Snap Judgments: Week 3 vs. Lions Snap Counts

Patrick McDermott

Taking a look at the snap count for each Redskins player in their Week 3 loss to Detroit.

Someone, make it stop!

While the offense finally showed signs of life, the Redskins as a whole continued to play subpar football.  There was no first half blowout. In fact, the score was tied going into the 4th quarter, which was a sight for sore eyes.  Although the game felt more 'normal' than what we've been used to, the roller-coaster of emotions still left us with a sick feeling. Whether it's Robert Griffin's errant interception after driving into the red-zone, his fumble after a 21-yard run, or the Aldrick Robinson catch that never was, the game just seemed to go right through their grasp.

Oh and let's not sweep the penalties under the rug. The roller-coaster ride of emotions continued with big plays negated by penalties.

  • Stafford throws incomplete to Calvin Johnson on 3rd and 6 at WSH 29. London Fletcher is called for defensive holding... of an offensive lineman!? Automatic 1st is awarded and the Lions end up driving down for the score.
  • Alfred Morris scampers for a 10 yard gain, putting the Redskins in the red-zone.  However, Pierre Garcon is called for an Illegal Formation.  Drive ends in a Griffin interception.
  • Griffin completes a big pass to Robinson for 29 yards except it was brought back as there was Holding on Trent Williams.

Penalties, ball security, tackling, and mental errors plagued this team in Week 3. These are fundamental concepts that usually go unnoticed when present but stick out like a sore thumb when they are lacking. Much to improve on, luckily there's always next week.

Let's take a look at the snap count.

The Offense had 77 snaps.

Number of Snaps Name
77 (100%) Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Robert Griffin III
68 (88%) Pierre Garcon
54 (70%) Logan Paulsen, Leonard Hankerson
43 (56%) Alfred Morris
41 (53%) Santana Moss
34 (44%) Roy Helu Jr.
30 (39%) Jordan Reed
24 (31%) Joshua Morgan
19 (25%) Darrel Young
11 (14%) Aldrick Robinson
7 (9%) Niles Paul

What Stands Out

  • Jordan Reed entered the game as an X-factor of sorts. With Fred Davis sidelined with an injury, Reed got the start and proved to be productive. He was targeted 6 times and caught 5 passes for 50 yards in 3 quarters before going down to injury of his own. A thigh contusion kept him out of the 4th quarter.  His absence gave Paulsen and Paul more snaps than in either of the last two weeks.
  • Leonard Hankerson saw the field more in this game than either of the last two weeks. With the Redskins electing to go pass heavy with their gameplan (50 pass attempts) Hankerson's presence (70% of snaps) shows that Shanahan prefers him to Morgan in passing situations. Although, Morgan has proved himself as an accomplished run blocker time and time again, so he will continue to see the field.
  • There was a 56-44 split at RB with Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. respectively.  However, Helu seems to have the vast majority of his snaps resulting in pass protection.  In on 44% of the plays, Helu did not see a single carry and was targeted 3 times on passes (2 of which came in the last drive setting up the final Hail Mary). Again, the running attack took a backseat this week as Kyle elected to open up the playbook and spread the ball around. However, many would agree that Helu's involvement in the offense should increase because when he does have the ball he makes people miss.
The Redskins Defense had 67 snaps.

Number of Snaps Name
67 (100%) Josh Wilson, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Brandon Meriweather, Perry Riley, Ryan Kerrigan
64 (96%) Brian Orakpo
59 (88%) London Fletcher
57 (85%) Kedric Golston
54 (81%) Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield
19 (28%) Phillip Merling
13 (19%) Chris Neild
8 (12%) Nick Barnett
4 (6%) EJ Biggers
3 (4%) Darryl Tapp


What Stands Out
  • No Baccari Rambo. No Reed Doughty. No Brandon Jenkins. Rambo was basically benched for this game, and it sounds like Shanahan wants to see something from him in practice or in the ST coverage unit in order to win back a spot.  Meriweather's ability to play FS diminishes Rambo's value but I'd imagine a string of solid practices could bring him back onto the field.
  • It seems like the gameplan was to play the best defensive players, play them anywhere, and play them often. Amerson was the lone rookie to get playing time. Instead the defense chose to put Josh Wilson at Safety and frequently put Kerrigan or Orakpo in coverage. The starting 11 (including Kedric Golston) played in at least 80% of the snaps.
  • Playing the injury card is hard to do because every team has injuries but you've got to think this defensive unit is playing a bit short-handed.  London Fletcher missed 8 snaps, not due to injury, but just to rest and stay fresh. We all knew his time was coming but we held out hope that it'd be Keenan Robinson benefiting from it instead of the 32 year old Nick Barnett. The list goes on... Richard Crawford in coverage and PR. Carriker freeing up the second level. Phillip Thomas tackling someone. Add to that the suspensions of Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson and you've got a defense devoid of options.
Operation Patience is still in effect. With the NFC East struggling and facing difficult opponents in the coming weeks, the Redskins season is not over yet. We still haven't seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn't mean it's not there. The Redskins travel to Oakland who is coming off a short week and may be forced to start Matt Flynn at QB with Terrelle Pryor dealing with a concussion.  However, we already know all too well that backups can do damage (See: James Starks and Joique Bell).  From the fanbase exclaim a resounding: 'Just win, baby!' If not for the good feeling going into the Bye Week then at least for the good feeling going into the Series Finale of Breaking Bad just an hour after the game. Lose, and we might as well bury the season in an Albuquerque desert.
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