Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 22, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens
Small sample size
Please do not interpret this post to be an attempt to blow sunshine, well, you know where. It is simply an attempt to bring some perspective to the game on Thursday. I am well aware that there are plenty of issues with the team.
But those issues were not necessarily identified during the game against the Lions on Thursday. Kory Lichtensteiger said it best. He was asked if this game was a measuring stick for the offensive line.
“I think it’s hard to have a measuring stick after a quarter,” he said.
Griffin and the first team offense were on the field for 16 snaps. Every Sunday during the regular season teams struggle during the first quarter. But they adjust, they make counter moves and eventually they find their footing.
In fact, offenses almost never play as poorly as Griffin and the Redskins did over the course of an entire game. If you project Griffin’s stats out over 64 snaps he would be eight of 20 (40 percent completions) for 32 yards with 12 sacks. No quarterback since 1974 has attempted at least 20 passes in a game for 32 or fewer yards with a completion percentage of 40 percent or lower. If that’s too much to plough through, suffice it to say that history says that Griffin and the offense would not have played that poorly for an entire game.
That doesn’t mean that they would have played great, or even competently. There would have been improvement over the course of the game but we don’t know if it would have been enough to be competitive.
The whole point is, we don’t know. It’s hard to have a measuring stick after a quarter. And even if you add in the 18 snaps Griffin and the starting offense played in Cleveland you have 34 snaps, a total of about 30 minutes of play. The Redskins offense has a quarter of OK work (Browns) and one of bad work (Lions) in the book That is really not enough to make even a, well, snap judgement.
I will inject one more thing to think about here. Scot McCloughan is building the Redskins to be a tough, physical team featuring power run blocking and an attacking defense. That style of football is designed to wear teams down over four quarters. In the preseason, with players shuffling in and out from beginning to end, the physical nature is less of an advantage.
To be sure, there is concern among fans that what we saw on Thursday was a continuation of what we have seen for the past two seasons, when the team combined to win seven games. There is some validity to that; however that ignores the addition of McCloughan, Bill Callahan, Matt Cavanaugh, and about 15 draft picks and free agents that should upgrade the team.
We won’t see the Redskins’ best football until the regular season starts. Again, their “best” may still not be good enough to be a competitive NFL team in 2015. But it is not going to be revealed over the course of just 16 snaps.
—Today’s schedule: Closed practice at Redskins Park
—It’s been 237 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 22 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 7; final cuts 14; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 33
In case you missed it
- Bubble watch: Who's in, who's out?
- Did the Redskins’ preseason TD drought lead to Griffin’s injury?
- Gruden: Griffin will be the starter when he recovers
- Examining the Gruden-Griffin relationship
- Redskins defense shows life in second preseason game
- Griffin concussion not severe, should be able to play vs. Ravens
- Redskins stock up-stock down vs. the Lions