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Snap Judgments: Week 4 Giants @ Redskins- OFFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their offensive players in Week 4

Patrick Smith

Thursday night's game against the Giants was an unmitigated disaster.  The Giants beat the Redskins in all three phases of the game and a 45-14 massacre was the end result.  If the week 4 Redskins were a dead body, it would be hard to identify them.  Consider this article the autopsy of the offense.  Dr. Dorsett's lab notes and cause of death can be found below.  This is certainly not for the faint of heart, but in order to fix something, we must first understand what is wrong with it.

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

The Offense ran 55 snaps

  • This is the lowest number of snaps that the offense has recorded in 2014.  The next lowest was the snaps 65 against the Texans in Week 1.
  • 37 Passing Snaps (67%) and 18 Rushing Snaps (33%). 
  • This is the lowest rushing play percentage on the season, but not by much.  Washington only rushed on 34% and 35% of their snaps against Houston and Philadelphia respectively.  This is below this year's NFL average of approximately 42%.
  • I don't think this can be blamed entirely on game script/flow either, as the offense passed on 21 of 29 first-half snaps (72%).  In the first half, the Redskins were averaging 6.14 yards per rush and the team never trailed by more than two scores when the offense was on the field.
  • The Redskins trailed the Giants for 49 of their 55 offensive snaps (89%).  The other six snaps occurred at the beginning of the game when they were tied 0-0 (11%).  This is the biggest disparity in this category so far this season.  The next closest was in Week 2 when the Redskins led the Jaguars for 87% of their snaps on offense.
  • According to the ESPN play-by-play log, the Redskins ran 2 no-huddle snaps against the Giants (4%).  Washington has not used the hurry-up offense on more than 3 snaps in a game so far this season.
  • Washington scored on just 2 of their 13 drives on Thursday night, while 10 of the 11 other drives either resulted in a turnover (6 turnovers) or a three-and-out (4 times).  The 13th and final drive of the game lasted just one play.
  • Before this game, the Redskins were tied for the NFL lead with 10 ten-play drives (3.33 a game).  They only produced one such drive against the Giants (11 plays) and averaged 4.23 plays per drive.  Their next longest drive was just 6 plays long.
  • Five penalties (four accepted) were called against the offense for 30 yards.  Trent Williams was responsible for the lone pre-snap penalty (false start) and was also called for holding.  Williams leads the Redskins and the is tied for the NFL lead in penalties with 5 infractions on the year.  Washington ranks fourth-worst in the league in penalties per game (9.8) and penalty yards per game (96.8).

Team Snap Data:

Quarter Number of Snaps (%)
1st 13 (24%)
2nd 16 (29%)
3rd 16 (29%)
4th 10 (18%)
Down Number of Snaps (%)
1st 29 (53%)
2nd 17 (31%)
3rd 9 (16%)
4th 0 (0%)
Field Position Number of Snaps (%)
Redskins Side 44 (80%)
Giants Side 10 (18%)
Midfield 1 (2%)
At/Inside Own 20 17 (31%)
Red Zone 3 (5%)
Goal-to-Go 2 (4%)
Formation Number of Snaps (%)
Under Center 21 (38%)
Total Shotgun 34 (62%)
30 (55%)
Pistol 4 (7%)
Play Type Number of Snaps (%)
Regular Pass 25 (45%)
Regular Run 14 (25%)
Play Action 8 (15%)
Screen 4 (7%)
Zone Read 2 (4%)
Draw 1 (2%)
Reverse 1 (2%)
  • Washington was absolutely destroyed in the field position battle.  Only 18% of the offense's snaps occurred on New York's side of the field, and a whopping 31% of the snaps took place at or inside Washington's own 20-yard line.  Three red-zone snaps isn't pretty either.  It should be no surprise that these are all season lows.
  • The Redskins still implemented a few zone-read/read-option plays even with Captain Kirk at the controls.  There were actually three zone-read plays, but one was counted as a play-action pass. 
  • Gruden has called a reverse in three of the four games this year.  Two of them have not worked and the other attempt resulted in a gain of 19 yards.  He should probably cut down on these calls a bit.
  • Four screen plays were dialed up for the second week in a row.  This time two of them went to running back, Roy Helu, with the other two going to receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.  Unfortunately, the four plays only produced 3 yards of offense and a 5-yard penalty. 

Personnel Groupings:

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

  • 1st number = # of Running Backs (including fullbacks) 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 33 (60%)
12 4 (7%)
13 1 (2%)
21 14 (25%)
22 3 (5%)
  • This was by far the least that the Redskins have used the 12 personnel this season (total snaps and %), and it was the first week in which the 12 personnel was not the second-most utilized grouping.  It's kind of hard to use many two-tight end sets when you only have one only healthy TE on the roster.
  • The two touchdowns were scored from the 11 and the 21 personnel.  Four of the Redskins twelve touchdowns have been scored from the 11 personnel (33%).  That is tied with the 23 grouping for the most this year.
  • It's somewhat surprising that the offense didn't show any four-wide receiver looks on Thursday when you consider that there was only one healthy tight end left and that team was trailing for almost 90% of the game.  Gruden had used the 01 personnel in each of the team's two previous losses.

Individual Player Snaps:

Name Pos Snaps Snap %
Kory Lichtensteiger C 55 100%
Chris Chester
G 55 100%
Tyler Polumbus T 55 100%
Kirk Cousins QB 55 100%
Josh LeRiebus G 51 93%
Trent Williams T 45 82%
Pierre Garcon WR 45 82%
DeSean Jackson WR 44 80%
Logan Paulsen TE 41 75%
Andre Roberts WR 39 71%
Alfred Morris RB 30 55%
Roy Helu RB 25 45%
Niles Paul TE 21 38%
Darrel Young FB 17 31%
Tom Compton T/TE 12 22%
Aldrick Robinson WR 6 11%
Ryan Grant WR 5 9%
Spencer Long G 4 7%
Colt McCoy QB 0 0%
Morgan Mosses T 0 0%
Silas Redd RB 0 0%

  • There were 21 active offensive players in this game.  All of them except Colt McCoy, Morgan Mosses and Silas Redd recorded an offensive snap.  Shawn Lauvao, Santana Moss, Robert Griffin and Jordan Reed were declared inactive.  Niles Paul and Trent Williams were injured and ceded snaps to backups Logan Paulsen (played every second half snap) and Tom Compton (played every 4th quarter snap).
  • Chris Chester is now the only Redskins player on the entire team (offense and defense) that has not missed a snap thus far in the 2014 season.......God help us.
  • This was Josh LeRiebus' first career start.  Prior to Thursday night's contest, the 2012 third-round pick had only recorded a snap in 4 games (including one playoff game).  According to NFL gamebooks and the snap data that I've collected this year, LeRiebus was on the field for a combined 105 snaps across those four games. That is just about the equivalent of a game and a half of experience.
  • This was the second game that Spencer Long has been active for and the first in which he has recorded an offensive snap.  He took over for Josh LeRibeus at left guard on the last four snaps of the game.
  • Andre the "Slot King" Roberts, led the team in slot snaps once again with 29.  No other player had more than seven.  Roberts has played on every single 11 personnel snap so far this season (141 of 141).
  • The large deficit helped Roy Helu get on the field more, as he posted his highest snap share/ percentage on the year (45%).  Helu was the running back for all nine third-down snaps (100%).  He was the lead back on 62% of the Redskins passing plays, and for the second week in a row exactly 23 of his 25 snaps (92%) came on plays in which the offense passed the ball.   

Team Records, Streaks & Rankings:


  • The Redskins fell to 65-96-4 against the Giants all-time (including playoffs).  The 96 losses ties the NFL mark for the most defeats that one team has suffered against another team in NFL history - the Lions are 67-96-5 versus the Bears.  Also, per the CBS/NFL Network telecast, Eli Manning is now tied for the most all-time regular season wins by any quarterback against the Redskins (14-6).
  • Washington has now lost 11 of the last 12 and 16 of the last 20 games.  They have also lost eight in a row to division foes.  They are 2-3 in Thursday night games all-time and 3-16 in prime time games since 2008.
  • The six turnovers at home is tied for the most since 1986 by a Redskins team (28 years).
  • This the 22nd time since 1940 that a team that was favored by 3.5 or more and lost by 31 or more points.
  • The 31-point margin of the defeat is tied for the 10th highest at home in franchise history (including playoffs).

Individual Players/Coaches

  • Jay Gruden has lost a challenge in every game and is now 0 for 4 on the season.  All four challenges have been related to whether a catch was made or not.
  • Alfred Morris (3,204 yards) passed Ladell Betts (3,176) for 9th in career rushing yards by a Redskin.  At his current 2014 rate of 79 rushing yards per game, he will finish the season as the 5th leading rushing in Redskins history behind only Stephen Davis, Larry Brown, Clinton Portis and John Riggins.
  • Morris tied single game careers highs in targets (3), receptions (3) and receiving yards (27).  This was the first game in which he had been targeted this season.  He has only been targeted in 4 of the last 18 games. 
  • The Redskins have run 17 plays on 3rd down with 1-3 yards to go in 2014.  The 17 plays have consisted of 12 passes and 5 runs.  Only one of those runs went to Alfred Morris.  Morris is averaging 4.5 yards per carry.  Run the ball, Jay!
  • Kirk Cousins has thrown 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his 11 career regular season games.  He has also lost 3 fumbles (18 total turnovers).  Washington's record is 3-8 in his 11 games and 1-5 in his 6 career starts.  If Cousins had enough career attempts to qualify, he would be the NFL's active career leader in interception rate/ percentage (4.7%).  First place currently belongs to Rex Grossman (3.8%).

Snap Judgments: Week 1 Redskins @ Texans- OFFENSE

Snap Judgments: Week 2 Jaguars @ Redskins- OFFENSE

Snap Judgments: Week 3 Redskins @ Eagles- OFFENSE