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Redskins-Jets; After Further Review

Redskins-Jets; After Further Review

Jason Campbell

It’s not like going 4 for 10 for 28 yards is completely irrelevant, it’s just incomplete information. It’s like trying to judge a Miss American contestant by looking at one of her arms.

Football games ebb and flow. Quarterbacks sometimes start out hot and cool off as the defense adjusts. On other occasions the offense has to adjust to what the defense is doing and the QB finds his stride as the game goes on.

While there’s no guarantee that Campbell would have caught fire had this been a real game, it’s safe to say that he would not have gone 16 for 40 for 112 yards (his numbers projected out over four quarters).

It also needs to be said that the same can be said of his two previous games, when he started out hot.

I know that there is impatience when it comes to finding out what the Redskins have in Campbell. Unfortunately, we won’t even begin to know until September 4.

Bubble watch

Billy McMullen had a drop late in the first half but he did wind up catching three passes for 53 yards including a 37-yard grab that jump started the Redskins late drive to take the lead. Anthony Mix, on the other hand, watched the game from the sideline, nursing a rib injury. He will have to get in there and make some catches if he’s going to beat out McMullen.

Along the defensive line, both tackle Ryan Boschetti and end Rob Jackson appeared to bolster their chances, although the two remain long shots to make the final cut. Boschetti batted down a couple of passes and made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage while Jackson got a sack.

Vernon Fox may have played his way onto the bubble with some shoddy tackling, especially in the Jets’ final drive. It appears that both Kareem Moore, who started the game, and Chris Horton are safe. Will Blache want to hold on to the veteran Fox or let him go to open up a roster spot and let Shawn Springs play free safety in a pinch? Justin Hamilton made some solid tackles but he’s probably auditioning for another team or to be an injury replacement for the Skins.

I’m not sure that Marcus Mason belongs in a discussion of bubble players any more.

The winning drive

I don’t want to make a big deal out of something that ultimately is meaningless, but I really liked the Colt Brennan-led drive to give the Redskins the lead. Joe Gibbs would open every two-minute drill with a draw play that would gain eight yards and cost 30 seconds. Zorn went deep and all of a sudden the Redskins were in New York territory after the 37-yard completion.

Then, after the defense was back on its heels, came the draw and Mason made a nice gain. Two plays later the defensive back gambled for the pick and Jason Goode made the catch and rolled in for the score.

Other notes

Devin Thomas, the Redskins’ top draft pick, did not have a stellar debut and, unlike Campbell, he played a lot. Kelly Jonson on Comcast reported at halftime that Thomas “had his tongue hanging out” as he went into the locker room, and then he played in the third quarter. He did not have a catch; he had a good shot at one but Derrick Devine led him out of bounds. In all, he got a big-time lesson in the speed of the game at this level.

I noticed that Anthony Montgomery was in the game in the third quarter alongside Boschetti and Jackson. I checked and Kedric Golston did start ad defensive tackle. I don’t know if this means that Golston has won back the job he had in 2006, but I’ll certainly have an eye to see if he starts next week.

Eric Mangini showed that he is a twit for going for the field goal and overtime with five seconds left. Play like you have to score a touchdown or go home. He got what he deserved.

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Fumbles not bouncing the Redskins' way this year

Fumbles not bouncing the Redskins' way this year

As Kirk Cousins likes to say, each season is its own entity. Sometimes things that went well for you in one 16-game stretch in one year won’t got well during a 16-game stretch in subsequent years. And that is the case with the Redskins and recovering opponents’ fumbles.

In 2015 the Redskins were scooping up loose balls all over the place. Opponents put it on the carpet 36 times and the Redskins recovered a league-leading 16 of them. Doing the math, they recovered the ball 44.4 percent of the time.

This year, with the same defensive coordinator and many of the same players on defense, it’s a different story. Through 12 games, the Redskins have forced 18 fumbles and recovered seven. Projecting it out over a 16-game season, they are on pace to force 24 fumbles and recover 9, a 37.5 percent recovery rate.

However, the decrease in the rate of fumble recoveries has not hurt the Redskins as much as you might think. This year they are on pace score about as many points after fumbles as they did last year.

In 2015 they started the average drive following a fumble recovery at their own 46. They drove for two touchdowns and three field goals. The Redskins returned one fumble for a touchdown so they got a total of 30 points off of fumbles.

This year they started at their own 36 on average and they have scored two touchdowns and two field goals on drives and they have no fumble returns for touchdowns. With 20 points through 12 games, they are on pace to score 27 points because of recovering fumbles.

One thing that must be noted here is that the effect of recovering fumbles goes beyond just scoring points after doing so. Even if the offense goes three and out after a fumble recovery the other team’s drive got stopped and after the punt field position gets flipped.

Also, timing is everything. The fumble that went out of the end zone following the Ravens’ interception in Week 5 saved seven points in a six-point Redskins win. Josh Norman’s forced fumble in the fourth quarter against the Packers didn’t have quite the same impact as the one in the Ravens game but it did help them wrap up an important win.

And we are looking at a small sample size so the projections could change in a major way. If the Redskins recover two fumbles on Sunday and turn them into 10 points they would be closer to last year’s pace for recoveries and ahead of 2015 for points off of fumble recoveries.

In any case, that the Redskins are recovering fewer fumbles this year than last should not be surprising. As the stat guys like to say, fumble recoveries aren’t “sticky” from year to year. Teams that recover a lot of fumbles one year don’t tend to repeat it year after year. There is a lot of luck involved; nowhere is the bounce of the oblong ball more decisive than when hits the ground.