Snaps- Jay Gruden used 19 of his 24 offensive players over the course of 74 snaps in Sunday’s matchup against the Colts. Of the five who did not play, four were inactive (Maurice Harris, Samaje Perine, Casey Dunn and Geron Christian) and one who was active, but did not play (Colt McCoy).
Mr. Inconsistency- Gruden had a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time to start a season in his head coaching career. We shouldn’t be too surprised that he wasn’t able to win consecutive games though, because it’s only something he has done just ten times as a head coach.
Gruden, has however, lost consecutive games 17 times (across seasons count). After Sunday’s 11-point loss, he has also now seen his team lose by 10 or more points 23 times. His teams have lost by two touchdowns or more (14-plus points) a total of 13 times.
Points- The Redskins did not score a single touchdown on Sunday against the Colts. In fact, their last TD came on the team’s last offensive play of the first half in Week 1. This was the first time the Skins failed to hit double-digit points since Week 11 of the 2014 season and only the fourth time since Gruden took over as head coach.
Washington had found the end zone at least once in their last 52 consecutive games until Sunday, a streak which ranked second in the NFL (Raiders with 54 games).
Yards- The offense gained 334 yards, but it took them 71 plays to do it. The resulting 4.7 yards-per-play average is the 14th lowest such mark in the 66 games of the Jay Gruden era.
3rd & 4th Down- The Redskins went 5-for-15 on third down and 1-for-2 on fourth-down in Sunday’s game, giving them conversion rates of 33% and 50%, respectively.
In last week’s game against the Cardinals, the Skins were able to convert on 46% of their third-down attempts. The team has only been able to convert on more than 46% of their third-down tries once since Week 16 of the 2016 season (50% in Week 6 of 2016). Their 39% success rate on the money down so far this season ranks 13th in the league.
However, they were able to convert on one of their two tries on fourth down, when Alex Smith scrambled for 5 yards on a 4th-and-2 with just over two minutes left in the contest. He wasn’t as fortunate on the next attempt when he threw an incomplete pass to Thompson with 23 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, turning the ball over to the Colts, who would go on to take a knee and end the game.
Washington has gone for it on fourth-down three times in the last two games. They have successfully converted twice, giving them a 67% success rate, which ranks 7th in the NFL.
Red Zone- The Skins only gained 18 yards and picked up a single first down on their six plays inside the Colts’ 20-yard line. Most importantly, the offense failed to reach the paint on both of their trips to the red area. This was the eighth game since the start of last season in which the team has failed to score touchdowns two or more times on red zone trips. It was the first time since Week 1 of last season that they went O-fer in the red area.
|Quarterbacks (2 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Alex Smith *||74||100%|
Alex Smith (Traditional Stats)- Alex Smith completed 33 of his 46 passes (71.7%) against the Colts. Those were his highest attempt and completion totals since Week 1 of the 2016 season. He gained 292 yards and picked up 16 first downs on those passes, which gives him subpar YPA and first-down rate figures of 6.35 and 34.8%, respectively.
It should also be noted that the Skins’ new signal caller didn’t rack up these numbers in the most traditional way. First, of his 33 passes, 23 of them went to running backs or tight ends. Secondly, approximately 37% of his passing yards were gained on the Redskins’ final two drives of the game, when the team was down by 12 points.
Alex didn’t throw a pick for his fifth consecutive game (including playoffs), but failed to score any touchdowns and finished the day with an 88.3 passer rating. This was only the fourth time since the start of the 2015 season that a Redskins QB did not score a TD in a game. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new for Smith; it was the sixth time since the beginning of 2016 that he’s failed to find the end zone.
Smith was sacked three times for the second straight game (23 yards). He is up to 6 sacks and a 7.3% sack rate on the year. He was also credited with a fumble on a pitch to Chris Thompson.
Alex Smith (Rushing)- He gained 14 yards on his four rushes in the game, one of which moved the chains on the Redskins’ only fourth-down conversion of the day. Smith has recorded over 10 rushing yards and has run for at least one first down in 11 consecutive games.
Alex Smith (Advanced Stats)- The advanced stats paint a more clear picture of how Smith didn’t measure up to his peers, in what was a historic week for quarterbacks. His 5.49 adjusted net yards per attempt and 30.4 QBR ranked 24th and 28th in the league in Week 2, respectively. However, he somehow ended up with the highest PFF grade (72.3) on the offense and ranked 12th among all signal callers.
Smith’s average depth of target did spike from a league-low 3.6 in Week 1 up to 7.5 against the Colts. He actually threw four passes that traveled 20 or more yards in the air after not attempting any such throws in Arizona. Unfortunately, he was only able to connect on two of those passes, one of which was dropped.
He did not do well when pressured in this one. He was sacked three times and completed 4-of-7 attempts for just 29 yards on his ten dropbacks (30% sack rate and 4.1 YPA).
|Wide Receivers (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Josh Doctson *||71||96%|
|Jamison Crowder *||69||93%|
|Paul Richardson *||68||92%|
Jamison Crowder- Jamison Crowder saw his snap rate climb from 62% all the way up to 93% this week, as game script forced the team to use 11 personnel on almost every play. Crowder disappointed as a receiver, as he finished the game with just 4 targets, 2 receptions, 8 receiving yards and a zero first downs.
He doesn’t even rank in the top four on the team in targets (8), receiving yards (40) or receiving first downs (2) this season. You would think he might’ve improved on offense after not having to worry about punt return duties, but that hasn’t been the case, at least not so far.
Where Crowder did excel on Sunday was in the running game. He took an end-around run for 25 yards on the Redskins’ first offensive play of the game. That was easily the longest rush of his career - and of the game - and it almost doubled his career rushing total coming into the day (34 yards). He picked up four yards on another rush.
He tied for the team lead in rushing first downs (1) and led the Redskins in rushing yards with 29 of them. Jamison Crowder is the first wide receiver to lead the team in rushing in a game since Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell accomplished the feat with 34 yards on the ground against the Giants in Week 7 of the 1968 season.
Paul Richardson- Washington’s most expensive wideout didn’t set the world on fire against the Colts, but he did easily put up the best numbers among the team’s receivers. On 46 routes and 6 targets, P-Rich led the receiving corps in yards (63) and first downs (4). One of those first downs came on a 34-yard reception on third down, which was the Redskins’ longest play of the game.
Richardson went over 100 receptions for his career in the game (103 receptions).
Maurice Harris- Mo Harris cleared the final stage of the concussion protocol, but was held out for precautionary reasons. The team will gladly welcome him back next week.
Brian Quick- Quick played on 5 offensive snaps, but was not targeted. In fact, Quick has only been targeted seven times in Washington’s last 17 games, which is the same amount of targets he received in his final game with the Rams over a year and a half ago.
Jehu Chesson- Jehu Chesson was targeted on his only offensive snap of the game. Smith looked his way on a 3rd-and-5 pass just over midfield, but Chesson did not come back to the ball, and the pass fell incomplete. He did make a few nice plays on special teams, but was also flagged for holding on the opening kickoff of the second half.
Those mistakes were enough to cost Chesson his job, as he was waived yesterday, less than a week after he was originally signed to the active roster. He was re-signed to the practice squad today.
Josh Doctson- This was a very typical Josh Doctson performance. The former first-round pick played on all but three offensive snaps, ran a route on almost every Washington passing play and somehow finished the game with just 4 receptions for 37 yards. That gives him the following receiving averages: 9.3 yards per reception, 5.1 yards per target and 0.76 yards per route run. His 4 receptions sadly ties a career high that he has set or matched four times now.
He also dropped a deep pass along the sideline and failed to haul in what would’ve been the Redskins’ only touchdown of the game on another target. To be fair, all four of his receptions did go for first downs, with one of them coming on a third-down play.
I put Doctson down here next to the team’s two newest receivers, because, like them, he has the looks of a first-round bust. That’s right, I said it. He still has time to prove me wrong, but time is certainly running out.
A few weeks ago, Gabe Ward spoke with Football Outsiders about Doctson, and they told him Doctson’s career average 33 receiving yards per game in his first two seasons ranks 51st among the 73 receivers drafted in the first round between 2000 and 2016.
The only players on that list who ever averaged fewer than 36 yards per game in their first two seasons and topped 1,000 yards in a single season were Roddy White, Javon Walker and Santana Moss. All three of them hit the 1K mark for the first time in their third year in the league and by the time they turned 26. Josh Doctson is in his third NFL season and he turns 26 in December.
Doctson would have to average more than double his career yardage average (roughly 68 yards) in the final 14 games to go over 1,000 yards on the year. He averaged 24 yards per game between Weeks 1 and 2.
Breshad Perriman- Perriman was picked late in the first round a year before Doctson was. Like Doctson, he was a freak athlete at the receiver position who has failed to live up to the draft capital spent on him. Both players have often been injured, as well.
Here are Perriman and Doctson’s career highs so far: Targets (13 for Doctson and 8 for Perriman), receptions (4 each), receiving yards (81 and 64) and touchdowns (1 each).
All of the bust stats I discussed with Doctson apply to Perriman; the only differences are that this is Perriman’s fourth year in the league (one season lost to injury) and he doesn’t turn 26 until next September.
Michael Floyd- Floyd was the other former first-round receiver signed by the team yesterday. He gained 1,041 receiving yards in his second year and went over 800 yards with 6 touchdowns in his third and fourth years in the league. He fell off after that, as he compiled just 566 receiving yards between 2016 and 2017. Floyd has only exceeded 65 receiving yards once since Week 16 of the 2015 season and he turns 30 in a little over two months.
No Lack of Pedigree- The Redskins now have more receivers who were drafted in the first round on their roster than any other team in the NFL (3). The only other teams I could find with two first-round wideouts were the Falcons (Jones and Ridley), Texans (Hopkins and Fuller), Patriots (Dorsett and Patterson) and Bengals (Green and Ross). Also, don’t forget that Brian Quick was selected with the 33rd overall pick in 2012, which makes Washington the only team with four receivers who were drafted with a top-40 pick.
|Tight Ends (3 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Vernon Davis *||26||35%|
Jordan Reed- Jordan Reed led all Washington tight ends with 40 snaps (54%). It’s a bit perplexing to see Reed only play a little over half of the snaps in a game in which his team trailed for 54 minutes and 25 seconds. He was in on at least 73% of the snaps in 11 of the 18 games he played between 2016 and 2017.
It not just that he didn’t play enough, though; it’s that he wasn’t utilized enough when he was out there. Reed wasn’t targeted in the first 23 minutes of the contest and got six fewer looks in the passing game than Chris Thompson did (14 to 8 targets).
He snagged 6 of those passes for 55 yards and two first downs, one of which came on a 3rd-and-7 play on a field goal drive. His average separation from the nearest defender when the ball arrived was 4.1 yards, the best average among all wide receivers and tight ends in the game.
Reed did make one costly error, though. His lost fumble at the Indianapolis 21-yard line essentially wrapped up the game for the Colts.
Vernon Davis- Davis, whose streak of 28 consecutive starts was snapped last week, was back in the starting lineup for this one. However, he saw his snap rate take a nosedive from 59% in Week 1 down to 35% in this contest. His 26 snaps and 35% snap rate are his lowest such figures since Week 17 of the 2016 season (21 and 38%).
Davis was only targeted once on his 15 routes and that target didn’t come until there was under five minutes remaining in the game. He was able to haul in the pass for a 7-yard first down. VD was the Redskins’ second lowest graded offensive player in the game (47.7).
Through two games this season, Vernon Davis has only caught two passes for 16 yards, a yardage total he topped in 12 separate games last year. Perhaps, at 34 years and 230 days old, Father Time is finally catching up to Davis, who is the third oldest tight end in the NFL.
Jeremy Sprinkle- Jeremy Sprinkle played on 18% of the offensive snaps, which was his lowest playing-time clip since Week 14 of last season (6%) and a dramatic drop from what he saw last week (43%).
Sprinkle is primarily used as a run blocker, so his decline in PT shouldn’t be too surprising, considering that the team ran 20 fewer times this week than they did against the Cardinals. He blocked in the running game on 9 of his 13 snaps against the Colts and has done so on 65% of his career offensive snaps. He hasn’t been targeted in the team’s last three games.
|Running Backs (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Adrian Peterson *||25||34%|
Adrian Peterson- After nearly gaining 100 rushing yards last week, Adrian Peterson struggled to get anything going on the ground in this one. AP only gained 20 yards, picked up one rushing first down and was successful on just 3 of his 11 rushes. Those numbers leave him with a very poor YPC (1.8), first-down percentage (9%) and success rate (27%).
“All Day” has played in 15 games since the start of the 2016 season, and he’s averaged fewer than 2.0 yards per carry in seven of them. That is tied for the most such games in that span by a running back (Isaiah Crowell). Remember, Peterson only played in 13 of a possible 32 games between 2016 and 2017.
Peterson’s longest rush went for 14 yards, but he was unable to gain more than 5 yards on any of his other attempts. He lost yards on four runs and failed to gain any yardage twice. AP leads the NFL in both number of negative rushing attempts (7) and number of runs that failed to gain any yardage (11, tied with Peyton Barber).
He did attempt to salvage his day by catching all three of his targets for a total of 30 yards and a first down. Peterson is already up to 100 receiving yards on the season, which somehow ranks third on the team and is more than any Washington wideout has produced so far.
Chris Thompson- Chris Thompson doubled up on Peterson, in terms of playing time (50 to 25 snaps), because of a very negative game script.
CT actually struggled even more than AP did in the running game. He gained 8 yards on one rush, but lost a combined 7 yards on his other three runs (0.25 YPC). His one rushing yard in the game is his lowest total since Week 2 of last season.
Thompson flourished where he usually does, as a receiver. He caught 13 of the 14 targets (both new career highs) thrown his way for 92 yards and 5 first downs, and led all players on both teams in every one of those statistical categories. Thompson was targeted on 32% of Smith’s passes against the Colts and his 28% target share on the season ranks 15th in the entire NFL.
His 13 receptions in the game were tied for the second most ever in franchise history with Art Monk (twice) and Kelvin Bryant. Thompson was just one catch shy of tying the all-time Redskins’ record of 14 receptions in a game. The record was set by Roy Helu when John Beck checked it down to him 16 times in a 2011 game against an Alex Smith led 49ers team.
Overall this season, Chris Thompson leads the team in targets (21), receptions (19), receiving yards (155), yards from scrimmage (221) and first downs (13). Feels like deja vu.
Rob Kelley- On his only offensive snap of the day, Kelley lined up as a fullback and lunged forward to pick up the first down on a 3rd-and-1 rush. He only gained one yard, on what was his lone run of the contest, but that’s all he needed to move the chains for the offense.
Kelley suffered a toe injury against the Colts that will likely sideline him for 4-6 weeks. He missed nine games last season with various injuries.
UPDATE: Kelley was just placed on injured reserve.
Samaje Perine- The second-year Sooners running back was inactive for the second straight week and for the second time in his career. That should change next week with Rob Kelley now on the mend.
Redskins Rushing- The team averaged under 3.0 YPC on 22 rushes (65 yards), with 45% of those runs failing to gain any yardage. The was the eighth time since the start of last season that the team has rushed for under 70 yards.
|Offensive Linemen (9 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Shawn Lauvao *||74||100%|
|Morgan Moses *||74||100%|
|Chase Roullier *||74||100%|
|Trent Williams *||73||99%|
|Brandon Scherff *||70||95%|
Offensive Line (Team)- Alex Smith was pressured on under 20% of this dropbacks, so the group wasn’t terrible in pass protection, but they did let too many pressures get home in this one; the line was responsible for allowing 2 sacks and 3 hits on Smith.
The Skins’ O-linemen were also flagged a combined three times for 18 yards, with two of those penalties resulting in stalled drives.
Trent Williams- This was certainly not one of Williams’ better performances. He allowed a hurry and gave up what was only the third QB hit he’s allowed since the beginning of 2017. T-Will did, at least, earn the highest run-blocking grade (69.0) among the team’s O-linemen. The Skins’ only run of over 15 yards (Crowder 25-yarder) came to his side.
He also committed two penalties, one of which led to a stalled drive, for the second time in as many weeks. Williams is tied with one other player (Nick Boyle) for the most accepted penalties by any player in the NFL.
Ty Nsekhe- Nsekhe came in to spell an injured Trent Williams on one snap. This is becoming a tradition, as Williams has missed at least one snap in 8 of the 12 games he played between this year and last.
Shawn Lauvao- Shawn Lauvao was absolutely terrible in Sunday’s game. He allowed a sack to Jihad Ward, a hit on Smith and four hurries, which gave him a total of six pressures allowed. There has only been one instance this season in which an interior lineman has given up more than six pressures in a game (Frank Ragnow allowed 7 this week). Lauvao has surrendered six or more pressures in three of his last six games.
Brandon Scherff- The two-time Pro Bowler out of Iowa was the only starting offensive linemen on the team who did not allow a single pressure in the game. Scherff earned the second highest grade on the entire offense (71.5). He missed four snaps in the game with a minor leg injury.
Chase Roullier- Roullier started at center, but took four snaps at right guard when Scherff had to sit out with an injury. He, too, allowed multiple pressures of Alex Smith (2 hurries).
Tony Bergstrom- Bergstrom took over for Roullier at the pivot on those aforementioned snaps. It was his first offensive action of the season.
Morgan Moses- Morgan Moses was yet another Skins lineman who had a very rocky outing against the Colts. He gave up a hit, allowed a sack to Jabaal Sheard and was flagged for holding. Moses has allowed a hit and/or a sack in four consecutive games.
Other Offensive Linemen- Rookies Casey Dunn and Geron Christian were inactive for the second straight week.
Christian is one of just 15 top 100 picks from this year’s draft who have yet to play in a game this season. More than half of the other 14 players are either quarterbacks, on injured reserved or missed the first two games with minor injuries. Christian currently belongs in the #NotGoodEnoughAtFootball category with running back Ronald Jones and a couple of others.
ALL OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
|Offense (24 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Shawn Lauvao *||74||100%||Adrian Peterson *||25||34%|
|Morgan Moses *||74||100%||Jeremy Sprinkle||13||18%|
|Chase Roullier *||74||100%||Brian Quick||6||8%|
|Alex Smith *||74||100%||Tony Bergstrom||4||5%|
|Trent Williams *||73||99%||Jehu Chesson||1||1%|
|Josh Doctson *||71||96%||Rob Kelley||1||1%|
|Brandon Scherff *||70||95%||Ty Nsekhe||1||1%|
|Jamison Crowder *||69||93%||Colt McCoy||0||0%|
|Paul Richardson *||68||92%||Geron Christian||Inactive||N/A|
|Chris Thompson||50||68%||Casey Dunn||Inactive||N/A|
|Jordan Reed||40||54%||Maurice Harris||Inactive||N/A|
|Vernon Davis *||26||35%||Samaje Perine||Inactive||N/A|
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com and The Washington Post*
If all other things were equal, which of these quarterbacks would you choose to lead the Redskins for the next three seasons?
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