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Snap Judgments: Week 16- Eagles @ Redskins- OFFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their offensive players in Week 16

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

We've spent a lot of time discussing negative statistics and rankings in this series - and for good reason - so I thought we'd change things up a bit by reviewing some positive numbers this time around.  I think the best way to do that is by taking a closer look at the accomplishments of a couple of the team's best players: DeSean Jackson and Alfred Morris.

Thanks for the present, Chip!

Against his former team on Sunday, DeSean Jackson became just the 14th player in franchise history to record a 1,000 yard receiving season.  He is now on pace to finish with the 15th most receiving yards (1,160) in a single season in team history, despite missing the Rams game three weeks ago.  He sits just one game behind Bobby Mitchell (seven) for the most 100-yard receiving games in a season by a Redskin with six.

Jackson's current average of 20.06 yards per reception is the fourth highest in a season by a Redskins player since 1960 (minimum of 25 receptions).  His seven catches of 50 or more yards and 12 catches of 40 or more yards are both the most by a Washington player in a single season since 1998.  He currently leads the league in yards per reception, 40-yard receptions and 50-yard receptions.

DeSean Jackson adds a much-needed explosive dimension to the Redskins offense; expect him to lead the team in receiving for as long as he's here in Washington and to set a number of franchise records in the process.

Appreciating Alfred

Alfred Morris eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive season, when ran for 83 yards and touchdown on Sunday.  He is one of only four Washington players all-time to rush for over 1,000 yards in three different seasons; only John Riggins and Clinton Portis have had more 1,000-yard years as members of the Redskins (four each).  Morris and Stephen Davis are the only two players in team history to hit 1,000 yards in three consecutive years.  Morris stands alone as the only Redskins running back to do so in the first three years of his career, a feat only accomplished by 16 other running backs in league history.

Only eight other runners (Earl Campbell, Ottis Anderson, Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, and Chris Johnson) have rushed for 1,000 yards and scored seven touchdowns in each of their first three seasons.  Morris is on pace to end his third season with 4,002 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns, numbers that would rank him 13th and 23rd all-time by a running back in their first three seasons.

Morris' 3,919 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns are both the second most by any player since he entered the league in 2012.  He trails only Marshawn Lynch in both categories (4,093 yards and 35 rushing TDs).  Needless to say, Lynch has accomplished all of this with the help of a far better team, as the Seahawks have won more than double the number of games that the Redskins have in the last three years (35 wins vs. 17 wins) and have outscored their opponents by 685 more points in the process of doing so (479 to -206).  Lynch's yards per carry average of 4.64 in that span is also only .1 higher than Morris' rate of 4.54 yards per tote.

With a projected career rushing total of 4,002 at the end of this season, Morris will already rank sixth in team history.  His projected career TD total of 29 would place him seventh in franchise history.  Alfred Morris' career averages of 4.54 yards per carry and 83.4 rushing yards per game currently stand as the best ever among all Redskins players with at least 500 rushing attempts.

In a little over a year from now, Morris will likely be a 27-yeard old free agent running back that has accumulated almost 1,200 carries (nearly 2,000, if college attempts are included).  In a league that has devalued the running back position, there's no guarantee that a potentially cash-strapped Redskins team will spring to re-sign a runner with this much tread on his tires.  That means that Alfred Morris might only be suiting up for the burgundy and gold a mere 17 more times.  We should all appreciate Alfred while he's here, because he might not be here for long.

***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 56 snaps

  • 27 Passing Snaps (48%) and 29 Rushing Snaps (52%)
  • Washington's rushing snap rate of 52% against the Eagles is the team's highest such percentage in 2014.  This marks only the second time this season in which the Redskins have run the ball more frequently than they've passed it (Week 12 at San Francisco).
  • Jay Gruden called running plays on 43% of the first-half snaps (10 of 23), but he turned things around in the second half by dialing up runs on 58% of Washington's offensive snaps (19 of 33).
  • We do, however, need to take note of the fact that two of the rushing snaps in each half were the product of either a QB scramble or a fumbled snap.
  • The Redskins officially possessed the ball for 11 drives in this game.  However, one of those drives consisted of a single knee-down play and another did not even see the offense take the field due to Andre Robert's fumbled kickoff return.  For our purposes we will not be counting those drives. 
  • The Redskins' offense was on the field in this game for a season-low nine drives.  They scored on 56% of them (5 of 9), which is the team's best mark in 2014.
  • Washington offensive players were only responsible for two penalties and ten penalty yards in this game, both second best this season.  The guilty parties in this case were Robert Griffin (delay of game) and Trent Williams (false start).  It shouldn't surprise anyone to see that the only penalties that the offense committed were of the pre-snap variety.  Washington leads the NFL with 8 delay of game penalties and is tied for the second most offensive pre-snap penalties in the league with 29 of them.

Team Snap Data

Quarter Number of Snaps (%)
1st 14 (25%)
2nd 9 (16%)
3rd 18 (32%)
4th 15 (27%)
Down Number of Snaps (%)
1st 27 (48%)
2nd 19 (34%)
3rd 10 (18%)
4th 0 (0%)
Field Position Number of Snaps (%)
Redskins Side 23 (41%)
Eagles Side 33 (59%)
At or Inside Own 20 4 (7%)
Red Zone 19 (34%)
Goal-to-Go 10 (18%)
Formation Number of Snaps (%)
Under Center 31 (55%)
Total Shotgun 25 (45%)
Shotgun 20 (36%)
Pistol 5 (9%)
Play Type Number of Snaps (%)
Regular Pass 13 (23%)
Regular Hand-off 25 (45%)
Play-Action Pass 8 (14%)
Zone-Read PA 5 (9%)
Screen 4 (7%)
Fumbled Snap 1 (2%)
QB Scramble (double counted) 3 (5%)
HB Pitch/Toss 0 (0%)
Zone-Read Run 0 (0%)
  • The offense took season-bests of 59% of their snaps in enemy territory, 34% of their snaps in the red zone and 18% of their snaps in goal-to-goal situations.
  • Washington's increased focus on the running game prompted them to take significantly more snaps from under center.  The team took a season-low 25 total shotgun snaps (shotgun and pistol) and instead operated from under center on 55% of the offensive snaps, their second highest rate this year.
  • For the second week in a row, the Redskins tied or set their 2014 record for number of play-action plays in a game.
  • The offense did not utilize a single read-option run for the first since the Week 7 matchup against the Titans.

Personnel Groupings

Personnel Number of Snaps (%)
11 (1 RB/1 TE/3 WR) 25 (45%)
12 (1 RB/2 TE/2 WR) 10 (18%)
13 (1 RB/3 TE/1 WR) 3 (5%)
21 (2 RB/1 TE/ 2 WR) 9 (16%)
22 (2 RB/ 2 TE/ 1 WR) 7 (13%)
23 (2RB/ 3 TE/0 WR) 2 (4%)
  • This is just the second time since Week 2 that the Redskins have used more than five different personnel groupings in a game.
  • Washington used the 22 personnel on a season-most 13% of their snaps in this game.  The team had only worked out of the 22 a total of ten times after the Week 10 bye; in this game they used it seven times.
  • The Redskins scored two of their three touchdowns from the 13 (1 RB, 3 TE and 0 WR).  The offense has scored 7 of its 31 touchdowns from this grouping in 2014 (23%).  The 13 has been the team's second best option behind the 11 from a scoring standpoint.
  • Washington employed heavy personnel groupings (with one wide receiver or less) on a season-high 12 snaps.
  • The expanded usage of these "bigger" personnel looks meant that the team had to cut back elsewhere.  The focus on the running game made the 11 the easy choice, as the team ran a season-low 25 snaps from their favorite personnel grouping.

Individual Player Snaps

Name (* - denotes starter) Position Snaps Snap %
Shawn Lauvao * LG 56 100%
Chris Chester * RG 56 100%
Tom Compton * RT 56 100%
Robert Griffin III * QB 56 100%
Kory Lichtensteiger * C 56 100%
Trent Williams * LT 51 91%
DeSean Jackson * WR 47 84%
Pierre Garcon * WR 42 75%
Alfred Morris * RB 39 70%
Niles Paul TE 34 61%
Logan Paulsen * TE 30 54%
Jordan Reed TE 19 34%
Darrel Young * FB 18 32%
Andre Roberts WR 18 32%
Chris Thompson RB 10 18%
Santana Moss WR 10 18%
Silas Redd RB 7 13%
Ryan Grant WR 6 11%
Tyler Polumbus RT 5 9%
Spencer Long RG 1 2%
Kirk Cousins QB 0 0%
Josh LiRibeus G Inactive N/A
Roy Helu HB Inactive N/A
Leonard Hankerson WR Inactive N/A
  • Chris Chester is the only Redskins player (offense and defense) that has not missed a single snap this season.
  • Pierre Garcon, Kory Lichtensteiger and Andre Roberts recorded season-low snap totals in this game.  Roberts' inclusion in this group is particularly interesting because he also set a season-worst snap percentage of 32% despite escaping the game in good health.  That is a significantly lower number than his previous worst of 54%.  However, his decreased usage probably had more to do with the coaches wanting to focus on the running game by using fewer 11 personnel looks than it did with his poor production this year.
  • Jordan Reed's 19 snaps represent his lowest total of the year behind only the Week 1 contest against Houston, a game in which he suffered a major injury on the first drive.  Reed's snap totals have dropped in three consecutive weeks and he has basically been demoted to a third-down tight end role.  Almost of half of his snaps came on third down (47%) and he was in on 90% of the team's third down snaps.  He was never truly in as the lone in-line tight unless it was a third-down play.  He took almost all of his other snaps in the slot, spread out wide or lined up right next to Niles Paul or Logan Paulsen.  Nearly 70% of his snaps were on passing plays.
  • Alfred Morris got quite the heavy workload against the Eagles.  He played 70% of the snaps for only the second time this season and was the lead back on a season-high 96% of the Redskins' first down snaps.  He also handled 50% of the third-down work, which was another 2014 personal record.

Records and Rankings

  • Darrel Young scored his 4th and 5th touchdowns of the season against the Eagles on Sunday.  Those were also the 12th and 13th touchdowns of his career.  He has scored both on the ground and through the air in his career, as seven of his scores were on runs and the other six came as a receiver.  Young is one of only 23 active players and three active fullbacks (this list incorrectly includes the recently retired Jason Snelling) to both rush for seven touchdowns and catch six of them.  He leads all fullbacks in 2014 rushing (3), receiving (2) and total touchdowns (5).  His five total touchdowns are also tied for second most on the Redskins this year (five by DeSean Jackson); only Alfred Morris has more with eight.  Darrel Young has scored a touchdown on 71% of his career goal-line touches (5 of 7) and ha either scored on picked up a first down on 89% of his career short yardage touches (24 of 27).  He's scored on 16% of his overall career touches (13 of 82). 
  • Almost anyone who has seen all of Robert Griffin's games this year would tell you that he his play has improved over the course of the last few weeks.  The stats back this up too.  In the table below, I've included his numbers from all of the games in which he played the majority of team's snaps and split them up into two groups: the last two games and every other game in which he has taken the majority of the snaps.
Yards/G Y/A TD INT QB Rating Time to Attempt Rush Yards/G
HOU, MIN, TB & SF 208 7.2 2 3 85.1 2.79 19.5
NYG & PHI 228 9.1 1 1 95.1 2.55 28.5
  • As of last week, the Redskins were on pace to either set or nearly match the franchise record for most times sacked and yards lost due to sacks after being sacked five or more times in six consecutive games (second longest such streak in NFL history).  They finally turned things around this week by snapping that streak and only surrendering two sacks to an Eagles defense that ranks second in sacks.  Fortunately, this performance might save the Redskins from setting those aforementioned franchise records.
Sacks Sacks Sack Yards
Value 55 387
Current NFL Rank 31st 31st
Pace Projection 59 413
Projected Franchise Rank 2nd Worst 3rd Worst
Franchise Record 61 428
  • We started out on a positive note, so let's end on one as well by looking at some good franchise records and rankings that this team is on pace achieve.
Miscellaneous Offense
Total Yards Pass Yards Attempts Completions Comp% Yards/Play 1st Downs
Value 5,325 3,738 506 337 66.6% 5.68 298
Current NFL Rank 13th 12th 21st 15th 6th 9th 17th
Pace Projection 5,680 3,987 540 359 66.6% 5.68 318
Projected Franchise Rank 7th 3rd 12th 1st 1st 10th 10th

CORRECTION (Dec. 25, 4:10 p.m.): The initial version of this article incorrectly stated that Art Monk holds the franchise record for most the 100-yard receiving games in a single season, when in reality that record belongs to Bobby Mitchell.  The correction has been made in the text above.

CORRECTION (Dec. 28, 11:22 a.m.): The original versions of this article incorrectly stated that the offense did not go three-and-out for the first this year, when the offense did in fact go three-and-out on one drive in the game.  The correction has been made.