Through three games, the Redskins offense is trending up, but poor red zone results continue to hamper the team's scoring output. Looking at the numbers, however, and it appears an offensive breakout is coming.
The Redskins rank fifth overall in yards-per-game, averaging more than 400 total yards. Kirk Cousins is second in the league with 989 passing yards, behind only Drew Brees, and is averaging nearly 330 yards-per-game.
Just based on the passing game alone, Washington should be scoring. Only they're not, yet anyway.
Through three games the 'Skins are averaging just under 23 points-per-game, landing 18th out of 32 NFL teams. While their average is dragged down by scoring just 16 points in a Week 1 loss to the Steelers, in games against the Cowboys and the Giants the team repeatedly left points on the field by taking red zone field goals instead of touchdowns.
"Sometimes coming away with points is better than trying to force the ball and throwing an interception," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Monday aftet the win over the Giants.
"A couple of times we were down there, they called a quarterback draw on third down and goal thinking that if we don’t get it, we’re still going to kick the field goal and take the lead. So that was part of me being too conservative maybe."
Gruden's comments point to some of the reasons for the Redskins red zone failures: playcalling, turnovers and accepting three instead of seven points. While some fans scream about the frequency of fade patterns, others want more run plays and less empty back sets. Further, Cousins threw a costly interception in the end zone against Dallas that would have at least netted a field goal.
Look again at the numbers - 5th in yards-per-game, 18th in points-per-game. The sample size is very small in just three games, but looking back to 2015, some interesting stats appear. The Cardinals led the NFL averaging 408 YPG and 30.6 PPG. Through three games, the Redskins are averaging 406 YPG, suggesting a scoring outburst should be on the way. It's also important to consider the Redskins offensive numbers thus far seem sustainable, and could actually improve. A better run game appeared to show its face against the Giants, and that will boost the offense moving forward.
The Junkies agreed (check out the video above). Jason 'Lurch' Bishop made the case for better red zone scoring simply, "Eventually it's going to come around. It just will."
J.P. Flaim pointed out that Sunday against Cleveland could be that game. The Browns come into Sunday's contest giving up 28 PPG, tied with Jacksonville for 25th in the league.
All signs point to an offensive outburst for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, and the Browns might be on the receiving end.