If Sunday’s game against the Chargers felt like a roller coaster ride there is plenty of statistical evidence to back up your feelings. Within minutes in the fourth quarter the Redskins went from near-certain victory to having an infinitesimal chance of winning.
People pay a lot of money to ride roller coasters shaped like the on in this win probability graph on Pro Football Reference. If you’re not familiar with it, the chart shows the home team’s probability of winning based on the score, field position, and down and distance at any given moment of the game. So when the line is closer to the top, the Redskins had a better chance of winning and when it’s near the bottom the Redskins’ probability of victory is lower.
The Redskins peaked with a 98.6 percent chance of winning the game with 6:47 left in the fourth quarter. The Chargers had the ball down by 10, second and 10 at their own 23. According to the number crunchers the team on defense in that situations wins the game 98.6 percent of the time.
Fast forward to just after referee Jerome Boger decided that Danny Woodhead didn’t quite get into the end zone after catching Philip Rivers’ pass. Trailing by three with 29 seconds left and a first and goal at the one, the Chargers had a 99.9 percent chance of winning. Flipping that around, the Redskins at a 0.1 percent chance of victory or one in 1,000.
The PFR searchable play-by-play database goes back to 1999 and since that season only one team other has won a game when it led by three and the other team had the ball first and goal at the one in the last 30 seconds of regulation. In 2007 the Cardinals trailed by three and moved to first and goal at the one with six seconds left. They kicked a field goal to tie the 49ers at 31 but San Francisco won in overtime. In the other seven games, the team that had the first and goal at the one ultimately won the game, either right then or in overtime.
The Redskins are reported to have a new quarterbacks coach. Normally that is not news that moves the needle much but if the report proves to be accurate the move has some big implications for the Redskins coaching staff.
First, about the coach. Kevin O’Connell was most recently an offensive assistant with the 49ers. Prior to that he was a quarterback who spent time with the Patriots, who drafted him out of San Diego State in the third round in 2008, Lions, Jets, Dolphins, and Chargers. He only saw the field the Patriots and he attempted just six passes. His addition as the Redskins’ quarterbacks coach was reported by Fox Sports.
Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh
The thing is, the Redskins don’t officially have an opening for a quarterbacks coach. The job is held by Matt Cavanaugh. However, the Redskins do need an offensive coordinator since Sean McVay left last week to become the head coach of the Rams. Moving Cavanaugh, who played quarterback in the NFL for 13 seasons before starting a 23-year career in coaching, to offensive coordinator, seems to be the logical move to make to many.
If O’Connell’s addition to the staff does indeed become a reality, that would all but confirm that Cavanaugh is getting the promotion. Nothing is official until it’s official but this seems to be the way things are heading.
Stay tuned to CSNmidatlantic.com for the latest.
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According to a report from Ben Standig of Breaking Burgundy, Redskins running back Rob Kelley has undergone a knee procedure already this off-season.
Kelley has reportedly already resumed walking following the minor procedure.
The injury, which occured in a Week 16 matchup against Chicago, is not expected to impact Kelley into the 2017 season.
Kelley came out of nowhere an impressed in the pre-season and took over the starting job from Matt Jones in Week 9.
Stay tuned for more updates on Kelley.
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