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Getting Offensive

Last week, we looked at the Defense so far, this week, it's the offense's turn.

Let's first look at some drive statistics, again courtesy of Football Outsiders. Their statistics show us that the Redskins are averaging just over 30 yards per drive, good for 17th in the league. For reference, the Patriots are #1 with 46.5 ypd, and the Seahawks are last with 21.6 ypd, putting us right in the middle. I found this particularly interesting, because it betrayed my memory. I remember more sustained drives that stalled out in the red zone, but going back and looking at individual game drives, I see that was the case earlier in the season (the Giants game was particularly bad for this), but not so much lately.

My memory does reflect reality somewhat, however, as our offense is only averaging 1.70 TD/drive, and scoring 1.64 points/drive, both ranking 22nd in the league. So we do have the problem of not being able to convert touchdowns, and settling for FGs.

Our turnovers per drive are high, mainly because Grossman has thrown an INT far too often; His INT rate is good for 24th, while our fumbling rate is mediocre at 15th.

So what does all this mean?

Well, if we examine our Offensive Line stats, it means we are not running the ball enough.

Our OLine is playing well, particularly in run blocking. Our power success in particular is eye opening. Power success is defined by FO as a third of fourth down situation with two yards or less to either a TD or a first down, where the offense runs the ball and is successful, which we are, to the tune of 83% of the time, good for 2nd the league. This means that even when the other team knows we are going to run, they can't stop us. Instead of calling for cutesy shovel passes to Moss in the Red Zone, my opinion is that Kyle needs to concentrate more on the run game, which is yielding significant results.

This idea is compounded when you realize that we are ranked 14th, right in the middle of league, at giving up sacks. Instead of putting the offense in a position to fail by passing, we need to concentrate on the run. We are ranked 6th in the league at running at the second level, meaning that once our Line gets the RB to the Linebackers, we do damage. While the field is compacted in the red zone, the fact that we are good in short yardage as well as the open field means Kyle should be running more, or at the very least, throwing more screens.

If I am aware of this information, I would assume both Shanahans know it as well and will be making adjustments. Looking at directional running, Left Tackle behind Trent is our strongest by far, but we run there only 22% of the time, less than the 27% we run left end, yet only experience a 15th ranked success rate.

In the next few games, look for an increased emphasis on the run, particularly in the red zone, behind Trent Williams. Rex has been trending downwards after a nice start; teams will still key on him some as Kyle's gameplans have involved the pass so much. Hopefully, this will change as the season wears on.

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