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Snap Judgments: Week 9- Redskins @ Vikings- OFFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their offensive players in Week 9

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Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins blew a five-point fourth-quarter lead in Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  This is the fifth time this year that they have either led or trailed by only one score in the fourth quarter and lost.  That's right, five of the team's six losses came in games in which they had a legitimate opportunity to win in the fourth quarter.  I'm not saying that the Redskins are a good team that just happens to be unlucky, but this does make you wonder what their record could be right now if they had just made a few less costly mistakes and executed better in several key situations.

Hopefully, the coaches will use the bye week to get some of these issues corrected.  If they are successful, then perhaps we will see a sharper and more focused Redskins team in the second half of the season.  If that happens and the team continues to get healthier with the returns of Leonard Hankerson and Barry Cofield, then I expect the Redskins to finally capitalize on their opportunities and come away with several victories down the stretch.  This is no fanboy pipe dream either, as the remainder of the schedule is filled with a number of very winnable games.

***Data Disclaimer: This is my own count after watching the game tape.  Snap data for kneel-downs and plays negated by pre-snap penalties are not included.  However, plays negated by post-snap penalties are included.***

The Offense ran 66 snaps

  • 38 Passing Snaps (58%) and 28 Rushing Snaps (42%)
  • This is the third consecutive game in which the offense has rushed the ball on 25 or more snaps (Weeks 7-9).  Prior to that, the offense had not rushed the ball on more than 18 snaps in three consecutive games (Weeks 4-6).
  • The Redskins were tied with the Vikings during the offense's first 12 snaps (18%).  They trailed Minnesota on 25 of the offensive snaps (38%) and held the lead for 29 snaps (44%).  This is only the second time this season that Washington has recorded more than 22 offensive snaps while in the lead (Week 2 vs. Jacksonville).
  • The Redskins scored on 5 of the team's 12 offensive drives.  The final drive of each half lasted only one play (an uncounted kneel down and a Hail Mary).  Half of the team's drives (6 of 12) consisted of seven or more snaps.
  • The offense turned the ball over once and went three-and-out on two occasions.  The worst part about this is that those three drives occurred consecutively (not including the kneel down) between the end of the second quarter and the start of the third.  This resulted in a huge momentum swing, which saw Washington's ten-point lead evaporate into a four-point deficit.
  • The offense rushed the ball on 48% of the first-half snaps (14 of 29).  That number dropped to 38% in the second half (14 of 37).  That is not a dramatic decrease, but I'm not sure that any reduction was truly necessary for several reasons: they were having success rushing the ball (4 yards per carry in the first half), they actually led during 12 of the second-half offensive snaps and they never trailed by more than four points.
  • The offense, defense and special teams were each responsible for two enforced penalties in this game.  Logan Paulsen was called for a false start (5 yards) and DeSean Jackson was flagged for offensive pass interference (10 yards).  Shawn Lauvao's holding penalty was offset by a Minnesota penalty and was thus not counted.  Lauvao's mistake was actually quite costly despite the fact that it was not counted, because it occurred on the offense's final full drive of the game and negated what would've been an important first down.

Team Snap Data:

Quarter Number of Snaps (%)
1st 16 (24%)
2nd 13 (20%)
3rd 18 (27%)
4th 19 (29%)
Down Number of Snaps (%)
1st 30 (45%)
2nd 19 (29%)
3rd 14 (21%)
4th 2 (3%)
2 Pt. Conversion 1 (2%)
Field Position Number of Snaps (%)
Redskins Side 35 (53%)
Vikings Side 29 (44%)
Midfield 2 (3%)
At or Inside Own 20 8 (12%)
Red Zone 17 (26%)
Goal-to-Go 4 (6%)
Formation Number of Snaps (%)
Under Center 21 (32%)
Total Shotgun 45 (68%)
Shotgun 36 (55%)
Pistol 9 (14%)
Play Design Number of Snaps (%)
Regular Pass 28 (42%)
Regular Run 17 (26%)
Zone-Read Run 9 (14%)
Play-Action Pass
8 (12%)
Screen 3 (5%)
HB Draw 1 (2%)
  • The 17 red-zone snaps and 26% rate of such snaps trail only the Jacksonville game for the most this season.
  • The offense took 36 snaps from the standard shotgun formation, the most in 2014.
  • It should be no surprise that the return of Robert Griffin saw the team call a season-high 9 zone-read runs (14%).  Several zone-read play-action fakes were also used (counted as play-action passes).

Personnel Groupings:

Personnel Number of Snaps (%)
11 (1 RB/ 1 TE/ 3 WR) 44 (67%)
12 (1 RB/ 2 TE/ 2 WR) 16 (24%)
21 (2 RB/ 1 TE/ 2 WR) 4 (6%)
22 (2 RB/ 2 TE/ 1 WR) 2 (3%)
  • The offense scored one touchdown each with the 11 and 12 personnel groupings.
  • This is the first time in six weeks (since Week 4) that the offense has scored from a grouping other than the 11 personnel.
  • The 12 personnel made a big comeback this week (16 snaps/ 24%).  Its usage had decreased over the last month, but it was featured more against the Vikings than it had been in any other game this season besides the Week 3 contest against the Eagles.
  • Meanwhile, the 21 personnel's four snaps and six percent usage were both season-lows.  This all essentially means that Jordan Reed and Niles Paul benefited at the expense of Darrel Young.

Individual Player Snaps:

Name (* – denotes starter) Position Snaps Snap %
Trent Williams * LT 66 100%
Shawn Lauvao * LG 66 100%
Kory Lichtensteiger * C 66 100%
Chris Chester * RG 66 100%
Tom Compton * RT 66 100%
Robert Griffin III * QB 66 100%
Pierre Garcon * WR 61 92%
DeSean Jackson * WR 59 89%
Andre Roberts WR 44 67%
Jordan Reed TE 44 67%
Alfred Morris * RB 41 62%
Niles Paul TE 32 48%
Roy Helu RB 25 38%
Logan Paulsen * TE 8 12%
Santana Moss WR 7 11%
Darrel Young * FB 6 9%
Ryan Grant WR 3 5%
Josh LeRibeus G 0 0%
Morgan Moses T 0 0%
Colt McCoy QB 0 0%
  • This was the first inactive of Silas Redd's (bus accident) and Kirk Cousins' (interceptions) career.  Aldrick Robinson, Tyler Polumbus and Spencer Long were also declared inactive.
  • Andre Roberts took a season-high 84% of his snaps from the slot (37 of 44 snaps).
  • Some wondered if Jordan Reed only receiving one target had something to do with a low snap total.  It did not.  Reed's 44 snaps (67%) were his most this season.  He actually had three targets, but two of them were negated by penalties and were not officially counted.  That is still not enough for Reed though.  I know that it's harder to get him on the field because he is such a poor blocker, but they have to find a way to get him the ball more than this. 
  • The team passed on 64% of Reed's snaps (28 of 44).  He was in on 93% of the third-down snaps (13 of 14) and 94% of the combined third-down, fourth-down and two-point conversion snaps (16 of 17).  Reed took 30 of the 11 personnel snaps (68%) and Niles Paul handled the other 14 (32%).  Paul was one of the two tight ends on all of the 12 personnel (16 of 16) and 22 personnel (2 of 2) snaps.  Logan Paulsen was the lone tight end on each of the four 21 personnel plays.  His eight snaps and twelve percent usage were season-lows.
  • For the second week in a row Alfred Morris received more snaps than Roy Helu (41 to 25).  The snap difference between them is the second biggest of the season (25 more for Morris in Week 3 vs. Philadelphia).  The Redskins passed the ball on 80% of Helu's snaps (20 of 25).  Morris was the lead back for 77% of the first-down snaps (23 of 30), and Helu took over for 71% of the combined third-down, fourth-down and two-point conversion snaps (12 of 17).  They split the 11 personnel (22 each) and the 22 personnel (1 each) snaps.  Morris was in for 88% of the 12 personnel snaps (14 of 16) and 100% of the 21 personnel snaps (4 of 4).

Team Records, Streaks & Rankings:

Individual Players

  • Prior to the 2014 season, Niles Paul was active for 44 NFL games across his three years in the NFL.  In those games he totaled 28 targets, 14 receptions and 228 receiving yards.  In the 9 games that he has played this season, he has nearly doubled all of those career numbers.  So far this year, he has 39 targets, 30 receptions and 429 yards.
  • Alfred Morris had arguably his best game since Week 10 of the 2013 season (covers Morris' last 16 games), which just so happens to be the last time that Redskins played the Vikings (also the last time he rushed for 100 or more yards).  Morris' 109 total yards (rushing plus receiving) on Sunday are his most since that game, and he rushed for two touchdowns for only the second time since 2012.  His 92 rushing yards and 4.84 yards per carry average are his third and fourth best totals respectively in his last 16 games.
  • In games which Robert Griffin has taken the majority of the team's snaps (30 times), Alfred Morris has averaged 91 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry.  In Morris' other games (11 times), he averaged 69 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry.  That's a difference of 22 yards per game and 1.2 yards per carry.
  • Robert Griffin was sacked five times against the Vikings.  Some were calling for Colt McCoy to get the start in this game, but McCoy's career sack percentage of 7.9% is actually higher than Griffin's at 7.7%.  Those may not be the best numbers to look at however.  According to Pro Football Focus, Griffin's average time to throw of 3.08 seconds and average time to attempt of 2.94 seconds in 2014 would rank 33rd and 35th (last) respectively among quarterbacks with over 25% or more of their team's snaps.  McCoy's 2.73 and 2.38 seconds would rank 20th and 8th respectively in those categories this year.

Team and Coach

  • According to Pro Football Reference, the Redskins have lost 9 of the last 14 games in which they have faced off against a rookie quarterback (.357 winning percentage).  (Corrected at 11:17 p.m. on 11/4/2014.  A previous version stated the the team had lost in 3 of the last 4 and 10 of the last 19 games games against rookie QBs).
  • Jay Gruden lost yet another challenge on a questionable call in regards to whether a player caught the ball or not.  He is now 0-6 on the season.  Gruden is not the only coach that has gone 0-fer so far this year, but he, John Harbaugh and Ron Rivera are the only coaches to lose four or more challenges without a reversal being called in their favor.  Going into Week 9 of this season, 36% of coach's challenges (28 of 77) had been reversed.
  • Since Norv Turner was fired by Dan Snyder in 2000, the Redskins are 0-5 against Turner coached teams.
  • Washington has had a record of 3-6 in seven of the last eleven seasons.
  • The Redskins lead the NFL with 14 plays of 40 or more yards and 8 plays of 50 or more yards.  Over the course of the last ten years (since 2004), no Redskins team has had more than 14 plays of 40 or more yards and only the 2010 team had more than 8 plays of 50 or more yards (10 such plays).  The important thing to remember here is that the 2014 Redskins have only played 9 games so far.  Thank you, DeSean Jackson!

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