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Throwback Thursday: Redskins and Rookie Quarterbacks

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How did the Redskins fare the last time they took on a rookie quarterback?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Fight for Old DC: November 2, 2014

Last November, the Redskins traveled to TCF Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Vikings and their rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.  You may remember this game as the one where the Redskins buses crashed on the way to the stadium?  Some fans predicted the crash was a bad omen, and it was.  The Redskins lost the game.  How did they hold up against the first round draft pick under center for Minnesota, though?  Their performance was a mixed bag.

Out of 13 matches that Teddy Bridgewater played in 2014, he tied for his highest number of passing attempts when he played the Redskins (42) and also managed to put up some of his higher yardage numbers (268), with this game ranking 4th out of 13.  The Redskins' defense was a little worse than their season averages against the former Louisville signal caller.  Bridgewater's 268 passing yards was above the defense's average of giving up 249 yards.  The two sacks they tallied were lower than their season average of 3.6 per game, and the zero interceptions was below the 0.5 season average, though clearly interceptions were not one of the team's strong suits last year.

Modern State of Affairs: October 25, 2015

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick in the 2015 draft.  Winston shows promise in the role, but he also shows the inconsistencies of a rookie, which leaves the Redskins with a chance for a big defensive showing after last week's second half collapse.  Winston is averaging just over one interception and two sacks per game, both of which are higher numbers than the Redskins defense has been putting up.  After the first six games, the Redskins are averaging one interception every two games and just over one sack per game.

Where the defense will need to be on guard is, again, yardage and completion rates.  Winston is averaging 195 yards for the Bucs with a 56.6% completion rate, below the Redskins' defense averages of 222.5 yards allowed with a 61.8% completion rate.  That should be good news for the burgundy and gold, but if the Redskins' defense comes out flat, Winston has all the opportunity in the world to pad his numbers and take advantage of a defense that's allowing quarterbacks to do more.  The Redskins will have to, as Bashaud Breeland said is the plan this week, disrupt and rattle Winston from the start.

And the winner is...

cautiously, this season.  Even though last week was rough, there are a few pieces in place that leave me feeling slightly optimistic.  One: Defensive Coordinator, Joe Barry, talked today in his press conference about ramping up practices halfway through to work on the struggles his unit has been having in the third quarter.  At least the coaching staff, which had me a little worried when Gruden said he didn't know what the problem was (isn't that a coach's job?), is making some kind of change to try to address the issues.  Two: Even with a decimated secondary with starting corners that still aren't practicing, some other players have stepped up.  Breeland had a monster first half last week, and he can hopefully build on that success against a less experience quarterback this Sunday.  Can other players join him this week and truly make their presence felt?  We will see.