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It's only week 1, but what the heck? Here's how team EPA looked. Better offenses to the right. Better defenses to the top. pic.twitter.com/jGIyYq9nA2— Brian Burke (@bburkeESPN) September 13, 2017
Robert Kelley was his usual-self in Week 1, totaling 30 yards on 10 carries. He has now totaled fewer than 4.0 yards per carry in five of his last seven games.
Terrelle Pryor has looked brutal this year, like a guy who just started playing wide receiver. He wasn't tracking the ball properly, he's now dropped four passes in the 18 targets he's seen from Kirk Cousins this year, and he didn't seem interested in chasing after the defender who intercepted Cousins' pass last week. With that being said, he was targeted a ridiculously-high 11 times, meaning he's in play every week.
You were warned that it was a bad matchup for Jordan Reed against the Eagles, and it's not a great matchup against the Rams, either. They allowed just 621 yards to the position last year and there were just have been just two tight ends who've totaled more than 52 yards against them in their last 17 games.
Washington Receiving Game
Before the start of this season, we knew that Kirk Cousins was a regression candidate. However, we also know that Cousins is capable of supporting several receivers. Over the past two seasons, Jordan Reed has been the top scoring tight end on a PPG basis. Jamison Crowder stunk it up Week 1, but he's the only veteran WR on staff and should bounce back. Terrelle Pryor accounted for 45.2 percent of Washington's total air yards and saw 11 targets Week 1. All three receivers had an average cushion of 1.5+ yards when targeted, per Next Gen Stats. Cousins' Average Intended Air Yards is among the top six for Week 1 QB's.
However, he (Cousins) also consistently leaves a lot of plays on the field. When you follow up last season's bad finish with this game against another NFC East rival, it makes it really hard to be all in on giving this quarterback an enormous contract. At least with Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford, you can point to more success in these situations. Carr's fourth-quarter comeback opportunity record is 12-15 (.444) and Stafford's is 26-35 (.426). Cousins is only 6-14-1 (.310) so far.
Those records are closer than they look due to sample sizes. But don't doubt for a second that the perception of Cousins would be much brighter had he thrown game-winning touchdowns against the Giants and Eagles instead of memorable interceptions in losses.
Reality would also like that.
Cousins was not as sharp as he has been under pressure either. His accuracy rate in these situations after accounting for dropped passes, throwaways, spiked balls, batted passes and passes where he was hit while throwing the ball was 67.1 percent in 2016 and 65.8 percent in 2015. During the loss in Week 1, it was 50 percent.
Cousins, like any quarterback, just isn't the same when facing a pass rush. His passer rating drops from 110.1 in a clean pocket to 71.1 under pressure since he became the full-time starter in Washington in 2015, roughly the difference between Tom Brady and Brock Osweiler last season. That's still a better performance under pressure than the league average (64.6 last season), but his passer rating on plays immediately following a sack is 91.5, showing that putting Cousins on the turf has lingering effects.
Kirk Cousins ranked near the bottom of the league in Week 1 expected points added.
Pro Football Focus has Cousins ranked 29th out of 31 Week 1 quarterbacks. The only area that he ranked better than 18th in was time to throw.
When Kirk Cousins was blitzed last week he was 6/13, 79 yd, 0 TD, 1 INT, 33.8 passer rating.#Rams 50% Week 1 blitz rate ranked 2nd highest.— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) September 13, 2017
Rob Kelley had a touch on 30 percent of his snaps Week 1 (33rd for running backs) after receiving a touch on 52 percent of his snaps in 2016 (fifth).
After rushing for at least 85 yards in his first three career NFL starts, Kelley has hit 65 yards rushing just once over his past seven games.
CHRIS THOMPSON CONTINUES TO BE CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED
Thompson only played 48 percent of the Redskins offensive snaps, but touched the football or was targeted on 27 percent of them. He is an excellent addition to your fantasy team in PPR formats as you attack the waiver wire this week. Thompson's role as the team receiving back is secure, and he is very efficient when you analyze his receiving DVOA and DYAR which ranks second among all RBs. He can be viewed as an RB3 with upside in PPR formats.
RBs w/ Most Routes Run From WR Position (W1)— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 11, 2017
1. Matt Forte (11)
2. Ty Montgomery (7)
3. B. Powell, C. Thompson, David Johnson, J/ White (6)
The Redskins didn't run the ball enough in Week 1, but then again, they weren't very good when they tried to.
Everything is there for Pryor; he just has to execute. He led the Skins in Opening Day catches, yards, and targets, but dropped a 50-yard touchdown bomb after dropping 2-of-7 targets in the preseason. I do not believe Pryor has bad hands after he dropped just 6-of-140 targets in Cleveland last year.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
(AO: 20.8, PPR: 12.6)
Pryor, like Cooper, saw immense volume but played terribly. Pryor ranked fifth in Actual Opportunity, scored only 12.6, and finished the week as our third-worst-graded wide receiver. Pryor saw 11 targets, with two coming in the end zone and three coming on deep passes. Still, he scored far below his expected total despite eight of these targets coming against Jalen Mills - our worst-graded cornerback last season. The volume is encouraging, but the efficiency (given the matchup) is a major concern, and especially so after a poor preseason (catching two of just seven targets). Pryor's DFS salary remains low, but draws a much tougher matchup this week against Trumaine Johnson and the Rams.
Terrelle Pryor saw a healthy workload with 11 targets. That volume bodes positively for his fantasy success going forward. Pryor didn't score, but he was targeted in the end zone twice. He also saw three targets 20-plus yards downfield
Terrelle Pryor ranked 2nd in the NFL with 166 Week 1 air yards (46% of the team's 358 air yards).
W1 WR Target Leaders: Hopkins (16), Fitz, Cobb, Cooper (13), Tate (12), AB, Pryor (11), Green, Allen, Thielen, Garcon, Corey Davis (10).— Josh Moore (@4for4_Josh) September 12, 2017
Washington moving Crowder all over the formation: pic.twitter.com/CABo1JJ5jg— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) September 10, 2017
Jordan Reed was second on the team in targets (eight), but only one of his looks came with 10-plus air yards, contributing to his low yardage output (36). Reed is a great red-zone weapon but received just one target near the end zone. Perhaps that changes in Week 2 as the Redskins look to get back on track
Right tackle Morgan Moses was the ninth-worst right tackle in Week 1 per the game charters at Pro Football Focus, allowing three sacks and two hurries in the season opener. That's in stark contrast to last season, when Moses was ranked No. 16 out of 62 qualified lineman for his pass-blocking skills.
Right guard Brandon Scherff was PFF's second-worst guard in the season's opening week, allowing Cousins to be hit once and hurried three times. Both Moses and Scherff factored into Cousins's fourth-quarter fumble, which was returned for a touchdown by Philadelphia's Fletcher Cox.
Every offensive line gives up sacks at some point. However, Cousins barely had any time in the pocket — it took the Eagles 2.58 seconds, on average, to sack Cousins on Sunday, shorter than it did on average during the 2015 (3.36 seconds) or 2016 (3.2 seconds) regular season.
Washington's offensive line allowed 16 total sacks, hits and hurries in Week 1, the third-most in the league, with the Eagles needing just 2.58 seconds, on average, to sack quarterback Kirk Cousins on Sunday. That's shorter than the average during the 2015 (3.36 seconds) or 2016 (3.2 seconds) regular season. And it could be even worse on Sunday when they face the Los Angeles Rams with Aaron Donald back in the lineup.
Without Donald the Rams' defensive line created four sacks, one hit and five hurries in addition to returning two interceptions for touchdowns, forcing a fumble and causing a safety. With him they could be far more daunting.
Brandon Scherff had the 2nd worst pass blocking performance of his career last Sunday vs. Philly. He'll have Aaron Donald to deal with tmrw— PFF WAS Redskins (@PFF_Washington) September 16, 2017
Looking over the Redskins last 17 games, they have allowed 15 teams to score at least 20 points, but just four of them have scored more than 27 points. I don't see a realistic possibility that the Rams hit 27 points in this game.
The Redskins secondary held 10 of 16 quarterbacks to one or zero passing touchdowns in 2016, but they did allow the seventh-most passing yards per game (274).
Washington: Outside linebacker Junior Galette had a pass-rushing productivity of 30.0, which is the fifth-best for an edge defender on opening weekend in the past 12 years for those with 10 or more pass-rushes. He had one hit and three hurries on his 10 pass-rushes.
Mason Foster/Zach Brown, ILB, Washington Redskins vs. Los Angeles Rams
Last week we saw what both of these guys are capable of producing when on the field together. I think Brown showed more impact and Foster was around the ball when it came near him. Brown recorded a 17.4% tackle rate, while Foster was at 13.2%. The Rams wanted to get Todd Gurley the ball last week and he received 25 touches. If that trend continues, both Foster and Brown should have plenty of tackle opportunities this week.
Ex-Bills Linebacker Zach Brown earned the highest Run Defense grade (90.5) among all LBs in his Redskins debut. A solid free agent signing— PFF WAS Redskins (@PFF_Washington) September 14, 2017
These CBs shut down the receivers they were covering pic.twitter.com/oE2uyACrPp— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 11, 2017
|Rookie Season Injuries for Redskins' 1st & 2nd Round Picks (2015-2018)|
|Player||Round (Pick)||Rookie GP||Rookie Starts||Rookie Snaps||Rookie Injury|
|Daron Payne||1 (13)||15||10||574||Sprained Ankle|
|Derrius Guice||2 (59)||0||0||0||Torn ACL|
|Jonathan Allen||1 (17)||5||5||159||Lisfranc|
|Ryan Anderson||2 (49)||14||0||193||None Major|
|Josh Doctson||1 (22)||2||0||31||Achilles|
|Su'a Cravens||2 (53)||11||3||295||Multiple|