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State of the Redskins, Week 6: Still road kill, not road warriors

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State of the Redskins, Week 6: Still road kill, not road warriors

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 6 of the NFL season.

Record: 2-3, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 2-2
vs. AFC: 0-1
Home: 2-1
Away: 0-2

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 360.4 (11th)
Defense (yards/game): 314.0 (6th)
Passer rating offense: 81.9 (21st)
Opp passer rating: 90.4 (12th )
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (14th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.4 (9th)
DVOA through Week 4 (Football Outsiders): 2.7% (15th)

Top three storylines:

—Still road kill, not road warriors—The Redskins almost pulled out a road win for just the third time since the start of the 2013 season but they couldn’t quite get it done. They will have a problem getting back to respectability until half of the games on their schedule are not virtually automatic losses.

—Spinning their wheels on the ground—It was cute when the Redskins’ backfield duo of Alfred Morris and Matt Jones received the nickname “MoJo” when they were rolling after two weeks of the season. Now the moniker is a reminder that such titles should not be bestowed until the group accomplishes something over a period of time. Now, instead of backs cranking out 100-yard games, they haven’t mustered 100 as a team in two of their last three games.

—Takeaways coming—Defensive coordinator Joe Barry said a couple of weeks ago that he believes that takeaways come in bunches. He turned out to be right, as the Redskins have five takeaways in their last two games. The next step in the big play department is to get a turnover return touchdown, something they haven’t done since 2013.

Next three games

Sunday @ Jets (3-1)—Former Redskins safety Todd Bowles (1986-1990, 1991-1992) has the Jets playing pretty well. They are getting it done the way the Redskins want to get it done, with a stout defense, a game managing QB, and a productive rushing attack.

October 25 vs. Bucs (2-3)—Jameis Winston is struggling like, well, a rookie quarterback. But he’s not getting a whole lot of help from the defense and other factors are contributing to the Bucs’ 2-3 record. It should be remembered that they were on a five-game losing skid last year when they came into FedEx Field and enjoyed one of their few 2014 bright spots with a 27-7 win over the Redskins.

November 8 @ Patriots (4-0)—After the bye, the Redskins travel to Foxborough to play the Patriots. I hear that they have managed to avoid the post-Super Bowl hangover and are pretty good again this year.

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back