Earlier in the offseason, head coach Jay Gruden told the second year running back Rob Kelley to get prepared for more carries, because they’re going to be running the ball a lot more. Although Kelley has not been the main ball carrier this season due to injury, it appears five games in Gruden meant exactly what he told Kelley. In 2016 the Redskins were ninth in rushing yards per attempt but only 27th in attempts per game, which was an imbalance offensively that hurt the Redskins in key moments in that season. This year the Redskins rank 16th in yards per attempt, still a healthy number though at 4.1 yards per carry, but also ranks seventh in attempts per game.
Following the 2016 season for Washington, there were two glaring holes regarding the makeup of the team, the defense and the running game. To many people’s surprise, both have improved in one off-season. As Redskins’ fans witness Chris Thompson’s breakout season, he along with Kelley, Samaje Perine, and now Kirk Cousins has accounted for 575 of the Redskins 614 rushing yards. Cousins ability and willingness to use his legs more has been a desired mentality from his coaches, and from the fans as well. It creates 11 players for the defense that they must account for. Cousins has 103 rushing yards on 19 attempts and a 5.4 yard per carry average. In years past, Cousins highest average was in 2012, where he rushed for 22 yards on three carries. His highest attempt number was in 2016, where he rushed for 96 yards on 34 carries.
In run-to-pass ratio, the Redskins are as close to balanced as they have been in a while at 47 percent run to 53 percent pass this season. The number of runs does not necessarily demonstrate how good they are in the run game, but it simply shows commitment and less of a quick trigger to stray away from it. A balanced attack complimented with a competent defense was the formula for a playoff bid in 2016, and at this point, the formula is the exact same for a playoff bid in 2017.
What do you think of this balanced offense? Is it sustainable for the remainder of the year? Comment and let us know your thoughts