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Throwback Thursday: The Redskins' Run Game

With the changes to the Redskins' running back crew this year, how does the run game compare to last year?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Fight for Old DC: The 2014 Run Game

Games Played Total Yards Touchdowns
Alfred Morris 16 1,074 8
Roy Helu 14 216 1
Silas Redd 15 75 1
Chris Thompson 2 12 0

Clearly, the leader of the pack in 2014 was Alfred Morris.  Morris held up for all 16 games, and he totaled approximately five times more yards than his closest competition.  However, one of fans' biggest frustrations was the perceived lack of consistent dedication to the run game.  At FedEx Field, I remember hearing the collective groans and angry shouts as the quarterbacks in burgundy and gold dropped back and the running backs moved through the plays, empty handed. Positively speaking, Alfred Morris was sixth in the NFL for rushing yards and the team was tied for ninth in the NFL for rushing touchdowns.  When it came to total yards, though, the team fell to 19th. Would we see anything different with a few changes to the running back personnel and a permanent change at quarterback for the 2015 season?

Current State of Affairs: The 2015 Run Game

Games Played Total Yards Touchdowns
Alfred Morris 5 276 0
Matt Jones 5 220 3
Chris Thompson 5 108 0

This year, the Redskins seem to be relying much more on a committee than any one player.  What has that mean for the team?  When looking at touchdowns, the Redskins have dropped to a tie for 13th place in the NFL.  They have improved, though, in terms of total yards, and they are currently tied for 9th in the league.  There are still questions to be answered, like whether or not Jones is being prepared as Morris' replacement for 2016 and whether or not the team will stick to the mostly balanced attack they've shown in their games so far.

And the winner is...

Even with question marks, I think you have to give it to the 2015 rushing attack.  It's early in the season, and the team has plenty of time to move further up the rankings in rushing touchdowns.  The things I like, though, are that the Redskins have moved up the rankings in terms of total yards, and that they seem to be using the players' strengths.  When Morris struggles to get going, Matt Jones is brought in for a change of pace, and vice versa.  Chris Thompson has had his shining moments, too.  Opposing teams have to prepare for a three-headed monster, and all three players are capable of scoring points and breaking for big runs (although Morris may not get as far as his speedier counterparts).

(Note: For this article, I only looked stats for players on the roster as running backs.  Stats for our fullback, quarterbacks, and wide receivers were not considered.)