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Snap Judgements: Week 1 Redskins @ Houston - OFFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their offensive players in Week 1

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The offense carried it's preseason struggles over into the regular season as it produced just six points in the season opener against the Texans.  To paraphrase the immortal words of the Ol' Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier: Ok, we scored six points.  Not very good! Unfortunately, I'm not like coach Spurrier, and I like to delve a little bit deeper into things.  To whet my appetite for knowledge of Redskins football I charted every offensive snap in the week one contest against Houston.  Here is what I found.

***Data Disclaimer: This is my own count after watching the game tape.***

The offense ran 65 snaps

  • 42 Passing Snaps (66%) and 23 Rushing Snaps (34%)
  • 18 of the 21 active offensive players played an offensive snap.  Josh LeRiebus and Silas Redd only saw the field for one special teams snap.  Kirk Cousins services were not needed.  Santana Moss, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long and Colt McCoy were declared inactive for the game.
  • The Redskins were tied with the Texans during 23 (35%) of their offensive snaps.  They trailed them on the other 42 snaps (65%).
  • It was very difficult to track, but I only charted 3 no-huddle snaps (5%) for the offense. 
  • Just under 90% of the snaps resulted in either a standard run or pass, but there were a few exceptions.  There were just about 3 rollout/bootleg plays (5%) and 3 screens (5% with two going to WRs and one going to a RB).  One reverse (2%) was also run to DeSean Jackson for a loss of 9 yards.  More screens and less reverses please.
  • The 65 snaps occurred over the course of 11 drives (four in the 1st quarter, three in the 2nd and two in both the 3rd and 4th quarters).  Four of the eleven drives resulted in three-and-outs (4 of the first 6 drives).  Their average starting field position was the Washington 20.2 yard line (30th in NFL).  The offense ran just under 6 plays a drive.
  • There were three penalties against the offense.  Intentional grounding against Griffin, holding against Trent Williams and the only pre-snap penalty was a false start on Chris Chester.  All three first-half timeouts were used (one with the Andre Roberts out of bounds challenge) and one was used in the second half.
  • Check out the table below for much more team offensive snap data.

Quarter Number of Snaps (%)
1st 12 (18%)
2nd 22 (34%)
3rd 17 (26%)
4th 14 (22%)
Down Number of Snaps (%)
1st 31 (48%)
2nd 20 (31%)
3rd 13 (20%)
4th 1 (2%)
Field Position Number of Snaps (%)
Inside Own 20 14 (22%)
Redskins Side 47 (72%)
Houston Side 18 (28%)
Red Zone 5 (8%)
Goal-to-Go 2 (3%)
Formation Number of Snaps (%)
Under Center 12 (18%)
Total Shotgun 53 (82%)
Reg. Shotgun 31 (48%)
Pistol 22 (34%)

  • It took a little while for the offense to get going (again there were 4 three-and-outs in the first 6 drives), but the team finally settled down in the second quarter.  This is when the lone score occurred, and when over a third of the offensive snaps took place.  The number of snaps for the offense decreased each quarter thereafter.
  • The Redskins spent too much time on their own side of the field.  I don't know what the league average is, but I'd have to assume that it's a little bit better than 28%.
  • Griffin sure does love the shotgun.  The Redskins ran a play out of some form of it on over 80% of the snaps.  Nine of the 12 snaps (75%) from under center were run plays.  Let's try not to be so obvious, guys.

Personnel Groupings:

Below is the snap breakdown of of the personnel groupings along with a quick primer on how the coding is done:

  • 1st number = # of Running Backs (including full backs) on the field
  • 2nd number= # of Tight Ends on the field
  • The number of Wide Receivers is determined by subtracting the sum of the other two numbers from the number five.
Personnel Number of Snaps (%)
01 4 (6%)
02 1 (2%)
11 38 (58%)
12 10 (15%)
13 3 (5%)
21 7 (11%)
23 2 (3%)

  • The 11 was clearly Jay Gruden's personnel of choice on Sunday.  This is no surprise, as this is typically the case for most NFL teams, and because we obviously want to get Andre Roberts out there with Garcon and Jackson as much as possible. 
  • The 12 personnel group (two tight ends) was the second most utilized set.
  • Tom Compton was able to get on the field as a third tight end in the 13 grouping, and Darrel Young saw most of his action as a fullback in the 21 personnel.

Individual Player Snaps:

  • In his first game as a Redskin, DeSean Jackson led the way with the most snaps by any skill position player (60 snaps/90%).
  • Garcon and Roberts also saw their fair share of time with 56 (86%) and 49 (75%) snaps respectively.  Aldrick Robinson and rookie, Ryan Grant, each saw 5 snaps (8%).
  • Andre Roberts is the Redskins newly designated "slot machine".  He saw nearly 40 snaps (just under 80% of his snaps) from out of the slot.  No other Redskin had more than ten such snaps.
  • Niles Paul saw the field quite a bit more than usual because of the early injury to Jordan Reed (26 snaps/40%).
  • Alfred Morris out-snapped Roy Helu 38 (58%) to 23 (35%).  Helu played in 9 of the 13 third down snaps (70%), while Morris played in 2.  Morris ran the show on 22 of the team's 31 first down snaps (71%), while Helu took the other 9.  Eighteen of Helu's twenty-three snaps were on passing plays (78%).
  • Finally, we'll wrap it all up with the special teams snaps.