The Redskins come out of the first quarter of the regular season 2-1, currently on an early bye week that they very much needed at this point. The uncertainty surrounding the team heading into the regular season was very high amongst the fan base, and media alike, but not an unusual feeling. This year’s team was different; the familiar faces fans once knew on both sides of the football are no longer here. Kirk Cousins, Bashaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall, Kendall Fuller, Ryan Grant, Niles Paul, and many more have moved on. First-year Redskins QB Alex Smith is the new leader of this team. Smith’s experience and command of the offense creates a dynamic that was lost for many previous seasons with head coach Jay Gruden.
The offense has picked up on Alex Smith’s composure at the quarterback position. In addition to Smith, future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson joined the Redskins late in the pre-season due to the untimely ACL injury to Derrius Guice. Washington’s offense is no elite offense by any means, but the two seasoned veteran leaders have laid down the groundwork for establishing consistency for their offense. Gruden has taken advantage of the Peterson signing, leading the NFL in rush attempts over the course of three games, and fourth in rushing with 413 yards. Over the years Gruden has emphasized how important the ground game was, did he always walk the talk? No. However, things change when you can get a running back that complements your offensive line.
The Redskins offense ranks tenth in yards per game and has one of the better time of possessions per drive, ranking sixth with three minutes per drive. With the points per game not necessarily matching the yards, the time per drive is critical and shows how successful the Redskins are in limiting opposing offenses time they have to get back in the game. In their two victories against the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, the Redskins have outscored them 49-10 in the first half.
If there were a thing to be critical about with the offense it would be their performance coming out of halftime. The Redskins have not scored a touchdown in the second half and has been outscored 20-12. This is not simply a ball control issue; the Redskins from a play-calling standpoint do not take their foot off the pedal. Washington must keep the same intensity, stop the lax approaches to the second half, limit penalties, and finish more drives in the end zone. The Redskins complacency issues in the early going can and will come back to bite them in bigger games.
Jamual’s Grade for the offense: Grade: B+