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Red Zone Breakdown


The Owner's Favorite
Jun 30, 2009
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Raleigh, NC


There's something very wrong with how the Redskins are playing football and I don't know exactly what all the causes are which is why I almost named this thread "Looking for effects". The effects of the things that are wrong show up in the indicators you can look at and say "yep, that measurable deficiency is costing them wins." Sometimes that can be very tricky and complicated. The Dallas game, however, I was able to trace to one huge collapse that I think cost us the game and it may come as a bit of a surprise.

After I got over my "G**dammit Redskins!" funk I decided to do something I usually do and peruse the box score looking for things that stood out as plausible reasons why we won-or, as in in this case, lost.

What I initially found scanning puzzled me...at first.

What I saw were numbers that didn't jibe with the outcome. Numbers that usually provide evidence of a team performing better in some-or more often several aspects of the game that you normally can look at without even seeing the final score and say"Yep, that's the team that won."

(Aside: general stats taken out of situational context like this can be misleading as you're about to see.)

Total net offensive yardage- Redskins-433, Cowboys-213 (Yep, we outgained them by that much)

Average yardage per offensive play-Redskins-5.8, Cowboys-4.3

Total net passing yardage-Redskins-217, Cowboys-165

Yards per pass play-Redskins-5.2, Cowboys-5.3

Total net rushing yardage-Redskins-216, Cowboys-48

Yards gained per rush-Redskins- 6.5, Dallas-2.5 (Ahem...)

A further breakdown is in order here so here's a couple of screencaps of nfl.com's boxscore showing individual receiving and rushing numbers.

For Washington:



For Dallas:



The Redskins were better-across the board looking at those numbers-even individually.

A couple more what should be winning indicators-or so I've heard.

First Downs.

Washington, total 25, Dallas, total 18.

3rd down conversions-Redskins-8/16 50%, Dallas-5/12 41%

Time of Possession-Redskins-34:32, Dallas-25:28

Weird, huh? Well, yes until I ran across this.

Red Zone Efficiency-Redskins-0/3 0%, Dallas 3/4 75%

Three trips inside the Cowboys 20 and no TDs. Dallas scored a TD three of the four times they were inside the Redskins 20.

Just two TDs in those three tries would have made the game a one-point nail-biter and very plausibly a Redskins win.

You see, prior to this game the Redskins had a 9/13 or 69% Red Zone scoring efficiency-I looked up the box scores on all the previous games because I was curious-I didn't remember us being this bad in the red zone so far.

I'm going to insert a subjective response to what I felt watching the game during those situations. It looked to me like both Shanahans and Griff all three went in to some Twilight Zone "What do I do now" brain-freeze incapable of figuring out how to get the damned ball into the endzone leaving me yelling "WTF?!?' at the tv. (BTW, Robert, did you hallucinate a burgundy and gold jersey on that pass into the endzone or what?) I'm still both dismayed and confused by what I saw. Maybe I missed something but that just freaked me out. What the hell went wrong-the bye week? I'm stymied here.

There's another set of numbers I'm going to mention-not good ones either.

Special Teams.

I'm sorry, I have to go there.

For Washington:


For Dallas:


Folks who have Mr. D. Hester on their fantasy team should be salivating.

For the time being I'm letting others speculate about changes that need to be made and heads that need to roll-although I am close to jumping on the get a new damn ST coach bandwagon-that was embarassing.

But nobody's off the hook, not Kyle, not Mike, Not even Griff, not anybody. I expect to see improvement between now and the end of the season or I will grit me teeth and call for a top to bottom housecleaning. My patience on its last legs.


Super Bowl MVP
Apr 1, 2011
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Virginia Beach, VA


People called for Danny Smith's head. They got what they wanted. Now, not only do we still get kicks blocked and still have **** return yards, but now we also give up huge plays and TDs on ST. Be careful what you wish for - I told you guys Danny Smith wasn't the problem :)


The Legend
BGO Ownership Group
Feb 1, 2010
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Waynesboro, VA

James Madison

Serv, great post. Your comment about the WTF head-scratchers is right on as well. The Red Zone stats crystallize something I was feeling all game long, thank you for posting this.

Can anyone remember how Dallas played Reed differently in the second half? I was disappointed we did not go to him in the RZ more, especially after he really tore through their D in the first half. I think Pierre, Reed and Hank, combined with the threat of Alfred's run should be enough to punch it in the endzone 60-75% of the time. I am about to walk out the door, but I woul dlove to see the playcalls for when we were in the Red Zone to see what didn't work.

Lanky Livingston

Not so special teams was the reason we lost, its as simple as that. I hadn't noticed the red zone thing, but its interesting - even with our dire circumstances thanks to teams, we still would have been right there with them with a couple TDs. This game was definitely a lot closer than the final score suggested.

I'm not sure how it was possible to get worse on special teams, but somehow they managed. I think Lorenzo was a bigger loss than anyone thought, and then when Kehl went down, there were no ST leaders. I have flirted with picking up Hester in some leagues, because I think he's going to go bananas this weekend. Ugh.


Griff's QB draw should have been a walk in. Monty whiffs on the block, and it's a field goal.

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