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Snap Judgments: Week 2 Jaguars @ Redskins - OFFENSE

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Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their offensive players in Week 2

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins finally snapped their losing streak by defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in Sunday's home opener; but the victory came at cost, as Robert Griffin III suffered a dislocated ankle on the ninth snap of the game.  I am certainly troubled by this, but at the same time I don't think the season or even this game should be marred by this injury.

I strongly believe that Griffin is the better overall talent and player, but at the same time I think that Kirk Cousins is the better "quarterback" right now, and thus he actually may give Washington a better change to win this season.  Sure, this may hurt Griffin's development a bit, because there is no experience like on-the-field-experience; however, I don't think it can hurt for him to get some more time to A) finish recovering from his ACL tear; B) master the playbook and C) watch a more traditional pocket QB run Jay Gruden's offense.

The only problem is that Cousins might look too good, and the public might be to quick to forget what they have in Griffin (and won't they don't in Cousins).  If this happens and if Griffin's potential resulting frustration leads to more friction in the locker room, then there may be a problem.  That's an issue for another day though.  It's time to bask in the glory of the big win with some snaps and stats data.

***Data Disclaimer: This is my own count after watching the game tape.  Snap data for kneel-down/victory formation snaps and plays negated by pre-snap penalties are not included.***

The Offense ran 84 snaps

  • This is the most offensive snaps that the Redskins have taken in the Robert Griffin III Griffin/Cousins era (since 2011).  One kneel down and two pre-snap penalties were not included in this count.
  • 43 Passing Snaps (51%) and 41 Rushing Snaps (49%).  This is about as run-heavy as you will see a NFL team get in this day and age.
  • All 21 active offensive players recorded a snap; although, Morgan Moses' one snap was part of the victory formation on the last play of the game, so it was omitted from this count.  Jordan Reed, Santana Moss, Spencer Long and Colt McCoy were declared inactive for the game.  Moss, Long and McCoy were also inactive in week one.  Four offensive players were injured in this game: Griffin, Jackson, Young and Lauvao.
  • The Redskins led the Jaguars during 73 (87%) of their offensive snaps.  They were tied with them for their first 11 offensive snaps (13%) of the game.
  • All three first-half timeouts and two second-half timeouts were used.  One of the first-half timeouts was taken away when Gruden lost a challenge.  This is the second week in a row that Gruden has lost a challenge in which a suspect call was not overturned.
  • The Redskins ran three no-huddle snaps (4%), and a fourth one that resulted in a false start penalty.
  • Five penalties were called against the offense.  Holding was called against Kory Lichtensteiger (offsetting) and Aldrick Robinson, false start against Shawn Lauvao and Trent Williams and unsportsmanlike conduct against Williams.  Williams leads the offense with three penalties on the season.  He is also tied for second on the team with the most QB pressures allowed.  He needs to keep his focus and work on his consistency if he wants to live up to his potential and become the best tackle in the league.
  • The Redskins scored on 7 of their 12 drives (a 13th drive consisted of one kneel-down).  They scored touchdowns on 3 of their first 5 drives, and only had 1 three-and-out on the day.  This is in quite a stark contrast to last week's results, when they scored on just 1 of their 11 drives and had 4 three-and-outs which all occurred in their first 6 drives.
Quarter Number of Snaps (%)
1st 21 (25%)
2nd 27 (32%)
3rd 21 (25%)
4th 15 (18%)
Down Number of Snaps (%)
1st 39 (46%)
2nd 28 (33%)
3rd 15 (18%)
4th 2 (2%)
Field Position Number of Snaps (%)
Redskins Side 38 (45%)
Jaguars Side 46 (55%)
Inside Own 20 6 (7%)
Red Zone 24 (29%)
Goal-to-Go 7 (8%)
Formation Number of Snaps (%)
Under Center 29 (35%)
Total Shotgun 55 (65%)
Shotgun 27 (32%)
Pistol 28 (33%)
Play Type Number of Snaps (%)
Regular Pass 31 (37%)
Regular Run 39 (46%)
Screen 1 (1%)
Read-Option 2 (2%)
Play-Action 10 (12%)
Reverse 1 (1%)

  • Nearly 50% of offensive snaps were first-down snaps and just under 80% of them came on either first or second down.  There were only 15 third-down snaps (18%) for the offense in the game.  These are impressive numbers; especially, when you consider the high total offensive snap count of 84.
  • More than half of the offense's snaps took place on the Jacksonville side of the field and nearly a third of them came in the red zone.  This was a much needed improvement from last week's results, when the offense only took 28% of its snaps in enemy territory, with 8% of them coming in the red zone.
  • Washington operated out of under center formations much more than they did last week - almost doubling from 18% to 35%.  We can't be sure if this had more to do with Cousins being more comfortable with it than Griffin or the offense using it to run the ball at a higher rate with its sizable lead.
  • Robert Griffin used some form of the read-option on three of his nine plays (33%).  Two of the three plays were runs by Griffin and the third was a read-option fake that led to a play-action pass (this third play was counted as "play-action").  Each of the three plays resulted in a first down.  He clearly looked more comfortable in this game, and the use of the read-option almost certainly played a part in this.
  • Washington's success on the ground allowed the team to utilize more play-action (10 snaps/12%).  It's no surprise that Morris was on the field for 90% of the play-action snaps. 
  • Gruden called a reverse/end-around for the second week in a row.  Last week Jackson lost 9 yards on his attempt, while Roberts gained 19 on his try this week.  One wide receiver screen was used (Aldrick Robinson was led by a Trent Williams block).

Personnel Groupings:

Below is the snap breakdown of of the personnel groupings that were used 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 (%)
11 42 (50%)
12 15 (18%)
21 15 (18%)
22 8 (10%)
23 4 (5%)

  • The 01 and 02 personnel were used on a total of 5 combined snaps (8%) last week and neither grouping was used against Jacksonville.
  • The Redskins opted to go with a "heavier" look in this game as their usage of the 12, 21 and 23 groupings all increased in number and percentage.  The 22 personnel was also used for the first time this season.
  • Three of the Redskins five touchdowns were scored with the 23 grouping (two running backs and three tight ends) on the field.  The other two touchdowns came out of the 21 and 11 personnel.  It should be noted that the 11 personnel score by Silas Redd incorporated Tom Compton as a tight end.  Compton is a linemen and he is listed as such in the upcoming player snaps table, but all of his snaps in this game and on the season (13 total) have technically come as an extra tight end.

Individual Player Snaps:

  • Pierre Garcon saw the most snaps by any skill position player (72 snaps/ 86%).
  • This week's leaders in slot snaps were Andre Roberts (34 snaps/ 52%) and Niles Paul (14 snaps/ 24%).  Roberts slot usage actually declined this week due to the fact he had to step in for DeSean Jackson in two-wide sets.  He worked out of the slot on almost 80% of his snaps last week.  On a totally unrelated but exciting note, Roberts leads the NFL in punt return yards.
  • Jackson's injury also led to a big bump in playing time for Ryan Grant.  His snap count and snap percentage jumped from 5 to 36 and from 8% to 43% respectively.  He made the most of the opportunity by hauling in five of his eight targets for 57 yards on the day.  He trailed only Niles Paul in targets and receiving yards.
  • Darrel Young also saw a lot more of the field this week.  He was exclusively used in the 21, 22 and 23 personnel groupings.  He split out wide twice and each time recorded a reception, one of which was a 20 yard touchdown catch.
  • The Redskins passed on 23 (74%) of Roy Helu's snaps and ran on the other 8 (26%).  He was the running back for 11 of the 15 third-down plays (73%).  Alfred Morris recorded all six of the team's goal-to-go carries and leads the NFL in that department and in red zone carries with 10.
  • This was by far the most snaps that Niles Paul had ever played (59).  In his 46 game NFL career, he had only topped 35 snaps on one other occasion.  Paul also set career highs in targets, receptions and receiving yards.  His 185 receiving yards on the year ranks second by a tight end, behind only Jimmy Graham.  Paul leads all tight ends in yards per route run (3.85) and is third overall in the NFL behind Darren Sproles and Andre Johnson.
  • According to Pro Football Focus, Kirk Cousins tied his career high in snaps against the Jaguars.  This was the first game in which he has played over 50% of the team's snaps and did not commit a turnover.  He leads the league in aDOT, average depth of target, and is ranked second in success rate.  Griffin actually had a very poor success rate in week one, despite posting a very high completion percentage.    

Team Records & Rankings:

  • Sunday's win snapped a nine game losing streak for the Redskins.  It was the longest active losing streak in the NFL and the team's longest losing streak since they lost 17 in a row between the 1960 and 1961 seasons.
  • Pierre Garcon's 17 game streak of games with at least 5 receptions and 7 targets was snapped.  He ceded much of his normal workload to Paul, Roberts and Grant and only caught one pass on four targets.
  • The 31 point margin of victory is the second highest in the Dan Snyder era (since 1999), and it is the tied for the 18th highest in franchise history (since 1932).  The 41 points scored are the second most since 2010 and the 5th most since 1999.  The 449 yards of total offense are the 10th most since 2010 and the 18th most since 1999.
  • The defense isn't the only group on this team that has posted gaudy numbers so far in the young 2014 season.  The offense ranks 5th in total yards, 11th in points scored, 10th in passing yards, 1st in completion %, 3rd in rushing yards, 6th in yards per carry and 1st in rushing TDs.
  • We do, however, need to be mindful of the fact that half of these numbers are derived from this game against the Jaguars.  Their defense ranks 29th in total yards, 32nd in points allowed, 25th in pass defense and 28th in rush defense.  Now granted, Washington is responsible for a lot of that, but it's too early to tell if this win had more to do with them being a bad team or the Redskins being a good one.  We should get a better idea of where the Redskins really stand when they face off against the first-place Eagles in week three.

Snap Judgments: Week 1 Redskins @ Texans- OFFENSE