Season Opening Losses- The Redskins lost their first game for the sixth time in the last seven years. Their 1-6 mark in those games is tied for the second-worst record in the league during that span.
Snaps- The offense was on the field for 58 plays and 67 snaps in Sunday’s season opener in Philadelphia. Of the team’s 25 offensive players, just 15 of them got playing time on that side of the ball.
Yards- The Burgundy and Gold racked up 398 yards of total offense against the Eagles, which is their highest total since Week 1 of last season (at Arizona).
Of those 398 yards, 147 of them (36.9%) were gained in the first quarter. That is the team’s best yardage output in the opening frame since the 2016 beatdown of the Bears on Christmas Eve (Week 16).
Points- Washington didn’t come out on top in this one, but at least their offense showed some promise for once. The team scored 27 points in the game, which is tied for the second-most they’ve scored since Week 12 of the 2017 season (31 points last year vs. Green Bay).
Second Half Letdown- Almost all of the offense’s production came in the first half. They gained 70% of their yards (278-of-398), scored 74% of their points (20-of-27) and picked up all of their third-down conversions (5-of-5) before halftime.
To make matters worse, all of the first downs (6) and points (7) came on a garbage-time drive that began with just over three minutes left on the clock. They went three-and-out on their other three second-half drives.
3rd & 4th Down- The Redskins moved the chains on just five of their 13 third-down plays on Sunday (38.5%).
A major reason for the team’s poor success rate on the money down was that they were an average of 8.0 yards behind the sticks on those plays. They went 3-for-4 when they were within four yards of the line to gain, but just 2-for-11 when they needed to gain 5-plus yards. The offense had to gain seven or more yards on over 61% of their third-down tries.
Gruden decided to go for it on fourth down twice in the game, with both such plays coming on the final drive of the afternoon. Case Keenum picked up a new set of downs with passes of 8 and 18 yards on the plays. This was only the sixth time this decade that the Redskins were perfect on fourth down despite going for it multiple times (second time since 2017).
Red Zone- The Washington offense found the paint on 1-of-2 trips to the red zone. They settled for a field goal at the end of their second drive of the game and scored a touchdown on the final series.
All four plays in the Philly red area were passes, two of which fell incomplete after being defended by Eagles’ corners. The Redskins lost 4 yards on their first completion inside the 20 (third down) and gained 4 yards on the next one (touchdown), which actually gave them a zero-yard average on these plays.
Giveaways- The Skins didn’t turn the ball over for just the sixth time since the start of the 2017 season (33 games) and for the first time in a season opener since 2012 (at New Orleans).
Penalties- Eight of the team’s twelve accepted penalties were committed by the offense (10 of 14 total penalties). Those twelve penalties (96 yards) were the third most the team has committed in the Jay Gruden era (since 2014).
|Quarterbacks (3 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Case Keenum *||67||100|
Case Keenum (Traditional Stats)- Case Keenum was quite impressive in his Redskins debut. The journeyman signal caller completed 30 of his 44 passes (68.2%) for a career-high 380 passing yards (8.6 YPA), 15 first downs, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions (117.6 passer rating). He did not scramble and was only sacked once.
He set several other personal records besides the passing yardage figure. Keenum’s 257 yards in the first half represented his highest total ever prior to halftime, his 69-yard TD pass was the longest completion of his NFL career and his 44 attempts were a new high for a game he did not throw an interception in.
This was just the fourth time in his 60-game career (including playoffs) that he passed for three or more TDs and did not throw a pick. Keenum also became just the second non-replacement player (sorry Ed Rubbert/Shane Falco) and the first one since Mark Rypien to throw for at least 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first start at quarterback for the Redskins (since at least 1950).
Case Keenum (Advanced Stats)- Several of the advanced metrics tell the same story. For the week, Keenum ranked eighth in total QBR (77.2), fifth in adjusted net yards of value over average (111), fifth in DVOA (50.3%) and 11th in completion percentage over expectation (+3.2).
He posted a top ten passer rating both when under pressure (123.1) and throwing deep (135.4), as well.
Other QBs- Dwayne Haskins was active but did not take any snaps, so this is not counted as his first game. Colt McCoy, on the other hand, is still recovering from offseason surgery and did not dress for the game.
|Wide Receivers (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Trey Quinn *||65||97%|
|Terry McLaurin *||62||93%|
|Paul Richardson *||52||78%|
Paul Richardson- Washington’s highest-paid receiver started but actually played at least ten fewer snaps than fellow starting wideouts Trey Quinn and Terry McLaurin did.
Richardson ended up with 4 receptions on 7 targets, both of which represented his highest totals in a Redskins uniform, but he only gained 36 yards on those plays. He would’ve had a much bigger day if he didn’t drop a pass on what would’ve been a 10-yard first-down pickup, the team’s only drop of the game, and had he not negated a sick 19-yard touchdown catch by stepping out of bounds prior to hauling in the pass.
At least the catches P-Rich did make had a tangible and positive impact on the game. He moved the chains with third-down gains of 5 and 17 yards, both of which came on scoring drives. While each of his two other grabs gained 7 yards and set up subsequent Washington first downs.
Terry McLaurin- Terry McLaurin burst onto the scene with a spectacular NFL debut. He started, played 92% of the snaps and made sure to repay the team for the playing time.
In the first half alone, he caught passes of 13, 22 and 69 yards, which gave him a total of 104 yards before the break. He would’ve led the team by 36 with that figure alone. His 22 and 69-yarders were the team’s first and third-longest plays of the day. The catch for 22 yards was a highly contested grab on third down that required him to wrestle the ball away from veteran corner Ronald Darby in the air.
As you might expect, his 69-yarder went for a touchdown, the Redskins’ first of 2019. He reached a top speed of 21.23 mph on the play, which was the fifth-fastest speed by a ball carrier in Week 1 (a hair under DeSean Jackson’s 21.4 mph speed on his 51-yard TD). It was the third-longest touchdown catch ever by a Redskins’ rookie and the longest touchdown from scrimmage by any Redskin in their NFL debut since at least 1950.
Terry Mac finished the game with the second-most targets (7) and receptions (5) by a Redskin and led the team in receiving yards (125), air yards (143), first downs (4) and touchdowns (1). Both yardage (7th and 8th) figures rank McLaurin inside the top ten among all players in the league. He also currently ranks in the top ten in the following efficiency stats (4-target minimum): yards per reception (25), yards per target (17.9) and passer rating when targeted (153.3).
His team-best 86.4 PFF grade ranks seventh among all wide receivers.
Terry McLaurin (Records)- What’s even scarier is Keenum just missed a wide-open McLaurin on what would’ve been a 73-yard touchdown. Even without that, the rookie third-rounder set numerous team records. His 125 receiving yards were the eighth most ever by a Washington rookie and the most all-time in a debut game for the Skins. In fact, only Hall of Famer Charley Taylor gained more yards from scrimmage in his debut with the team (150 yards).
On top of all that, Scary Terry joined 2019 first-rounders T.J. Hockenson and Marquise Brown to become the 16th, 17th and 18th players since at least 1950 to gain 125-plus receiving yards in their first NFL games. This list shrinks down to 11 players when you limit it to rookies who accomplished this feat in Week 1.
The last time a Redskins player gained 125 or more receiving yards in a single game was in Week 11 of 2017, when Jamison Crowder dropped a career-high 141 yards on the Giants. DeSean Jackson accomplished this feat for the Redskins four times in his tenure in Washington. You have to go back almost five years to find another Washington wide receiver who put up this many yards in a game (Pierre Garcon’s 138 yards in Week 3 of 2014 against the Eagles).
At least so far, it looks like Terry McLaurin is the real deal and that the Redskins got a steal in the third round.
Beware of Speed Demons- Philly certainly seemed to be concerned about getting beat deep by the lighting fast pairing of Richardson and McLaurin. They gave them an average cushion at the time of the snap on their targets of 8.6 and 8.0 yards respectively, the second and eighth-biggest cushions given to qualifying players in Week 1.
The Eagles had good reason to be concerned, as Richardson (4.40) and McLaurin (4.35) form the only starting outside receiver duo in which both players ran the forty with a time of 4.40 or better.
Trey Quinn- Last year’s Mr. Irrelevant led all backs and receivers in the game with 65 snaps and a 97% snap share, both of which were easily new career highs (107 offensive snaps as a rookie in 2018).
Quinn made a nifty 14-yard catch on a third down four plays prior to a Hopkins’ field goal in the first quarter; but, outside of a drive-stalling holding penalty, we didn’t hear much from him until the final drive of the game. Four of his six targets, two of his three receptions and 19 of his 33 receiving yards came on that drive, which he capped off with a 4-yard, spread-covering touchdown.
Trey Quinn has now scored in two of the three games he’s played 10 or more snaps in and has racked up at least 4 receptions in all three of those contests.
Kelvin Harmon- Harmon was targeted twice and caught chain-moving passes of 10 and 21 yards, both of which came on scoring drives. Not bad for a sixth rounder who only played 15 snaps and ran 9 routes (team-high 3.44 yards per route run) in his first NFL game.
Steven Sims- No offensive player currently on the roster was a bigger long shot to make the final 53 than Steven Sims was. The UDFA out of Kansas State ultimately made the team because of his abilities as a slot receiver and a kickoff returner.
In his NFL debut, Sims operated as the Skins’ return man on all six Philly kickoffs and played five snaps on offense; he ran a route on each of those plays but was not targeted.
Redskins Receiver Reformation- Washington’s wideouts combined to gain a league-low 1,694 receiving yards in 2018.
Not coincidentally, they moved on from all three of their top yardage producers at the position from a year ago (Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and Maurice Harris) and decided to go with a youth movement for this season. Three of the team’s five wideouts are rookies, and all but 65 of their combined career offensive snaps coming into the game came from Paul Richardson.
Things are off to a good start though, as the Redskins’ wideouts combined to gain 225 yards against the Eagles, which was the sixth-most yards gained by any receiver corps in Week 1.
|Tight Ends (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Vernon Davis *||55||82%|
|J.P. Holtz||ST Only||N/A|
Vernon Davis- Vernon Davis’ continued defiance of age and time was on full display in Week 1. Just a day after his grandfather passed away, the 35-year-old Davis played 55 snaps and caught 4 receptions for 59 yards (team-high 54 yards after catch) and a touchdown.
The score came on a YAC-filled 48-yarder in which Davis hurdled a defender and ran down the sideline to cap off the opening drive of the game. The touchdown came on third down and was the team’s second-longest play of the day.
This also marked the first time in NFL history that a tight end who was 35 or older caught a 40-plus yard touchdown. The last time any player who was at least 35 caught a touchdown of 40 or more yards was in Week 4 of the 2016 season, when a then 37-year-old Steve Smith hauled in a 52-yard score. The touchdown was the 63rd of Davis’ career, which moved him past Shannon Sharpe (62) and into sixth place all-time among tight ends.
Jeremy Sprinkle- Sprinkle blocked on seven of his snaps and ran a route on the other seven of them. His lone target came on the second offensive play of the game when he moved the chains with an 8-yard reception on the 2nd-and-5 play.
J.P. Holtz- The fourth-year veteran played solely on special teams (14 snaps) in what was the first regular season appearance of his career.
He was signed to the active roster a day before the game, which is when it became clear that Jordan Reed wouldn’t be able to go.
Update: Holtz was waived this afternoon. Look for the team to sign him back to the practice squad.
Jordan Reed- Reed’s concussion from Week 3 of the preseason caused him to miss a regular season opener for the first time in his career. His absence on Sunday ensured he would fail to play in all 16 games for the seventh consecutive year. Jay Gruden did, however, express optimism that Reed would be able to return to the lineup soon.
|Running Backs (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Derrius Guice *||24||36%|
|Wendell Smallwood||ST Only||N/A|
Derrius Guice- Derrius Guice made his long-awaited regular season debut on Sunday, unfortunately things got off to a very inauspicious start for the second-year LSU product. As a runner, Guice did not pick up a single first down, only broke a single tackle and didn’t gain more than five yards on any of his rushes; in fact, he actually gained two yards or less on 60% of his carries.
He finished the game with the following rushing line: 10 carries, 18 yards and a 1.8 YPC average. This is especially concerning considering the Eagles only put eight men or more in the box on 10% of his snaps.
Only ten other players since 1950 have run the ball ten or more times in their first game and posted a worse rushing average. There are a couple of success stories on that list (Thomas Jones and Kevin Faulk), but there are a few of busts on there, too (Charles Alexander, Lorenzo Hampton and Ki-Jana Carter).
Fortunately, Guice fared much better as a receiver on Sunday. He caught all three of his targets and gained 20 yards on those plays, including an 8-yard chain-moving grab on a 2nd-and-7 play.
He suffered a meniscus injury in the game and is expected to miss a few weeks because of it. Hopefully the injury explains his poor production; it slowing him down later in the game would certainly make sense, as 22 of his 38 total yards came on the first two drives (58%).
Chris Thompson- Chris Thompson easily led the Washington running back corps with 43 snaps, 19 more than Guice’s 24.
CT did what he usually does in losing efforts, which is put up big numbers as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Thompson led the team in both targets (10) and receptions (7), and his 68 receiving yards and 44 yards after the catch both ranked second on the club.
He was just about as big of a garbage-time compiler in this one as Trey Quinn was, though. Roughly 60% of his targets, receptions and receiving yards came on the Skins’ last drive, as did both of his first downs, one of which came on a 4-and-12 play.
However, Chris Army Knife didn’t really cut it in the running game (I’m sorry). He gained just 10 yards and failed to move the chains on any of his three rushes (3.33 YPC). He was stuffed a yard shy of the line to gain on a 3rd-and-3 direct-snap rush, but on the bright side his 7-yard dash in the second quarter was the team’s longest rush of the day.
Wendell Smallwood- The former Eagle made his first appearance with the Burgundy and Gold, but did not take any snaps with the offense. Smallwood instead worked exclusively on special teams, where he saw time on both return and coverage units (19 ST snaps).
Adrian Peterson- Adrian Peterson was a healthy scratch for the first time in his 13-year career. AP had more rushing yards in 11 of his 16 games last season than the entire Redskins team did on Sunday. Peterson had four or fewer carries in three of those games, while the Skins ran it 13 times in Week 1.
Look for All Day to get the lion’s share of the carries for the next few weeks with Guice on the shelf again.
Redskins Rushing- The Redskins’ offense had one of their worst performances running the ball since Jay Gruden took over as head coach in 2014.
Guice and Thompson ran it a combined 13 times but only gained 28 yards on those plays, which gave them a paltry 2.15-yard average. The yardage total and average rank fourth and seventh worst in the Gruden era. The only time they were worse in both categories since 2016 was in last season’s finale against these same Eagles (21 yards and a 1.75 average).
To top it all off, they did not pick up a single first down on the ground for the first time since Week 8 of 2011 (at Buffalo - the John Beck game). That is the only other game in which they failed to do so since 1999, which is as far as first down data goes back. The Redskins are also the first team to accomplish this feat since 2017.
|Offensive Line (9 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Ereck Flowers *||67||100%|
|Morgan Moses *||67||100%|
|Donald Penn *||67||100%|
|Chase Roullier *||67||100%|
|Brandon Scherff *||67||100%|
|Tony Bergstrom||ST Only||N/A|
|Geron Christian||ST Only||N/A|
Offensive Line (Team)- As you can probably tell from the previous section, the line did not have a great day blocking in the running game. I’ll give you one more nugget to back that idea up, though. Of the team’s 28 rushing yards, 22 of them came after contact, which means they only average 0.46 yards before contact.
The O-line did fare better in pass protection, but not by as much as it might seem. Keenum was only sacked once (fewest sacks allowed by Washington since Week 8 of 2018), but he was hit on six other plays and was pressured on 42.2% of his dropbacks.
Let’s also not forget that eight of the team’s 14 total penalties were committed by O-linemen (6-of-12 accepted), who were responsible for 55 of their 96 penalty yards (57.3%).
Donald Penn- Penn did not make the best first impression in his first game with the Burgundy and Gold. The 36-year-old left tackle gave up 3 pressures and was responsible for allowing a team-high 2 QB hits and a team-high tying 3 total penalties (2 accepted).
Oh, and just in case you forgot how much better Trent Williams is than Penn, then check out how they compare in ESPN’s pass-blocking win rate metric.
Last year Redskins LT Trent Williams recorded a pass block win rate of 92%, above the OT average of 86%. Today his replacement, Donald Penn, posted a PBWR of 73%. PBWR is an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen Stats.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 9, 2019
Ereck Flowers- Outside of the offense’s final drive, Ereck Flowers actually played quite well; the problem is the last drive did, in fact, happen. He allowed pressure and committed a pair of holding penalties on the series in question. Again, outside of that he had quite an impressive performance for a player changing positions for the first time in his five-year career.
Chase Roullier- Roullier allowed a QB hit and 2 hurries (3 total pressures), which marked just the third time he’s allowed three or more pressures in his 30-game career.
On a positive note, this was the 20th consecutive game in which the third-year pivot played on 100% of Washington’s offensive snaps.
Brandon Scherff- Unlike the rest of his teammates on the line, Scherff didn’t surrender any hits or give up any penalties. He was, however, responsible for a pair of hurries, and as you’ll see, he and fellow right-sider Morgan Moses did little to nothing to open up holes in the running game.
Morgan Moses- The Redskins ran to the right side of the line, Morgan Moses’ side, eight times and gained just 9 yards on those plays (1.13 YPC).
The running game was the least of Moses’ worries, though. He committed a team-high 3 penalties (2 accepted) and allowed a game and career-worst 6 pressures, one of which was the Eagles’ lone sack of the game. His 48.5 PFF grade ranked last among all of Washington’s offensive players in the game.
Other Offensive Linemen- Swing tackle Geron Christian and backup center Tony Bergstrom did play in the opener, but only on special teams (5 snaps each).
Rookie interior O-linemen Wes Martin (G) and Ross Pierschbacher were both inactive for Sunday’s game.
ALL OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
|All Offensive Players (25 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Ereck Flowers *||67||100%||Jeremy Sprinkle||14||21%|
|Case Keenum *||67||100%||Steven Sims||5||7%|
|Morgan Moses *||67||100%||Dwayne Haskins||0||0%|
|Donald Penn *||67||100%||Tony Bergstrom||ST Only||N/A|
|Chase Roullier *||67||100%||Geron Christian||ST Only||N/A|
|Brandon Scherff *||67||100%||J.P. Holtz||ST Only||N/A|
|Trey Quinn *||65||97%||Wendell Smallwood||ST Only||N/A|
|Terry McLaurin *||62||93%||Wes Martin||Inactive||N/A|
|Vernon Davis *||55||82%||Colt McCoy||Inactive||N/A|
|Paul Richardson *||52||78%||Adrian Peterson||Inactive||N/A|
|Chris Thompson||43||64%||Ross Pierschbacher||Inactive||N/A|
|Derrius Guice *||24||36%||Jordan Reed||Inactive||N/A|
*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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