | League average: 34.8% | League rank: 17th
Percent of drives ending in a turnover: 15.6% | League average: 12.4% | League rank: 26th
This is a nice improvement from last year where the Redskins ranked 23rd, 17th, 25th and 28th in these four categories respectively. While the turnover % is still way too high, the Redskins are making gains in the other categories.
One troubling thing here is the fact that the Redskins are averaging just 11 drives per game (and why there is a discrepancy between their per game and per drive numbers). That would have them tied for 29th in the league. The Redskins have to get more drives per game if they want their offensive numbers to improve. Part of the issue is their own doing since they aren’t picking up chunk yards, they are relying on 10+ play drives. There are positives you can take away from that, but it’s also helping to limit their opportunities.
Steve is the founder of Fanspeak.com. Click here for the Fanspeak Mock Draft Simulator