Pierre Garcon said it best when he told a reporter "Our passing game sucks..."
We are one of the worst, if not THE worst drop back passing offenses in the NFL. Losing to Denver was not a surprise, nor should it be a surprise to anybody, but the way we lost is deeply concerning. Statistically, maybe our passing game looks decent, but only because of the yards we put up in garbage time when the outcome is no longer in question. Yes, we are down there with the likes of the Vikings, Browns, and Jaguars when it comes to our production in the drop-back passing game, and there are multiple reasons why:
- Offensive line: We as fans have been beating this drum for as long as I can remember, yet the franchise has continued to neglect it. I think we all can agree they suck in pass protection. Not a problem we can fix this year. We need to change that history this off-season. Enough said.
- Dropped passes. Aside from Pierre Garcon, our WRs are dropping too many passes, and that may just be a lack of talent at the WR position.
- Alfred Morris cannot catch passes out of the backfield, and we haven't utilized Helu in the passing game enough to make defenses pay for coming after RG3. Denver destroyed us with passes to Moreno underneath, and we should be using Helu in the same manner much more often. This is something Kyle can add if he so chooses.
- RG3 is regressing as a passer, mostly because he does not trust his offensive line, and also because he doesn't have the pocket awareness, and pre-snap reads that the elite drop back passers in the league have. He can probably get there with some high quality mentorship, but who's gonna teach him? Rex, ugh. For now, we have a guy who's holding the ball too long when given time, and a guy who is running backwards and lobbing the ball into the middle of the field off his back foot in desperation rather than stepping up or sliding in the pocket to buy time. The internal clock that so many greats have is lacking. We implemented the offense he ran at Baylor, and that worked when he had the speed and athleticism to run that system. Which begs the question: Is he capable of adjusting to a pro style offense? Time and coaching will tell that story.
Conclusion: Our passing game sucks for multiple reasons, and the problems are too deep to solve this year. If we continue to force the ineffective passing game as we have been, we'll most certainly get Robert injured and potentially ruin his career. In the interest of Robert's health and development, I think it's time we take the Joe Gibb approach and pound the rock on the ground 30-40 times per game regardless of situation or outcome. Win or lose we need to just pound the rock and throw the occassional play-action or screen pass, and expend all the time resources we have in the off-season to strengthen the offensive line, and develop RG3 as a drop-back passer.