NFL.com personality and Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk has teamed up with GMC and SB Nation to ask a question every week during the season. This week's question asks what the Redskins do well.
"To be GMC Professional Grade you must build upon your strengths. Look at your team now and assess what it does best. Is it running the football? How about pass defense? How about throwing the ball deep? Do they find creative ways to win? Let me know how you would build on that success to get your team into the playoffs."
Well Marshall, at 3-6 I could list a lot of negative things that the Redskins do well, like turnovers, penalties, and miscommunication. The answer to this question in years past would have been an effective running game, but for a number of reasons, it hasn't been quite as effective this year.
So what do the 2014 version of the Washington Redskins do best? The Redskins have had three different starting QBs this season, due to injury and ineffectiveness, but the one thing they all had in common was the ability to hit the deep ball. The addition of DeSean Jackson this season has given the team something they had been lacking for a while, a legitimate deep threat that forces opposing defenses to account for his speed every time.
Through Week 9, the Washington Redskins lead the league in passes of 40 yards or more with 14. The next highest total is 8, which is shared by six teams including Jackson's former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. DeSean accounts for 9 of those 14 long passes(64%), and has already tied the highest total from last season. Jackson has 36 receptions for 764 yards(21.8 yards/catch) playing with 3 different QBs and missing most of the Jaguars game in Week 2. His deep threat opens up the offense, and is one of the highlights of a disappointing season. Will Jay Gruden be able to continue dialing up plays to get Jackson the ball this season? Can anyone not named Chris Chester stop Jackson?
Has the Redskins deep ball been the best part of the team, or can we get a vote for Ken's guy, Tress Way?
In 2013, AJ Green & Josh Gordon tied for NFL lead with 9 catches of 40+ yds...DeSean Jackson already has 9 catches of 40+ yds this yr— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 6, 2014
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