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Skins Snaps & Stats: Browns @ Redskins

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A look at the snap counts and stats for every player on the Redskins in the team's Week 4 matchup against the winless Cleveland Browns

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE

Of the Redskins' 24 offensive players, 18 of them saw action across 62 snaps.  Of the six that did not: four were inactive (Nate Sudfeld, Josh Doctson, Shawn Lauvao and Vinston Painter), one only played on special teams (John Sullivan) and one was active but did not take a snap of any kind (Colt McCoy).  Ty Nsekhe, Robert Kelley and Rashad Ross were the only players with an offensive snap that did not see the field on at least 12 plays (4 combined snaps between the trio).  Ryan Grant was the only other contributing offensive player with fewer than 20 snaps.

Jay Gruden and Sean McVay seem to have figured out that you can't pass the ball 80% of the time and expect to win.  Assuming that the rushing issues have been resolved, then the offense's biggest remaining issues appear to be scoring touchdowns in the red zone and committing penalties.  Things went well in one area against Cleveland, and not so well in the other.

After ranking 11th in red zone TD percentage last year (58.5%), they came into this game in 31st (21.4%).  However, they turned things around against the Browns, by scoring touchdowns on four of their five trips to the red zone (80%).  Washington still ranks 30th in the NFL in this statistic, though (36.8%).

Unfortunately, the penalty flags still rained down on the Redskins in this one, as the team committed 8 accepted or more penalties for 51 or more yards for the fourth consecutive game to start the season.  And just for your information, I am bringing this up here, because 56% of the team's accepted penalties have come on offense compared to 36% on defense (only 2 on ST).  Washington has now committed the fifth most accepted penalties (34) for the 14th most yards (251 yards).  They also lead the league in total pre-snap penalties with 17 of them; the next closest team has committed 14 such infractions.

The Redskins' offense currently ranks in the top ten in: total yards (8th), yards per drive (4th), yards per play (3rd), first downs (10th), points scored (10th) and points per drive (5th).

Quarterbacks (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Kirk Cousins * 62 100%
Colt McCoy 0 0%
Nate Sudfeld Inactive N/A
  • Kirk Cousins- Kirk Cousins completed 21 of his 27 passes (78%) for 183 yards, 12 first downs, 3 touchdowns and an interception in the game.  His completion percentage, touchdown total, passer rating (116.5) and passing success rate (57%) were all season bests.  His 183 passing yards in the game represents his fourth lowest career total across 29 starts.  That's a pretty low number for Cousins when you consider that he's averaged 288.6 yards per game as a starter in his career.  Cousins is the all time NFL leader in passing yards per start (total career passing yards/total career starts) among quarterbacks with 25 or more starts and 200 or more passing yards per game played.  He averages six more yards passing per start than second place Drew Brees does (282.6 yards).
  • Quick/Short Passing- Cousins completed 85.7% of his passes in which he released the ball within 2.5 seconds of the snap against the Browns.  He had a QB rating of 131.3 on those plays.  Both numbers were the second best in Week 4 across the league.  On plays not negated by penalties, Cousins only attempted one pass longer than 20 yards in the air, and only 5 of his 26 aimed passes were thrown farther than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage (only two completions on those plays).
  • Red Zone- One of Cousins' best attributes in 2015 was his red zone passing, but going into this game it was his biggest issue in 2016.  In Weeks 1-3, he threw a combined two interceptions and one touchdown in the red area, and that gave him a passer rating of just 18.3.  Things took a turn for the better on Sunday when Cousins completed 3 of his 5 RZ passes (60%) for 22 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.  Those numbers were good for a passer rating of 110.0.  That means that he tripled his touchdown output from the first three weeks and upped his rating by nearly 100. 
Wide Receivers (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
DeSean Jackson * 48 77%
Pierre Garcon * 44 71%
Jamison Crowder * 34 55%
Ryan Grant 12 19%
Rashad Ross 1 2%
Josh Doctson Inactive N/A
  • DeSean Jackson- Jackson received just two targets in the game and caught one of them for a gain of five yards.  His target, reception and yardage numbers in this game are tied for his 5th, 4th and 5th worst totals of his career.  Jackson has played in 123 career games (116 regular season and 7 playoffs), so that is saying something.  He has only played in five other games in which he posted worse numbers in any of the aforementioned statistics.  Snap data is available for three of those five games.  Here are his snap counts in those contests: 12, 12 and 0.  He led all Skins wideouts with 48 snaps on Sunday. 
  • Jackson Seeing Yellow- However, to be fair, I must note that he drew a pass interference penalty on two other targets (71 penalty yards on Cleveland); but those do not officially count as targets, because penalties were accepted on the plays.  The Redskins scored touchdowns on both drives in which Jackson drew a PI.  Jackson has now forced three pass interference penalties for 117 yards this season.  The league-wide numbers are not in yet, but Jackson may lead the NFL in both categories.
  • Pierre Garcon- No wide receiver on either team had more than 46 yards (Terrelle Pryror led all WRs in yards).  Pierre Garcon led all Redskins wideouts in targets (5), receptions (4), first downs (2), receiving yards (39), long reception (23) and yards per target (7.8).  Garcon has been targeted at least five times and has caught at least two first-down passes in every game this season.  His second catch of the game was his 500th career reception.  He is only one of 128 players in NFL history with 500 or more career receptions.  There are only ten other active players on that list
  • Other WRs- Jamison Crowder saw a season low in snaps (34), snap percentage (55%), targets (3), receptions (2), first downs (1) and yards (21). He also did not return a punt for the first time this season.  Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross were not targeted on 13 combined snaps between them.  On 55 combined snaps this season, the duo has totaled just three targets, one reception and five yards.  Spoiler Alert: they probably aren't good NFL players and we shouldn't count on them to be major contributors going forward; I don't care how good they are in the preseason. 
Tight Ends (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Jordan Reed * 55 89%
Vernon Davis 34 55%
Niles Paul 18 29%
  • Jordan Reed- Jordan Reed led all Redskins backs and receivers in snaps (55), targets (10), red zone targets (2), receptions (9), receiving first downs (6), long offensive play (26 yards), receiving yards (73), and touchdowns (2).  All of those numbers with the exceptions of snaps and targets were season highs for Reed.  He actually led the game in all of those categories among backs and receivers except for snaps (Pryor played 67 snaps).  Reed has finished each week of the season with either the most or the second most snaps, targets and receiving first downs among backs and receivers on the Redskins. 
  • Reed's Rankings- He leads all Washington receivers and backs in snaps (227), targets (35), receptions (25), receiving first downs (16), receiving yards (263) and touchdowns (2). Here are Reed's NFL rankings in those categories among tight ends: 11th in snaps, 2nd in targets, 1st in receptions, 1st in receiving first downs, 3rd in receiving yards and 3rd in receiving touchdowns.  The only tight end that bests Reed in more than one of those categories is Greg Olsen (5 more targets and 72 more receiving yards), who is averaging over 16 more snaps per game than Reed.  I've said it before and I'll say it again here: Jordan Reed is the best receiving tight end in the NFL.
  • Reed's Record- Reed became the fastest tight end to reach 200 career receptions in NFL history.  He hit and surpassed the mark, in this, his 38th game.  That broke Kellen Winslow's record of 39 games.  Winslow was one day away from being exactly a year younger than Reed when he reached 200 catches, though.  There have only been 35 other tight ends in league history that have hit 200 receptions by or before their age-26 season (Reed did it at 26 years and 91 days).  The thing is, that over 40% of those other 35 are either hall of famers or are in the top 20 in receptions at the position all time.   Reed became just the fourth tight end in team history to catch 200 passes (Chris Cooley, Jerry Smith and Don Warren).  Reed also scored multiple receiving touchdowns for the fifth time in his career, which is the seventh most such games by a Redskin since at least 1960.
Running Backs (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Matt Jones * 41 66%
Chris Thompson 20 32%
Robert Kelley 1 2%
  • Matt Jones- Matt Jones had his best game of the season and one of the best games in his career against the Browns on Sunday.  He set new season highs in: snaps (41), snap percentage (66%), rushing attempts (22), rushing yards (117), yards per carry (5.3), yards after contact per attempt (3.7), rushing success rate (64%), rushing first downs (9), total first downs (10), receiving yards (21) and both yards per reception and per target (10.5). Now here's how this performance stacks up in some of those statistics compared to the rest of Jones' career games: 3rd most snaps, 2nd highest snap percentage, most rushing attempts, 2nd most rushing yards, 2nd highest yards per carry average and 3rd most yards from scrimmage.  Jones, whose rushing and total yardage numbers have increased in each week this season, was Pro Football Focus' highest graded player on the Redskins (83.8).
  • Chris Thompson- Chris Thompson didn't get the spotlight in this one, but he did have a productive day on the ground and through the air.  Thompson rushed the ball three times for 24 yards (8 yard average) and a first down.  On 4 targets, he caught 2 receptions for 16 yards and 2 first downs.  One of those receptions was a touchdown.  The touchdown was Thompson's second this year and the fifth of his career.  Thompson earned PFF's 4th best offensive rating by a Redskins player in the game (70.7).  He returned a kickoff (Washington's only return of any kind in the game) for 26 yards.  His three returns this season have all gone for at least 25 yards, and his return average of 26.3 yards would rank third in the league if he had enough returns to qualify. 
Offensive Linemen (9)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Trent Williams * 62 100%
Arie Koundijo * 62 100%
Spencer Long * 62 100%
Brandon Scherff * 62 100%
Morgan Moses * 62 100%
Ty Nsekhe 2 3%
John Sullivan ST Only 0%
Shawn Lauvao Inactive N/A
Vinston Painter Inactive N/A
  • Offensive Line (Group)- The offensive line made big holes for the team's running backs, as the RBs averaged over 2 yards before contact in the game.  The group's pass blocking was not as impressive.  They allowed 7 total pressures on 30 dropbacks (23% pressure rate). 
  • Offensive Line (Individuals)- Trent Williams was responsible for one of Cousins' three sacks.  The player Williams was blocking got a second sack, but that one really should go against Kirk Cousins, who held onto the ball far too long.  Williams was, however, PFF's third highest Redskins offensive player in the game (77.3).  Arie Koundijo made his first NFL start (only 1 career snap prior) and committed two penalties and allowed four hurries.  Spencer Long got his first career start at center, but the team did not run straight up the middle once in the game.  Cousins' third sack could have easily been credited to either Brandon Scherff or Chris Thompson, as neither player picked up a safety blitz on the play.  Morgan Moses had allowed at least a sack and a hurry in each of the past two games, but he did not allow a single pressure against the Browns.  He was the second highest rated player on the offense (77.3) by PFF.  Ty Nsekhe came in as an extra linemen on two snaps.

DEFENSE

The Redskins sent out 22 of their 26 defenders on a season-high 72 defensive snaps.  Of the four defenders that did not take a snap, three of them were inactive (Anthony Lanier, Bashaud Breeland and Dashaun Philips) and one of them only participated on special teams (Deshazor Everett). Matt Ioannidis, Terrence Garvin, Martrell Spaight, Houston Bates, Ryan Kerrigan and Greg Toler were the only defenders in that group of 22 that played and recorded 11 or fewer snaps.

Joe Barry dialed up blitzes on approximately 36% of the Browns' dropbacks (league average rate is just about 31%).  The Redskins pressured Cody Kessler on 36% of his dropbacks.  The pressures did not only come on blitzes either; in fact, the defense's pressure rate dropped by 6% when Washington sent extra defenders.  The Redskins did not do a good job pressuring Kessler, but it didn't matter much on third down.

Kessler went 10-10 on the money down and Washington allowed Cleveland to convert on 8 of their 12 third downs (67%).  Six of those conversions came on Cleveland's eight third-and-long plays (75%).  The Redskins have allowed their opponents to convert their third downs at a rate of 57.4% (worst in the league), the 31st ranked team in the category has only allowed conversions on 47.1% of their opponent's third downs.  The NFL average is 40.37%.  Per John Keim, the Redskins have also allowed their opponents to convert 15 of their 25 third downs with 7 or more yards left to go.  That's a 60% conversion rate allowed.  The league average in those situations going into Monday night was 29.2%.

Another major problem for the defense is that they simply cannot stop the run.  The Redskins allowed the Browns to rush for 163 yards, 10 first downs and a touchdown on 28 attempts (36% first down percentage and 5.8 yards per carry).  Redskins' opponents have rushed for over 100 yards and scored a rushing touchdown in every game this season.  The defense has given up at least 5.7 yards per carry and allowed a first down on at least 36% of their opposition's runs in each of the last two games.

Washington's defense ranks 31st in yards per carry allowed (4.9 yards).  They rank dead last in the NFL in the following categories: rushing first downs allowed (33), rushing first down percentage allowed (30.3%), rushing touchdowns allowed (8),rushing success rate allowed (56%) and rush defense DVOA (13.8%).

The Redskins are far and away the worst team in the league against the run and on third down.

Defensive Linemen (7)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Chris Baker * 47 65%
Ziggy Hood * 42 58%
Ricky Jean Francois 30 42%
Cullen Jenkins 19 26%
Kendall Reyes 19 26%
Matt Ioannidis 7 10%
Anthony Lanier Inactive N/A
  • Chris Baker- Chris Baker led (or tied for the lead in) all Washington defensive linemen in snaps (47), solo tackles (2), assisted tackles (2), total tackles (4), tackles for a loss (1), PFF grade (79.1), QB hits (1) and pressure rate (9.7%).  He also helped to force a fumble.  Baker was PFF's third highest graded defender and fourth highest graded player on the team.
  • Other DL- Ziggy Hood was the only other D-linemen on the team that recorded a single QB pressure of any kind.  Hood was also credited with a forced fumble and a QB hit.  Kendall Reyes made two solo tackles and one assist.   Reyes had the best tackles-per-opportunity rate (23.5%) on the unit.  Cullen Jenkins and Ricky Jean Francois only tallied one solo tackle each on 38 combined snaps.  Matt Ioannidis saw his first defensive action of the year (7 snaps), but was blanked on the stat sheet.  Between this game and the preseason, Ioannidis has only made four assisted tackles (no other stats) on 102 defensive and 31 special teams snaps.  Three of the four assists came in one preseason game.
Outside Linebackers (4)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Trent Murphy 66 92%
Preston Smith * 63 88%
Houston Bates 11 15%
Ryan Kerrigan * 8 11%
  • Trent Murphy- Murphy led all outside backers in snaps (66), solo tackles (5), total tackles (5), tackles for a loss (2), QB pressures (4) and sacks (1).  Murphy's sack was his fourth of the year, which is a new single-season career high for him.  He has now recorded a sack in three consecutive games (career first).  Only eight other defensive players have an active streak of tallying a sack in three straight contests this year.
  • Preston Smith & Ryan Kerrigan- Preston Smith made three solo tackles and one assisted tackle.  He notched two tackles for a loss and led the team with two quarterback hits.  Smith was also responsible for two missed tackles.  Ryan Kerrigan injured his elbow and as a result only played on a career-low 8 snaps in the game.  He only shows up on the stat sheet because of a declined offsides penalty. 
  • Houston Bates- With Kerrigan out, Houston Bates got some extended run against Cleveland.  His 11 snaps in the game nearly tripled his playing time in Weeks 1-3 alone and represented the second highest total of his career (16 snaps in a meaningless Week 17 game against Dallas last season).  Those 11 snaps represent just under a quarter of his career defensive snaps (11 of 45).  Bates posted an assisted tackle, a run stop and a hurry during his limited time on the field.
Inside Linebackers (5)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Will Compton * 70 97%
Mason Foster 45 62%
Su'a Cravens * 27 38%
Terence Garvin 3 4%
Martrell Spaight 2 3%
  • Will Compton- Compton had arguably his best game of the season.  He was PFF's second highest graded defender and third highest graded player on the team.  He led the team with 6 assisted, 11 total tackles and 3 defensive stops.  Compton also recorded a quarterback hit and forced and recovered half of the Browns' fumbles (1 each).  The forced fumble and fumble recovery were the first and second of his career respectively.  On the downside of things, Compton missed two tackles and allowed all three of the targets in his direction to be completed for a total of 33 yards.  He was the only Redskins defender to allow a passer rating of over 100.
  • Mason Foster- Mason Foster was PFF's highest graded Redskins defender and second highest graded player on the entire team.  He had 3 solo tackles, two assisted tackles, five total tackles and a QB hit in the game.
  • Su'a Cravens- Cravens chipped in with two solo tackles, one assist, three total tackles, a tackle for a loss and a defended pass.  He was the only player in the front seven with a pass defense.  His snap count and snap percentage dropped for the first time this season.  However, that was mostly due to the fact that he was forced to leave the game late in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.  Had he continued to average nine snaps per quarter, he would have set new season highs in snap total and percentage (36 snaps and 50% snap percentage).  Both Terrence Garvin and Martrell Spaight played on a season high number of defensive snaps in Cravens absence.
Cornerbacks (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Josh Norman * 72 100%
Quinton Dunbar * 56 78%
Kendall Fuller * 45 62%
Greg Toler 9 12%
Bashaud Breeland Inactive N/A
Dashaun Philips Inactive N/A
  • Josh Norman- Norman played on every snap and led all Redskins in snaps yet again.  He has played on all 275 of Washington's defensive snaps this season.  Norman shadowed Terrelle Pryor and struggled against the converted quarterback in the first half, when he allowed Pryor to catch 4 passes for 4 first downs, 42 yards and a touchdown.  Norman also was called for a pass interference penalty on Pryor before halftime.  Norman flipped the script after that though and shut Pryor down in the second half.  Norman limited him to zero catches on four targets in the final half of the game and intercepted a Pryor target late in the fourth quarter.  He played zone and did not follow Pryor on his lone second-half catch (4 yards).  Norman may have also been responsible for forcing a fumble late in the game, despite not being credited for it by the NFL.
  • Kendall Fuller- Kendall Fuller started at slot corner in his first game.  Fuller gave up 6 catches on 6 targets for 31 yards in the game (4 receptions for 24 yards by Gary Barnidge).  He led the team in solo tackles (8) and had the second most total tackles (9).  Fuller also had the second best tackles-per-opportunity rate on the team (21.5%).  He did miss two tackles, though.

  • Quinton Dunbar & Greg Toler- Quinton Dunbar took Bashaud Breeland's spot in the lineup and got the start opposite Josh Norman (3rd career start).  Dunbar made three tackles and recorded his first career fumble recovery.  He was only targeted on 11% of his coverage snaps, which was the lowest rate by any Washington cornerback in the game.  That's in stark contrast to the 50% target rate (highest on the team) against fellow Breeland fill-in, Greg Toler.  Toler only played on nine snaps this week after acting as Breeland's primary replacement in Week 3 (43 snaps and 64% snap percentage).
Safeties (4)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Will Blackmon * 72 100%
David Bruton * 43 60%
Duke Ihenacho 36 50%
Deshazor Everett ST Only 0%
  • Safeties- Will Blackmon made his first career start at safety and played on all 72 defensive snaps (tied for Norman with the team lead in snaps against Cleveland).  Blackmon had the third most total tackles (7) and the second most assisted tackles (3) by a Redskin in the game.  He led the safety unit in tackles-per-opportunity rate (11.3%).  Sadly, that is the last even somewhat positive thing I have to say about the tackling ability of Washington's defenders.
  • Missed Tackles- The Redskins missed a whopping 18 tackles (11 of which were against Isaiah Crowell) and allowed 102 yards after first contact in the game.  Duke Ihenacho and Will Blackmon were the worst in this department with three and four missed tackles respectively (40% of the team total).  Going into Monday night, David Bruton, Blackmon and Ihenacho ranked 64th, 68th and 73rd among 74 qualifying safeties in Week 4 tackling efficiency.  Per Football Outsiders, the Redskins had allowed the 12th most broken tackles going into Week 4.  They are poised to take a massive jump in those rankings, and this is one of the very last things that you want to be ranked highly in.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Redskins special teams was on the field for a season-low 23 snaps.  That is the group's lowest snap total since Week 9 of last year and their third lowest since the start of the 2015 season.  The 34 players in the group were made up of 20 defenders, 11 offensive players and 3 specialists (Hopkins, Way and Nick Sundberg).  Outside of those specialists, Deshazor Everett and John Sullivan were the only players that saw action exclusively on special teams.  Chris Baker, Ryan Kerrigan and Kendall Reyes were the only defensive players that did not take a teams snap.

Special Teamers (34) Special Teamers (cont)
Player Snaps Snap % Player Snaps Snap %
Houston Bates 18 78% David Bruton 6 26%
Deshazor Everett 14 61% Will Compton 6 26%
Terence Garvin 14 61% Ziggy Hood 5 22%
Niles Paul 14 61% Matt Ioannidis 5 22%
Mason Foster 12 52% Arie Koundijo 5 22%
Dustin Hopkins 11 48% Spencer Long 5 22%
Duke Ihenacho 11 48% Morgan Moses 5 22%
Trent Murphy 11 48% Brandon Scherff 5 22%
Will Blackmon 10 43% John Sullivan 5 22%
Martrell Spaight 10 43% Ricky Jean Francois 4 17%
Ty Nsekhe 9 39% Ryan Grant 4 17%
Su'a Cravens 8 35% Cullen Jenkins 4 17%
Quinton Dunbar 8 35% Josh Norman 4 17%
Nick Sundberg 8 35% Preston Smith 4 17%
Tress Way 8 35% Chris Thompson 4 17%
Kendall Fuller 7 30% Jamison Crowder 1 4%
Greg Toler 7 30% Robert Kelley 1 4%
  • Tress Way- Way put up season highs in number of punts (3), punt yards (146), punting average (48.7), net punting average (42.0), long punt (59) and punts inside the 20 (2).  The punt that did not end up inside the 20 was only taken to the 23-yard line.  Way's inside-the-20 rate of 50% is tied for 6th in the NFL.  However, he also ranks 27th in punting average and net average.  It's difficult to accurately judge Way, though.  Field position has dictated that he not punt the ball far in order to pin opponents inside the 20-yard line, and 31 other players have punted the ball more than he has this season (8 punts).
  • Dustin Hopkins- Five of Dustin Hopkins' six kickoffs went for touchbacks (83%) against the Browns.  The one kick that was returned only resulted in a 17-yard return to the Cleveland 19-yard line.  Hopkins ranks tied for second in touchbacks (20) and touchback percentage (80%).  Hopkins also made a 49-yard field goal in the game and upped his league-leading total to 12 makes.  He is also only one of five kickers with eight or more attempts that has yet to miss this season.  Check out the other names on that list: Justin Tucker, Matt Bryant, Steven Hauschka and Adam Vinatieri. 
  • Hopkins' Record Pace- Hopkins' 16 consecutive makes put him just two behind Kai Forbath (18 straight) for the second most consecutive field goals without a miss by a Redskin, and seven behind Mark Moseley's team-record of 23 straight.  Hopkins is on pace to kick 48 field goals this year, a number that would shatter Moseley's franchise record of 33 field goals in a single season.
  • Snaps & Kick Coverage- To the surprise of absolutely nobody that pays attention to special teams playing time, Houston Bates led the squad in snaps again and Terrence Garvin, Deshazor Everett and Niles Paul were tied for second.  Paul recorded a solo tackle.  Paul leads the team with two solo and total special teams tackles this season.  Quinton Dunbar and David Bruton combined to make the tackle (1 assist each) on the only other Browns' returner that did not run out of bounds.

*All statistics are courtesy of 4 for 4, CSN Mid Atlantic, ESPN, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Real Redskins, Redskins.com, Sharp Football Stats, Team Rankings and The Washington Post*