Jay Gruden- Head coach Jay Gruden was fired after the fifth game of his sixth season and his 86th game running the team overall (including playoffs).
He posted a 35-50-1 (.413) record and was only able to lead the team to better than a third-place finish in the NFC East once, when the team won the division title in 2015. Gruden never won more than nine games and hovered between seven and nine victories in all but his first and last year with the team.
He technically oversaw two winning teams (9-7 in 2015 and 8-7-1 in 2016), but only his 2016 squad was truly above average according to advanced metrics, as that was the lone year in which the team posted a positive DVOA (9.5%) and SRS (2.0) under his watch.
You certainly can’t blame all of the Redskins’ recent failures on Gruden, though. He didn’t have control over the roster and had more than 20 of his players placed on IR in each of the last two seasons. Gruden also wasn’t in charge of the defense, which only ranked better than 20th in DVOA once during his tenure.
They Were Not “Close”- Bruce Allen continues to talk about how the Redskins were “close” last season because of their 6-3 record prior to losing quarterback Alex Smith to injury. The team was tied for the seventh-best record through the first ten weeks of last season, but they also ranked 17th in ANYA/A differential (0.01), 18th in point differential (+1) and 24th in yardage margin (-212).
And it should be noted that just one of those six wins came against a team that finished the year with more than 7 wins (Cowboys at 10-6). The average number of victories for those six opponents was 6.1. I’m sorry, but the Redskins were not “close” last season; they were average, at best.
Snaps- The Redskins’ O was on the field for 59 snaps, 53 plays and 28:08 of the game clock. Washington’s opponent has been on the field for at least 10 more snaps and plays and has possessed the ball for at least three minutes longer than they have in all but one of the team’s five games this season (vs. Chicago).
Yards- A week of posting their second-fewest yards in the Jay Gruden era (176), the offense was limited to just 220 yards this past Sunday, their ninth-lowest output since 2014. The Skins 1,405 yards of total offense is their sixth-lowest total through the first five games of a season since the 1970 merger. They’ve also been outgained by 634 yards so far, their third-biggest negative margin in the first five games since at least 1940.
Points- The Redskins were limited to just 7 points against the vaunted New England defense. They have failed to top 21 points and beat the spread since the season opener; in fact, only the lowly Dolphins have been worse when it comes to covering the spread in 2019 (0-4).
Speaking of Miami, they are the only team with a worse point differential (-137 to -79), SRS score (-30.4 to -12.4) and/or FPI (-17.9 to -8.3). There is a very good chance that next week’s game determines which team will have the number one overall pick in the 2020 draft.
3rd & 4th Down- Colt McCoy and company were only able to convert on one of their 11 third downs in the game, which gave the team a pathetic 9.1% conversion percentage. That is tied for the ninth-worst success rate on the money down by a Washington team in recorded history (since 1991). A big reason this happened was because the offense needed to gain eight or more yards on all but two of their third-down tries.
The team’s 24.5% conversion rate on third down this season ranks 31st in the league, just ahead of the Jets at 21.1%. If this clip holds, the Redskins will finish the year with the fifth-worst third-down conversion clip in NFL history.
The Skins didn’t go for it once on fourth down despite trailing by at least 12 points for the last 25-plus minutes of the contest. This is the second consecutive week that this has been the case.
Red Zone- Washington’s offense did not run a single play in the Patriots red zone on Sunday. This is just the sixth time in the last decade that a Redskins team did not make any trips to the red area in a game.
What’s even worse is that they only ran three plays on New England’s side of the field in the entire contest, with the deepest of those plays coming at the 45-yard line. In the five other aforementioned games the offense failed to reach the red zone in, they ran at least six plays in opposition territory and made it to at least the 32-yard line.
Giveaways- The offense turned the ball over twice against the Pats. The giveaways came via an interception and a lost fumble. The Skins are honestly lucky things weren’t even worse in this department, as they were able to recover two of their three fumbles on the day.
After not committing a single turnover in Weeks 1 and 2, the team has now given the ball away multiple times in each of the last three games. They lead the NFL with 11 turnovers since Week 3. Meanwhile, the rest of league averaged just 4.1 giveaways in that span. Washington is tied with three other teams (Bills, Rams and Giants) for the most turnovers over the course of the entire season.
|Quarterbacks (3 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Colt McCoy *||59||100%|
Colt McCoy- Colt McCoy struggled mightily in his first appearance since breaking his leg in Week 13 of last season (at Philadelphia). He completed 18 of his 27 passes (66.7%) for 119 yards, 5 first downs, no touchdowns and an interception. His 60.6 passer rating and 4.41 YPA were the sixth-worst and worst marks of his career, respectively.
He was sacked a career-high tying six times for 44 yards (4th-most) and fumbled the ball twice (tied for 2nd-most). The sacks are a huge part of the reason he posted the second-lowest adjusted-net-yards-per-attempt figure (0.91) of his career.
McCoy rushed the ball twice, gained 14 yards on the plays and picked up a first down on one of them.
Colt McCoy (Advanced Stats)- The ten-year veteran signal caller ranked 27th in QBR (20.1) and 28th in PFF grade (44.7) among the 30 qualifiers at the position this week. His QBR and PFF grade both represented the fourth-worst such marks of his entire career.
He went 0-2 on deep passes and only completed two of his six throws under pressure for a total of 10 yards (1.7 YPA).
Dwayne Haskins- During his introductory press conference on Monday, Interim head coach Bill Callahan stated that Dwayne Haskins is not a contender to start at quarterback for the Redskins right now. This tells me we should not expect Haskins to start until at least after the team’s bye in Week 10. That is not a good sign.
Sure there have been a few good first-round quarterbacks in recent years who didn’t play early (Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Chad Pennington, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers), but they were all on teams that either had a Hall of Fame quarterbacks and/or was contending for a playoff spot (8-8 finish or better).
What about the rookie first-rounders on bad teams who didn’t start until the tenth game of their rookie season or later? As you can see, the list is not very inspiring: Rex Grossman, JaMarcus Russel, Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel and Jared Goff.
Case Keenum- If the Redskins must choose between McCoy and Keenum, then Keenum should be the starter. He’s posted better career numbers in basically every passing efficiency metric out there: completion %, TD %, INT %, sack %, winning percentage, passer rating, yards per attempt, yards per completion, adjusted net yards per attempt, etc.
|Wide Receivers (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Terry McLaurin *||56||95%|
|Paul Richardson *||51||86%|
Terry McLaurin- Terry McLaurin, who missed last week’s game with a balky hamstring, has been one of the few bright spots on the team in each game he’s played this season; that was no different against the Patriots. He hauled in 3 receptions and posted team highs in targets (7), receiving yards (51), yards from scrimmage (51) and first downs (3). He also forced an illegal hands to the face penalty that gave the Skins’ offense a fresh set of downs.
Scary Terry actually picked up more chain movers through the air than the rest of the team did combined, and had the same number of yards that the rest of team’s receivers and tight ends did combined. He had 123 air yards in the game, which was a whopping 116 more such yards than any other player on the team and gave him a ridiculous 69% air yards market share. His gains of 22, 17 and 12 yards gave the Skins their second, third and fourth-longest gains of the contest.
Perhaps, what’s most impressive about McLaurin’s performance is that all of his production came against 2018 first-team all-pro Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore shadowed F1 McLaurin on 28 of his 34 routes and gave up all 51 yards the rookie wideout gained; he was also the one flagged for illegal hands to the face against him. This was just the third time in his last 22 games that Gilmore has surrendered more than 50 yards to an individual player. He posted his lowest PFF grade (38.7) since joining the Patriots at the start of 2017 season.
Paul Richardson- Many fans and analysts were starting to wonder if Paul Richardson was finally going to start producing at a consistent level after an 8-catch, 83-yard performance against the Bears that also saw him catch a touchdown for the second straight week. That consistency has not materialized.
P-Rich caught both passes thrown his way and gained exactly 14 yards for the second game in a row. Both of his catches on Sunday came on 2nd-and-21 plays, so his catches of 6 and 8 yards didn’t even put the offense within 12 yards of the line to gain.
His yardage totals this year are 36, 16, 83, 14 and 14. Which of those do you think was the outlier? On top of that, he only topped 50 yards once in seven games last season. Paul Richardson is basically putting up Josh Doctsonesque numbers on an $8M per year salary.
Trey Quinn- Quinn’s quest to be one of the league’s most inefficient carried on this past Sunday. Mr. Irrelevant caught three of the four looks he got in the passing game, but he only turned those catches into a total of 15 yards. He also lost a fumble for the first time in his career and not-so-conveniently did it inside the Redskins’ 20-yard line.
There are 85 wide receivers and tight ends who have been targeted 20-plus times this season. Check out Trey Quinn’s rankings in the following key efficiency metrics: 83rd in receiving yards per game (24.8), 85th in yards per reception (6.89), 84th in yards per target (4.43), 84th in yards per route run (0.71) and 82nd in DVOA (-29.9%). These statistics actually do make him kind of irrelevant.
Steven Sims- The rookie UDFA played on a career-high 32 offensive snaps, a number that was 52% higher than his 2019 total coming into the game (21 snaps).
Sims caught two of his three passes for just a single yard, because he gained 5 yards on one of his receptions and lost 4 yards on the other one. He was also McCoy’s target on the team’s lone interception of the day.
Nobody will really remember Sims’ receiving numbers from this game, though; they’ll remember that he scored a 65-yard touchdown on his only carry of the day.
It gave the Redskins both their second-longest gain of the season (McLaurin 68-yard touchdown in Week 1) and their third-longest run of the Jay Gruden era (90-yard Peterson TD in 2018 and 66-yard Rob Kelley rush in 2016). It was the Redskins’ longest rush of any kind this year by 51 yards. The team only gained more rushing yards on a touchdown on three other occasions in the past 25 years.
Let’s shift the focus back to Sims, though. It was his first career touchdown for the rookie, but we probably shouldn’t be too surprised to see him break such a long one. Of his 19 scores with the Kansas Jayhawks, five of them came on gains of 60 or more yards.
Sims hit a top speed of 20.21 miles per hour on the run, which was the 16th-fastest speed by a ball carrier in Week 5. He has posted a top-20 speed among all ball carriers and the fastest speed by a Redskin in each of the last three weeks. Yeah, he fast.
Kelvin Harmon- The rookie sixth-round pick was targeted once on his 6 snaps and 3 routes run. He caught the 1st-and-10 pass for a gain of 4 yards. Harmon ranks second among all wide receivers on the team in yards per target (9.8) and yards per route run (1.17).
Cam Sims- Cam Sims, whose rookie year was cut short on the very first snap of the season in 2018, played in what was just his second career game on Sunday. His 2 offensive snaps were his first as a pro. Sims ran routes on both plays he was in for, but was not targeted on either of them.
|Tight Ends (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jeremy Sprinkle *||27||46%|
Jeremy Sprinkle- Sprinkle made his ninth consecutive start and was out there for 27 snaps with the offense. He caught two-of-three targets on the day for 17 yards.
Sprinkle has already set new season-long personal records in targets (12), receptions (7), receiving yards (75) and first downs (4). This was also his fifth straight game with a reception, which is impressive considering he only caught a pass in four of his 27 games between his first and second years in the league.
Jerome Cunningham- The seventh-year tight end played for the first time this season and for just the fourth time since 2015. Cunningham was on the field for 13 offensive snaps, with roughly two-thirds of those coming as a blocker. He was not targeted in the game. His blocking was good enough to earn him the highest PFF grade on the offense (74.3).
Concussed Co-Starters- Both Jordan Reed (5th) and Vernon Davis (2nd) missed another game because of a concussion. Reed has now missed 22 games since Davis joined the team in 2016; he’s made 21 starts and played 1,312 snaps in that span. VD, on the other hand, has missed 4 games, made 39 starts and been in on 2,104 snaps as a Redskin.
Hale Hentges- Hale Hentges was signed by the Redskins yesterday after being cut by the Colts this past Saturday. Which college do you think the rookie UDFA went to? Of course the answer is Alabama. Hentges is now the eighth player on the active roster (ninth total) who played for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Of the Redskins’ 50 non-specialists, 16% of them played their college ball at Alabama.
Hentges is a true blocking tight end and not much else. He only gained 148 yards from scrimmage in his four years (58 games) in Tuscaloosa.
|Running Backs (3 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Adrian Peterson *||16||27%|
Adrian Peterson- Adrian Peterson’s absolutely dismal season continued on Sunday. He set new season lows in the following statistics: snaps (16), snap rate (27%), carries (7), rushing yards (17) and yards from scrimmage (17). He was not targeted for the second week in a row and did not pick up a single first down for the second time in the last three games. He only gained more than 3 yards on two of his five runs and couldn’t produce a gain of longer than 7 yards.
AP has not topped 40 yards from scrimmage or gained more than 10 yards on a single play in any of his four games this season. In his last five outings (including the 2018 finale), Peterson has only gained 112 total yards; there are 149 five-game spans in his regular season career and that is the second-lowest output out of any of them.
The 34-year-old is currently the owner of the fourth worst rushing DVOA (-26.2%), the third-worst PFF grade (57.7), the second-worst YPC average (2.70) and the worst first-down percentage (10.0%) among all of the 51 players with 24 or more rushes this season. Get well soon, Derrius!
Chris Thompson- CT led all Redskins’ running backs in snaps (32) for the sixth straight game, but that didn’t matter much for him in terms of production.
He gained 21 yards rushing, picked up a first down and recorded a new season-long run (12 yards) on his four carries (5.25 YPC). Those are actually pretty decent number for Thompson as a runner.
What was lacking, however, was his numbers as a receiver. He led the team in both targets (7) and receptions (5), but was only able to muster a single first down and gain season lows in both receiving yards (17) and yards from scrimmage (38); Thompson’s previous 2019 lows in those categories were 48 and 51 yards.
Wendell Smallwood- It was Wendell Smallwood, who actually had the best game among all players in the team’s RB corps. Smallwood rushed the ball six times for 27 yards (4.50) and a pair of first downs, with the yardage and first-down totals both representing team highs. The fourth-year back had as many 5-yard rushes as Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson did combined (3).
Redskins Rushing- The Redskins rushed the ball 20 times for 145 yards, a 7.3 YPC average, 5 first downs and a touchdown. Those are their highest such figures in virtually every one of those categories since Week 16 of last season (at Tennessee). Here’s the problem, most of that production was accrued on Sims’ 65-yader and on garbage-time runs by Smallwood (100% of the TDs, 40% of the FDs and 64% of the yards).
The fact is that the Redskins have been a horrible rushing team this season and Bill Callahan’s insistence on leaning heavily on the running game is not going to help. The team’s 88 attempts, 13 first downs and 394 yards mark their lowest, lowest and fourth-lowest totals through five games since 1950 (first-down data goes back to 1999). They rank bottom-six in the league in each of those statistics this season.
|Offensive Line (9 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Tony Bergstrom *||59||100%|
|Ereck Flowers *||59||100%|
|Wes Martin *||59||100%|
|Morgan Moses *||58||98%|
|Donald Penn *||50||85%|
|Geron Christian *||14||24%|
Offensive Line (Team)- The Redskins’ depleted O-line, which was down three of its projected starters for the second consecutive game, struggled this week. Washington running backs were unable to move the chains on both of their short-yardage runs (0 yards combined). The team also lost yardage on three of their 18 designed runs.
Things were even worse for the unit in pass protection. The Skins gave up a season-high 6 sacks and a 40% pressure rate, which was their highest such clip allowed since Week 1 (42.2%). The team had not surrendered six or more sacks since Week 12 of the 2017 season (vs. NYG).
And as if that wasn’t enough, the O-line was responsible for seven of the team’s nine total penalties and five of their six accepted penalties (32 yards). Four of the offense’s penalties were committed during a five-snap span on a second-quarter drive.
Donald Penn- Despite some early-season success, the veteran left tackle has not played up to par so far this season. That was never more evident than it was on Sunday.
He gave up a third-down sack to rookie Chase Winovich on the first drive of the game and should’ve been credited with allowing a second sack when the Patriot he was blocking split a sack on another play. This was the second week in a row Penn was credited with one sack and could’ve easily been tagged with a second one. He also allowed a QB hit on a passing play that nearly ended with a pick.
Penn was just about as bad in the running game. He committed a holding penalty that nullified a decent Adrian Peterson run and stalled a drive. The four runs which were made through his gaps gained just 12 yards (3.0 YPC) and did not pick up any first downs.
A hamstring injury caused him to miss time with the offense for the first time all year (9 snaps).
Ereck Flowers- This was likely Flowers’ worst game in a burgundy and gold uniform, as well. He continued his streak of not allowing a hit or a sack, but he did give up a season-high 3 hurries. The former tackle was flagged for holding and illegal hands to the face. He has now committed 4 accepted and 5 total penalties this year.
Flowers’ 28.3 PFF grade ranked dead last on the offense and fourth-worst among all offensive players in Week 5.
Tony Bergstrom- The 33-year-old veteran started at center for the second straight game. He did make a key block on Steven Sims’ touchdown run, but had a poor showing outside of that. Like Penn, he was credited with surrendering one sack, but probably should’ve been charged with two of them. Danny Shelton and Jamie Collins were the players who beat him for the sacks; Collins’ sack was the eighth-fastest made by any player this season (2.5 seconds).
Bergstrom was also flagged for holding on a third down, but the penalty was declined because McCoy fumbled out of bounds for a 1-yard loss on the play.
Wes Martin- Martin too, drew a holding penalty that would ultimately be declined. The rookie guard gave up a hurry and the first sack of his career in the game, as well.
Morgan Moses- Unlike virtually all of his fellow line mates, Moses didn’t give up any sacks, but he did allow the hurry that ultimately led to one of the sacks on McCoy. The highly overpaid right tackle also surrendered a third-down QB hit and was flagged for a false start.
You know how everyone says Moses basically commits a false start on every play? Well, the numbers at least somewhat back that idea up. Since Moses took over as a starter in 2015, only three players (Jason Peters, Joe Barksdale and Germain Ifedi) have been flagged for more false start penalties than Moses has (17).
Geron Christian- Christian lined up as an extra lineman on the first play of the game, which gave him the first start of his career. He was used in that capacity on three more snaps. Christian also relieved Donald Penn at left tackle for 9 snaps and Morgan Moses at right tackle on a snap, both of whom suffered minor injuries in the game. Last year’s third-round pick did not allow any pressures or commit any penalties on his 14 snaps played.
Other Offensive Linemen- Brandon Scherff missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. He has not missed at least two games in each of the last three seasons. Chase Roullier practiced all week on a limited basis; he was active for the game, but did not take a snap of any kind. Ross Pierschbacher, who played one special teams snap in his NFL debut, was inactive for the fourth time this year.
ALL OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
|All Offensive Players (25 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Tony Bergstrom *||59||100%||Geron Christian *||14||24%|
|Ereck Flowers *||59||100%||Jerome Cunningham||13||22%|
|Wes Martin *||59||100%||Wendell Smallwood||11||19%|
|Colt McCoy *||59||100%||Kelvin Harmon||6||10%|
|Morgan Moses *||58||98%||Cam Sims||2||3%|
|Terry McLaurin *||56||95%||Dwayne Haskins||0||0%|
|Paul Richardson *||51||86%||Chase Roullier||0||0%|
|Donald Penn *||50||85%||Vernon Davis||Inactive||N/A|
|Trey Quinn||45||76%||Case Keenum||Inactive||N/A|
|Steven Sims||32||54%||Ross Pierschbacher||Inactive||N/A|
|Chris Thompson||32||54%||Jordan Reed||Inactive||N/A|
|Jeremy Sprinkle *||27||46%||Brandon Scherff||Inactive||N/A|
|Adrian Peterson *||16||27%|
*All statistics are courtesy of Air Yards, ESPN, Football Outsiders, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com, Sports Info Solutions and The Washington Post*
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