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Skins Snaps & Stats: Steelers @ Redskins

A look at the snap counts and stats for each player on the Redskins in the team's 2016 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Kirk Cousins and the offense took the field for 58 snaps against the Steelers.  They only had 58 or fewer snaps in three games last season (58 at New England, 48 at Carolina and 57 vs. Buffalo).

Sixteen of the offense's 24 players got on the field with Cousins and company in the game.  Four of the seven that did not play were inactive (Nate Sudfeld, Rashad Ross, Arie Koundijo and Austin Reiter); two of them only played on special teams (Ty Nsekhe and Spencer Long).  Robert Kelley and Colt McCoy were the only active players on the team that did not take a snap of any kind.  Reiter was released on Tuesday, but the Redskins reportedly would like to sign him to the practice squad again.

The Redskins put up the 9th most offensive yards this week (384), but they only sit at 24th in points scored (16).  The reason for that is that they also rank 24th in third down conversion rate (40%), are tied for 27th in red zone touchdown conversion rate (25%) and are tied for third worst in turnovers (2).  The offense ranks 25th per DVOA.  The team ranks a lowly 27th overall according to Football Outsiders.

Quarterbacks (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Kirk Cousins * 58 100%
Colt McCoy 0 0%
Nate Sudfeld Inactive N/A

  • Kirk Cousins' Streaks- Cousins saw several streaks snapped on Monday.   It was his first game without a touchdown pass since the start of last season (16 games/ 17 including playoffs).  The streak was the second longest in franchise history (23 games by Sonny Jurgensen).  He threw an interception at home for the first time in 252 regular season and 298 total passes (including postseason).  That was the longest such streak in team history.  Also, one of those interceptions came in the red zone; an area where he had not thrown a pick all of last season.  His two picks on the night came when he was not blitz or pressured.  Washington is 0-11 when Cousins throws two or more interceptions and 3-15 when he throws just one of them.
  • Kirk Cousins' Record- None of Cousins' 11 wins as a starter have come against a team with a winning record.  The 2015 Bills are the only .500 team that he has a victory over.  His starting record vs. teams with 8 wins or less is 11-8 (.579).  If you count the Steelers and Green Bay, then his record against winning teams is 0-8.  The winning percentage of the teams that he has beaten is .369 (65-111), that's an average record of 6-10.  If you go just under vegas' projected win total this year of 10.5 for the Steelers and give them 10 wins, then the winning percentage of teams that have defeated  Cousins as a starter is .545 (139-116).  That's an average record of just under 9-7.  
Kirk Cousins Rating QBR ANY/A DVOA DYAR PFF
2016 72.7 45.3 5.56 -11.7% -2 48.4
27th 25th 21st 22nd 22nd 28th
2015 101.6 74.5 7.14 16.9% 1023 6.5
5th 2nd 8th 6th 7th 16th

  • Kirk Cousins Stats- We're only one game in, but if you look at Cousins' current stats and rankings in the table above, you can get a better idea of how poorly he performed against the Steelers.  Take a look at how those numbers compare to his 2015 campaign too.
Wide Receivers (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
DeSean Jackson * 48 83%
Pierre Garcon * 40 69%
Jamison Crowder * 39 67%
Josh Doctson 12 21%
Ryan Grant 10 17
Rashad Ross Inactive N/A

  • DeSean Jackson- DeSean Jackson led all Redskins wideouts with 48 snaps.  He also led the team (among those with more than 1 target) in receptions (6), yards (102), first downs (5) catch percentage (100%), yards per receptions (17), yards per target (10.2), YAC average (5.8), average depth of target (11), long reception (33) and PFF receiving grade (81.5).   Since Jackson entered the league in 2008, he ranks eighth in receptions (51), second in receiving yards (1,058), first in yards per reception (20.75), fifth in yards per target (13.06) and third in yards per game (88.2) on Monday Night Football (25 tar min). 
  • Crowder & More- Jamison Crowder secured his second most targets (10), third most receptions (6) and fifth most yards (58) as a Redskin.  Crowder currently leads the NFL with four red zone targets.  Three of Crowder's six receptions went for first downs.  Pierre Garcon caught all six of his targets, including two chain movers.  Josh Doctson played on 12 snaps, with roughly 75% of them coming in the 4th quarter.  Jamison Crowder has 26 more receptions, 133 more yards and just one fewer touchdown than Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross and Josh Doctson in 34 combined fewer games and nearly an identical number of combined snaps (782 to 781).
Tight Ends (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Jordan Reed * 50 86%
Vernon Davis 19 33%
Niles Paul 6 10%
  • Jordan Reed- Jordan Reed dominated the tight end snaps and played on 86% of the offense's snaps.  Reed now has caught six or more balls and had over 60 yards receiving in 10 of his last 16 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season (includes playoffs).  The only other tight end to do that is Greg Olsen (the only other TE with more than 7 such games is Delanie Walker with 9 of them).  The only difference is that Olsen has had the luxury of playing in four more games and on 527 more snaps than Reed in that time frame.  Oh, and by the way, Reed has 103 receptions for 1,136 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last 16 games.  A tight end has never hit those numbers in a single season.   
Running Backs (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Chris Thompson 39 67%
Matt Jones * 19 33%
Robert Kelley 0 0%
  • Matt Jones vs. Chris Thompson- Chris Thompson out-snapped Matt Jones 2 to 1 against the Steelers.  This isn't the first time that Thompson has come away with more work than the starter, though.  CT actually had more snaps than Jones in five of the ten games that they played in together last season.  Thompson also got more run on the offense than Alfred Morris did in 5 of their 12 games together in 2015.  In total, he led all Redskins runners in snaps in 4 of his 13 games last year.
WAS RBs Rush Yards Y/A YAC/A Success Rate EPA SR% DYAR DVOA PFF PFF Run PFF Rec Receiving
Matt Jones 7-24 3.4 3.6 50% 50% 1 -3.8 67.2 70.5 50.8 1-1-9
Chris Thompson 4-23 5.8 2.8 75% 100% 17 64.5 64.1 69.1 43.9 2-2-16
  • Jones v. Thompson 2- As you can see in the table above, Thompson came out on top in the majority of the advanced efficiency metrics that I looked at.  There is some double counting here with PFF that benefits Jones, but I suppose you could make the same argument with the success rate and Football Outsiders metrics.  The real point here is that the Redskins need help at running back.  No team ran it less (12 carries was 7 less than the 31st ranked team) and less often (22% is 5% less than the 31st ranked team) than the Redskins did in Week 1 by a fairly decent margin.
Offensive Linemen (9)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Trent Williams * 58 100%
Shawn Lavuao * 58 100%
Korey Lichtensteiger * 58 100%
Brandon Scherff * 58 100%
Morgan Moses * 58 100%
Ty Nsekhe ST Only 0%
Spencer Long ST Only 0%
Arie Koundijo Inactive N/A
Austin Reiter Inactive N/A
  • Offensive Line - The offensive line did not allow a sack and only let Kirk Cousins get hurried eight times and take two hits in the game.  However, it certainly was not a banner day for the group overall.  Shawn Lauvao and Morgan Moses received the lowest overall Pro Football Focus grades on the line.  Lauvao was the worst overall (56.2) and Moses was the worst in run blocking (43).  Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff are the only two players on the line who ranked in the top half of players at their positions per PFF (14th and 31st).
  • Penalties- The Redskins nine accepted penalties in Week 1 puts them in a tie for fourth worst in the NFL.  Seven of the nine penalties were committed by the offense.  Five of those penalties ended up stalling drives.  Five of the seven offensive penalties were committed by offensive linemen and four of the five stalled drives were the result.  Trent Williams was flagged for holding and false start infractions, and Korey Lichtensteiger was called for two false starts.  Shawn Lauvao was also called for a false start.  The Redskins seven pre-snap and five false starts are both the most by any team in the NFL.
  • Korey Lichtensteiger- Lichtensteiger and Jason Peters lead the NFL with two false start penalties.  Lichtensteiger ranks 28th out of 32 in PFF pass blocking rating.  Of the 32 centers to start in Week 1, Lichtensteiger is the second oldest (31.5 years old) and is tied for the lightest (295 lbs.) in the group.  Please replace him now, Scot.       


Eighteen of the Redskins 26 defenders saw time action on the defensive side of the ball against Pittsburgh.  Of the eight players that did not take a defensive snap, three of them were inactive (Anthony Lanier, Kendall Fuller and Duke Iheancho) and five of them only saw time on special teams (Terence Garvin, Martrell Spaight, Quinton Dunbar, Will Blackmon and Deshazor Everett).

The defense obviously did not get off to a great start in the first game, and a number of key statistical rankings reflect that: 27th in yards per play allowed, 27th in DVOA, 28th in expected points, 30th in numberFire  defensive rating, 31st in points allowed and last in both third and fourth down conversion rate allowed.

DeAngelo Williams dismantled the Redskins defense and was just named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.

Defensive Linemen (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Chris Baker * 50 74%
Ziggy Hood 40 59%
Kedric Golston * 28 41%
Ricky Jean Francois 22 32%
Kendall Reyes 18 26%
Anthony Lanier Inactive N/A
  • Top Three DL- Chris Baker led all Skins D-linemen with 50 snaps.  His defensive snap percentage of 74% is his third highest percentage since at least 2012 (77.6 vs. Dallas on MNF in 2015 and 76.5% vs. Atlanta in 2013).  Ziggy Hood's snap total and snap percentage were his second highest and highest since 2013 respectively.  Kedric Golston has only had a higher snap total and percentage once in each of the last two years.  All three players recorded at QB hit and at least 2 tackles.  Baker had the highest overall, pass rushing and run stopping PFF grade.
  • DL Age- As you can see above, the Redskins top three defensive linemen aren't used to playing this much.  They are also quite old with an average age of 30.6 years old.  The average age of all six linemen on the roster is 28.7, and that number goes up a whole year to 29.7 when you add Cullen Jenkins in.  I can't say for sure, but I'd bet good money that this is both the oldest starting line and entire defensive line in the league.
  • DL Investment- The reason for this is that the front office simply has not invested in the line.  They currently rank 29th in spending for defensive linemen in the 2016 season ($11.9M and 8% of cap space) and 31st for 2017.  Even if you add Cullen Jenkins in, they probably still will only jump up one spot.  They also don't spend any draft capital at the position either.  They have taken just one true defensive lineman in the first four rounds of the draft in the last ten years (2nd rounder Jarvis Jenkins in 2011).  No team has selected fewer defensive linemen in that span.  As a matter of fact, every team has selected at least one 1st-4th round linemen in the last three years.  Again, the Redskins have selected none in that time frame.  Matt Ioannadis is the only true DL they've taken in any round of the last five drafts.  
Outside Linebackers (4)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Ryan Kerrigan * 60 88%
Preston Smith * 59 87%
Trent Murphy 15 22%
Houston Bates 2 3%
  • Preston Smith & Trent Murphy- Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith had nearly an identical workload in the game.  Smith had only played more snaps in Week 16 against the Eagles last year (63), but the 87% snap percentage is nearly ten percent higher than his previous career high (78% in the aforementioned Eagles game).  Smith had three assisted tackles and a hit in the game.  He led all outside backers in pressure rate (13.3%).  However, it was Trent Murphy who led the group in overall, pass rushing and run stopping rating.  
  • Ryan Kerrigan- For Kerrigan, though, 88% is actually somewhat of a low percentage.  He's averaged over 93% of the snaps played per season over the last four years.  Kerrigan notched the game's only sack and forced a fumble on the play.  Since entering the league in 2011, he leads the NFL in forced fumbles with 18 of them.  Outside of that play, he didn'tt have a very strong outing.  That was his only pressure of the game and he was PFF's lowest graded OLB on the team in every category.
Inside Linebackers (5)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Will Compton * 68 100%
Mason Foster * 51 75%
Su'a Cravens 18 26%
Terence Garvin ST Only N/A
Martrell Spaight ST Only N/A
  • Will Compton- Will Compton tied for the team lead in snaps with 68 of them.  His 5 solo, 8 assisted and 13 total tackles ranked third, first and second on the defense.  The eight assisted tackles are a career high for him and his 13 combined tackles represent his third highest career total.  Compton currently ranks tied for first and fourth in the NFL in those categories respectively.  His PFF grade of 87.5 is the third highest among all inside linebackers.
  • Mason Foster & Su'a Cravens- Foster led the Redskins in both solo (9) and total tackles (14); he ranks seventh and third in the league in those categories.  However, PFF was not as kind to him.  Their game charters gave him the team's lowest grade among the ILBs (76.4).  It was a different story for Su'a Cravens, who recorded four tackles in his first game.  Cravens recorded a pressure on one of his three pass rush snaps and as a result led the group in pressure rate (33%).  He also led the team in tackles per opportunity (tackles per snap when a pass was not incomplete).  He would be PFF's 12th highest graded inside linebacker if he had recorded enough snaps to qualify.  Cravens led all Redskins defenders and was second on the team with a PFF grade of 83.4
Cornerbacks (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Josh Norman * 68 100%
Bashaud Breeland * 67 99%
Deshaun Philips * 46 68%
Greg Toler 2 3%
Quinton Dunbar ST Only N/A
Kendall Fuller Inactive N/A

  • Josh Norman (The Good)- Josh Norman played on every snap and was tied with two others for the most snaps in the game.  His two defended passes also led the team.  Norman also added six combined tackles (3 solo and assisted).   He did not allow Antonio Brown to catch a pass on either of Brown's two targets in his coverage.  Norman was the third highest rated defender on the team by PFF.  He ranked ninth in PFF coverage and tenth overall among cornerbacks this week.  We also can't really blame him for sticking to the left side of the field.  In 2015, with the Panthers, he was heavily utilized on both sides as you can see here and here.  If you want to blame someone for Brown going off, then blame the coaches, the future Hall of Famer, Brown, himself for being so damn good or Bashaud Breeland.
  • The Bad and the Ugly- Breeland gave up 7 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns against Antonio Brown.  He did deflect a pass and force the Redskins only turnover of the night with his interception, but that doesn't nearly make up for everything else.  Breeland also missed three tackles in the game.  He is currently ranked 97th out of 100 qualifying corners by PFF.  In other bad cornerback news, Greg Toler allowed Sammie Coates to catch a 42-yard pass on one of his two snaps in the game.  Things didn't go as planned for slot corner Deshaun Philips either.  Philips main coverage responsibility was slot receiver, Eli Rogers, who caught six balls for 59 yards and a touchdown.  Philips ranks 85th among corners by PFF.  So, you ready to go yet, Kendall?

Safeties (5)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
DeAngelo Hall * 68 100%
David Bruton * 66 97%
Will Blackmon ST Only N/A
Deshazor Everett ST Only N/A
Duke Ihenacho Inactive N/A

  • DeAngelo Hall- Hall tied for the team lead in snaps with 68 of them, which is his highest such total since 2013.  He was hardly targeted in the game at all (2.7% of pass coverage snaps).  Hall also chipped in with three solo and three assisted tackles for a total of six of them.  On the strength of his run defense, Hall earned a higher grade from PFF than David Bruton did.   
  • David Bruton- Bruton played decently enough in pass coverage (1 deflection), but as we saw he was not great against the run despite his eight combined tackles (4 solo and 4 assisted).  His 35.4 run defense grade was the second lowest mark given to any safety by PFF this week.  Bruton's 66 snaps in the game are his second most on record (77 against the Steelers last season).

Special Teams

The Redskins special teams unit had 25 snaps on Monday night.  The team only saw 25 or fewer snaps three times last season (Dolphins 21, Falcons 24 and New England 22).

Thirty-four players saw time on the teams unit.  The group included three specialist, nine offensive players and 22 defenders.  Niles Paul was the only offensive player with seven or more snaps, and Chris Baker was the only player on the defense that did not participate on a single specials snap.  Football Outsiders ranks the special teams ninth in the league.

Special Teamers (34) Special Teamers (cont)
Player Snaps Snap % Player Snaps Snap %
Houston Bates 21 84% Josh Norman 6 24%
Deshazor Everett 15 60% Greg Toler 6 24%
Terence Garvin 15 60% Ryan Kerrigan 6 24%
Martrell Spaight 15 60% Will Compton 6 24%
Trent Murphy 14 56% Ricky Jean Francois 6 24%
Mason Foster 14 56% Kendall Reyes 6 24%
Su'a Cravens 14 56% Nick Sundberg 5 20%
Niles Paul 14 56% Tress Way 5 20%
Will Blackmon 13 52% Deshaun Philips 5 20%
Kedric Golston 10 40% Ziggy Hood 4 16%
Dustin Hopkins 9 36% Shawn Lavuao 4 16%
Quinton Dunbar 8 32% Brandon Scherff 4 16%
David Bruton 7 28% Morgan Moses 4 16%
Bashaud Breeland 7 28% Ty Nsekhe 4 16%
Preston Smith 7 28% Spencer Long 4 16%
Chris Thompson 7 28% Jamison Crowder 2 8%
Ryan Grant 7 28% DeAngelo Hall 1 4%
  • Punting- Tress Way's only punt of the game was a 27-yarder that resulted in a fair catch which pinned the Steelers down at their own 13-yard line.  The single punt ties a career-low for Way (2015 Week 3 at Giants), who averaged 4.6 punts per game across 32 regular season contests going into the game.
  • Kicking- Dustin Hopkins had yet another good outing, as he connected on kicks of 31, 34 and 40 yards and converted his only extra-point attempt.  Hopkins' put four of his five kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks (80%), and his only returned kick went for an 18-yard gain.  Hopkins and Jacksonville's Jason Myers were the only kickers in Week 1 to be perfect on field goals with three or more attempts and to have a touchback percentage of 80% or higher.
  • Kick Coverage- The Steelers only return of any kind in the game was an 18-yard kickoff return that Fitzgerald Toussaint took from the Pittsburgh nine to their 27-yard line; because of this there was not much action to be had for the coverage unit.  Houston Bates and Terrence Garvin combined to make the tackle on that return.  Bates led the group with 21 snaps and Garvin's 15 snaps finished tied for second with Deshazor Everett and Martrell Spaight.  Trent Murphy, Mason Foster, Su'a Cravens and Niles Paul each got 14 snaps.  That group of nine players will do the majority of the heavy lifting on the coverage unit this year.

*All statistics are courtesy of Football Outsiders,, NFL Gamebooks, NFL GSIS, NFL Penalty Tracker, numberFire, Over the Cap, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference and*