Snaps- Jay Gruden used 17 of his 26 offensive players over the course of 59 snaps.
The 9 who did not take snaps with Kirk Cousins on offense included 6 inactives (Brian Quick, Jeremy Sprinkle, Spencer Long, Ty Nsekhe, Brandon Scherff and Trent Williams), 2 that worked exclusively on special teams (Samaje Perine and Orlando Franklin) and a player who was active, but did not play in any capacity (Colt McCoy).
Rob Kelley, Niles Paul and Tony Bergrstrom only combined for 20 snaps in the game, while every other player that took a snap on offense got on the field for at least 19 of the offensive plays.
This was the first (and maybe last) game as a Redskin for offensive linemen Tony Bergstrom and Orlando Franklin.
Points- Nick Rose’s field goal less than two minutes into the game extended the Burgundy and Gold’s streak of consecutive games with a score on the offense’s opening drive to six games. This was the first time the team has accomplished that feat since at least 1970.
Yet somehow they have only gone 3 and 3 in that six-game stretch. It may have something to do with them scoring field goals on the opening drive of two of their three losses and scoring touchdowns on the opening drive of two of their three wins.
3rd Down- Kirk Cousins and company were only able to convert on 4 of their 13 third downs against the Cowboys. Their 30.7% conversion rate on third down represents the team’s worst showing in this department since Week 1 (27.3%).
The Skins have only moved the chains on 8 of their last 26 third downs (30.8%)
Red Zone- The offense cashed in with touchdowns on two of their three trips to the red zone. They have converted on 50% or more of their red-zone opportunities in each of the last four games.
Their 54.6% red-zone TD rate ranks 14th in the league. This is a major improvement over the 45.9% success rate which landed them with a 29th place ranking last season.
The only red-zone trip that the team didn’t against the Cowboys on ended with Nick Rose’s blocked field goal.
Turnovers- The Redskins committed 3 turnovers in Sunday’s loss. They have turned the ball over in five consecutive contests and have committed multiple giveaways in four of the seven games this season.
Rushing- Washington ran the ball just 15 times for 49 yards, both of which were 2017 lows. They only picked up 3 first downs and averaged 3.3 yards per carry, the team’s second lowest marks of the year in both categories. The team only gained 17 rushing yards in the second half.
Only four of their rushes gained more than 3 yards, which was nearly the same number of runs that they failed to gain any yardage on (3). Half of their runs of more than 3 yards were made by wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
The running game was on fire in Weeks 2-4 (152 yards per game), but has come crashing back to earth ever since (73 yards per game).
Kirk Cousins (Passing)- Cousins completed 26 of his 39 passes for 263 yards, 11 first downs and 1 touchdown.
He completed two-thirds or more of his passes for the third straight game (66.67%) and for the fifth time this season, but posted a passer rating below 95 (83.6) for the first time since Week 1 and a YPA average under 7.5 (6.74) for the first time since Week 2. He was also sacked 4 times, which ties the season high he set in Weeks 1 and 7 against the Eagles.
Cousins actually did better under pressure in this game (7 completions for 112 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts) than he did from a clean pocket (19 completions and 151 yards on 28 attempts).
Kirk Cousins (Turnovers)- Cousins threw a game-sealing pick six with 30 seconds left in the game. The Cowboys dropped two other passes that should’ve been picked off.
He went 107 straight passes without an interception between Weeks 1 and 6, but has now thrown a pick in three straight games.
He also lost one of his two fumbles. The Redskins are 1 and 17 in games that Cousins commits multiple turnovers in. He was benched at halftime in the lone win.
Kirk Cousins (Rushing)- The only play that was a considered a rush by Kirk Cousins was his fumbled snap. He was credited with 0 yards on the play, which marks the first time this season that he has not gained positive rushing yards in a game.
Kirk Cousins (Advanced Stats)- Cousins posted slightly below averages in both PFF grade (77.2) and QBR (47.4).
Kirk Cousins (2017 Rankings)- I think this is a good time to check in on Cousins’ career rankings in the major passing efficiency statistics. Each career statistic will be followed by an all-time NFL ranking. If there are two career stats and rankings listed, the second stat and ranking will represent Cousins’ adjusted for era number and ranking.
- Passing Yards Per Game: 264.4 (6th)
- Completion Percentage: 66.15% / +114 (2nd / 21st)
- Passer Rating: 94.9 / +109 (8th / 36th)
- Yards Per Attempt: 7.82 / +114 (12th / 15th)
- Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt: 6.94 / +111 (7th / 23rd)
I think I’m still of the mind that the Redskins should sign Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal.
Jamison Crowder- The 2015-2016 version of Jamison Crowder made his first appearance on Sunday.
Crowder played on a career high 95% of the offensive snaps and led the WR corps in snaps for the second straight week.
He tied his career highs in targets (13) and receptions (9) and posted a career-best 123 receiving yards. It’s worth noting that the other game in which he had 13 targets and 9 receptions lasted 75 minutes and finished in a tie.
Crowder didn’t just break personal records as receiver in this game, he did it as a rusher too. He carried the rock on a pair of 6 yard rushes. His 2 carries and 12 rushing yards were both career highs, as were his 134 yards from scrimmage and 133 all-purpose yards.
Everybody knew Crowder had the potential to put up these kinds of numbers, but nobody expected this type of performance after he struggled so much early in the season. Take a look at how his stats in Weeks 1-7 compare to what he did in Week 8.
- Crowder caught a season-long 41-yard reception in the first quarter of the game. In Week’s 1, 4, 6 and 7 he produced a combined 50 yards receiving.
- He caught 9 passes in those games, the same number of catches he recorded against the Cowboys.
- He had 149 receiving yards coming into the game, which is just 26 yards less than the total he finished the day with.
Josh Doctson- After playing on fewer than 55% of the snaps in the first five games of the year, Doctson was out there for 80% of the snaps for the second straight week.
Unfortunately, the Redskins new starting X receiver was only able to produce a paltry fullback-esque line of 1-1-1. The only difference is we’re talking about a reception, a receiving yard and a receiving touchdown instead of a carry, a rushing yard and a rushing touchdown. Doctson has now scored a touchdown in 3 of his last 5 games.
Doctson was targeted on three other plays against Dallas. He dropped a pass on a 3rd-and-7 that would’ve gained almost 30 yards and flipped the field. Cousins threw behind him on another target. Right after that, JD drew a 22-yard defensive pass interference call which set the Redskins up on the Cowboy’s 1 -yard line. Doctson caught his 1-yard touchdown on the following play.
Ryan Grant- Grant was targeted seven times (his highest total since 2015) and tied a career high with 5 receptions. He had 38 yards and 2 first downs on those catches, with both first downs coming on third downs with 6 or more yards to go. Both of the two targets he did not catch were counted as drops.
Grant has played on over 40% of the snaps in every game this year and ranks top 5 on the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, first downs and touchdowns.
Terrelle Pryor- Pryor’s mediocre play (mediocre at best) continues to push him further and further into obscurity.
After playing on a season-low snap count and percentage last week, he set yet another season low in both categories against the Cowboys (19 snaps and a 32% snap share). In fact, the last time he got so little playing time was in Week 15 of the 2015 season, which was the first game that he was targeted in as an official wide receiver.
Pryor did little to impress with his limited playing time. He was only targeted once and was not able to haul in a very poor throw by Kirk Cousins on the play. This was the first time that Pryor did not catch a pass since the aforementioned 2015 game that he received his first WR target in. The Terrelle Pryor experiment appears to have failed miserably.
Brian Quick- Brian Quick was inactive for the second time this season. I’m still not entirely sure why they kept him ahead of Maurice Harris and Robert Davis.
At some point the team should either make Pryor the inactive wideout and give Quick a whirl, or just release Quick and bring Harris or Davis up from the practice squad. At least those two can contribute on special teams.
The Most Disappointing Group On The Team- Most predicted a drop in production for the Redskins passing attack after Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson left in free agency, but few, if any, observers predicted such a major lack of production from the team’s receivers.
Here is where the team’s leader in every major category ranks among all NFL wide receivers: Jamison Crowder’s 43 targets (34th), Crowder’s 28 receptions (28th), Crowder’s 272 receiving yards (27th), Ryan Grant’s 14 receiving first downs (54th) and Josh Doctson’s 3 receiving touchdowns (16th). Doctson’s 3 scores is the only stat that has a Washington wideout ranked inside the top 25 in any cumulative receiving statistic.
Jordan Reed- It’s very frustrating to watch someone as talented as Reed set a defense on fire one week and then leave early with yet another injury the following game.
Reed left the game with a hamstring injury after receiving just 21 snaps. He finished the day with season lows in targets (1), receptions (1), receiving yards (5) and first downs (0).
His 5 yards against the Cowboys is tied with one other game for the second lowest yardage output of his entire career. He only played 7 snaps in his 4-yard game against Houston in the 2014 season opener.
Per Jay Gruden, Reed is expected to miss next week’s game against the Seahawks.
In other Jordan Reed news, Reed was recently tabbed to replace Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Mr. Glass in M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to Unbreakable.
Vernon Davis & The Starter Debate- I have finally accepted the fact that Vernon Davis is the real starting tight end for the Washington Redskins. Davis started in his 19th straight game and led the team in TE snaps for the 11th time in the last 18 contests.
Since he joined the team last season, Davis has played in more games (23 to 18), made more starts (21 to 13) and taken more snaps (970 to 800) than Jordan Reed has. Reed has only outgained Davis by 2 yards (897 to 895) in that time frame, but has caught 32 more passes (93 to 61) and 5 more touchdowns (8 to 3).
Reed is better when healthy, and gets more PT on those rare occasions and in close games. The Redskins are often in close games, but how often is Reed actually healthy?
Anyways, Davis didn’t do much against the Cowboys to back up my position here. He caught 2 of his 4 targets for just 20 yards and 0 first downs.
Despite the down performance, Davis ranks 1st in the league among tight ends in yards per route run (2.50). He leads the Redskins in receiving yards since Week 4 (241 yards).
Niles Paul- Paul was forced to leave the game after suffering what looked like a bad concussion on the final play of the offense’s second drive of the day (Kelley touchdown). He only played on 4 offensive snaps, his lowest total when active since 2013.
Poor TE Production- After combining to catch at least 5 balls for over 110 yards in each of the last three games, Washington tight ends recorded just 3 receptions for 25 yards against the Cowboys. These were season-low numbers for the position group.
Skins’ tight ends have only produced less in two games since the start of last season, and the team won both of those contests.
Chris Thompson (Playing Time)- Thompson’s 47 snaps were a career high for a regulation game and his 80% snap share was a career best regardless of game length. This was the fourth consecutive game in which he led all Redskins running backs in snaps.
Chris Thompson (Rushing)- He continued to be unimpressive as a runner. He had the team’s longest rush of the day (16 yards) and averaged 4.5 yards per carry; but nearly 90% of his yards came on that one run. His three other rushes all went for 2 yards or less (25% success rate).
Chris Thompson (Receiving)- Thompson caught a career-high 8 balls for 76 yards and 4 first downs on Sunday, with half of those first-down receptions coming on third or fourth down.
He earned the best PFF grade on the Redskins’ offense (80.1).
Chris Thompson (The GOAT)- This section of the article may be getting smaller, but it’s still alive and kicking.
- Thompson is still the only player in the NFL that leads his team in both rushing and receiving yards. He leads the team in those categories by margins of 65 yards and 130 yards, respectively. Thompson now also leads the team in receptions (31).
- His 442 receiving yards are the third most by any running back through the first seven games of a season since 1999. Only Marshall Faulk (494 yards in 2000) and Charlie Garner (449 yards in 2002) had more yards in that span.
- Thompson became the 22nd running back to hit 1,000 career yards as a member of the Redskins.
- Thompson is still on pace to crest 1,000 yards through the air this season. If he keeps up this pace he will finish the year ranked 6th all time in career receiving yards by a Redskins running back. He would also become the first RB in team history with a 1,000-yard receiving season.
Robert Kelley- Fat Rob played on just 12 snaps and rushed for 19 yards, 2 first downs and a touchdown on his 8 carries in the game.
This was the third time this year that Kelley has seen the field on fewer than 25% of the snaps.
He YPC average in this game was 2.38. He topped a 4.0 average in 6 of his first 8 career games, but has failed to hit that mark in 9 of his last 11 outings. He rushed for at least 87 yards in each of his first 3 starts last year, but he hasn’t topped 78 yards on the ground since.
Only 1 of Kelley’s runs against the Cowboys gained more than 3 yards (10.3%), a 10-yard rush. He lost yardage on 10.3% of his runs in the game. Kelley has failed to gain a yard on 18% of his 2017 carries and has only gained 10 or more yards on 9% of his runs.
Other Running Backs- Mack Brown was released to make room for additional offensive linemen. He was claimed off waivers by the Vikings on Monday. He has only posted a rushing success rate of 33% in his career, but he’s rushed for 5 or more yards on 31% of his career carries.
Samaje Perine did not see the field on offense for the second consecutive game and for the third time this season.
Running on Empty- The Redskins are one of only 7 teams that have not had any of their players rush for 80 or more yards in a game.
Chris Thompson leads the team in rushing yards, but only ranks 38th in the league in yards per game (33 Y/G); Robert Kelley ranks 37th (32.Y/G).
Offensive Line (Team)- Kirk Cousins was sacked 4 times for the second consecutive week and for the third time this season. The Skins allowed a sack on a season-high 9.3% of Cousins’ dropbacks. The Cowboys defense also recorded 8 hits on Cousins.
T.J. Clemmings- Clemmings got the start at left tackle in place of the hobbled Trent Williams. He allowed a sack-fumble to Tyrone Crawford and suffered an ankle injury that caused him to miss 3 snaps.
Shawn Lauvao- He was partly responsible for Dallas recovering Chris Thompson’s fumbled kickoff return. Deshazor Everett appeared to have secured the fumble until Lauvao jumped on him and accidentally caused the ball to get dislodged from Everett’s grip.
Shawn Lauvao is the Redskins’ worst original starting offensive linemen, but he was also their only remaining healthy starter going into Sunday. That changed when he was forced to leave the game in the third quarter with a stinger. Lauvao had only missed 1 snap in his last 17 games prior to sitting out for 19 plays in this game. He was replaced by Arie Kouandijo at left guard.
Tyler Catalina- Catalina was active for only the second time in his career and got the start at right guard in place of Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff. Catalina also took snaps at left tackle after T.J. Clemmings left the game. He gave up an 11-yard sack to Demarcus Lawrence on the final play of the third quarter. The Redskins punted 3 plays later.
Tony Bergstrom took the snaps at right guard when Catalina moved over to man the left tackle position.
Chase Roullier- The rookie out of Wyoming took snaps on offense for the second time in a game and made his first career start. He snapped a ball low that resulted in a Kirk Cousins’ fumble and loss of 10 yards. Rouiller also recorded a tackle on Demarcus Lawrence’s fumble return.
Morgan Moses- Moses gutted it out and played all 59 offensive snaps on two sprained ankles. He allowed a sack to David Irving and was the only OL on the team who committed a penalty (his bi-weekly false start).
On a positive note, Moses did run over 80 yards down the field to tackle Orlando Scandrick on the blocked field-goal return.
The Blocking Wounded- All six of the Washington’s top offensive linemen are now injured; And, for that reason, the team is currently carrying a whopping 12 O-linemen on the roster, all 12 of whom have had to play in a game for the Redskins this year. Here’s why that is even more insane than it sounds:
- On average, NFL teams have had 8.7 offensive lineman play for them this season.
- 17 of the 32 teams have only needed 8 or fewer linemen to play for them this year.
- Only 5 other teams have used 10 or more linemen.
- The Redskins have played more linemen (12) than any other team in 2017.
The Redskins have the most injured offensive line in the NFL.
ALL OFFENSIVE SNAPS
*All statistics are courtesy of Air Yards, CSN Mid Atlantic, ESPN, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com, Sharp Football Stats and The Washington Post*
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