The Stat No One Is Talking About

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Neophyte

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Fifty offensive snaps.

50.

Five – Zero.

That is what the box score from Sunday’s game against the Giants indicates that the Redskins ran on offense. Fifty plays.

Just to illustrate how bad that is, the Rams got blanked by the Seahawks on Sunday and still managed 57 offensive plays while the Panthers got manhandled by the Eagles in a game not nearly as close as the score and they ran 69 offensive plays.

Last season the Skins averaged 65.4 offensive snaps a game in their 8 wins and 60 snaps a game in the 8 loses. In no game last year did they have fewer than 52 plays on offensive. Would you be surprised if I told you that game was also in the Meadowlands against the Giants?

It is also notable that in the 8 games they lost, they did not once run more plays than they averaged running in the 8 wins. In other words, they never ran 66 or more plays and lost.

This team is just not good enough at the big play on Offense to get away with that. Nor is it getting the scoring from the Defensive or Special Teams to over come it. They have to run more plays to have more chances to score and they have to run more plays to keep Defense off the field and rested for the 4th.

So Sunday I will be counting offensive snaps and I will be looking for that 66th play.
 

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Aston Gambino

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This team is just not good enough at the big play on Offense to get away with that. Nor is it getting the scoring from the Defensive or Special Teams to over come it. They have to run more plays to have more chances to score and they have to run more plays to keep Defense off the field and rested for the 4th..
Or, we just need more big plays. :)

I'm not sure the problem is quantity as much as it is quality. The Bucs ran 73 plays on Sunday and lost to Dallas, who only ran 52 plays. The difference was that Dallas had scoring plays of 42, 66, and 80.

If you measure yards per play, we're actually not that bad, ranked 12th in the league with 5.4. We averaged 5.0 flat last year.

But I'm with ya Neo. Sustaining drives and dominating TOP is how we keep our defense fresh, and also how we'll wear out the opposing defense to the point where CP will eat them alive in the fourth.

I just wish we took more advantage of Jason's gun got a few quick TD strikes now and again, or get more of those breakaway runs that made Clinton famous in Denver.
 

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Mike,

I will grant you that the Giants are a very good defensive team that gets great pressure up front. No doubt about that. I will also allow that it is reasonable for the Skins to low ball the number of offensive snaps against the Giants. But 50?

Last year, opponents of the Giants averaged 59 offensive plays a game (the Skins 52 plays in the opener was the season low, btw). So this year, a supposedly improved Redskins offense takes the field against a hurt Giants defense and runs 2 less plays than they did last year in the very first game under Zorn's offense?

You bring up the Pats and that Super Bowl. Even with the great pressure they were getting on Brady the Pats still ran 69 offensive plays. Better than a third more offensive plays.

I still think it is pathetic that we ran fewer plays against the Giants in year two of this offense then in year 1.
 
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The Burgundy Ghost

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Plain and simple:

1. The defense has to get off the field.....the Giants were 5/8 in the 1st half in 3rd down conversions. If the D can't get off the field, the O can't get on the field. Also, if the D can't get off the field, they'll continue to get tired late in the game.

2. The O needs to learn how to sustain drives. The Skins have a drive: they get maybe a first down and then nothing. Penalties, sacks and turnovers kill this team. 2008 they couldn't overcome mistakes and through the 1st game of 2009 are still having the problem.

3. After getting downfield, the team needs to score TDs something that they also struggle in doing.

4. I'll take a big play here and there as well.
 

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I get a little tired of the 'yeah...buts....' Mike.

I love Rex Ryan - not because I believe the Jets will win this Sunday (they will probably find themselves in the same quandary they've enjoyed for 8 years running - an exercise in humility at home). But if you're going to be a great team, at some point, you just need to stop with the excuses, and get the job done.

We'll never (repeat - NEVER) get back to the Super Bowl until we find a way to consistently beat the Giants. Until we can stand and trade blows with them, in their own house, be a legitmate year to year threat to embarass them on the road, we're just a semi-respectable foe. Nothing more.

Great post Neo - I think that somewhat pathetic number reflects two things. The lack of ballsiness on the part of Zorn in terms of playcalling, and our inability to aggressively convert 3rd downs. The legacy of the NFC East can be summed up in a couple simple concepts - a smashmouth power running game, and ball control offense.

The Redskins, at least so far in 2009, have neither.

That's not to say I believe we won't be a playoff contender this year. I still think we're a 10-8 team. But we'd better get better at those 2 key components or it'll be another disappointing season.

As Ryan is saying this week - you want to be one of the big boys, you'd better be willing to draw a line in the sand, stop talking about how intimidating and good the other guys are, and start stepping up.
 

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I'm a homer too my brother - believe me. I try hard these days to mix in a little healthy skepticism :)

But I'm right there with you to be honest.

I think there's an obvious truth in what Neo's pointed out here though - if we can't stay on the field for more than 1 possession at a time offensively, our homerism will be held up as a mocking mirror, instead of sweet vindication :)

Here's 1 vote for sweet vindication...
 

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that's where we've had out problems, the red zone. We move up and down the field a lot of times like we know what we're doing, then hit the red zone and crap out

Gotta get teh job done down there
 

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I may have only mentioned the offense but I view this as a team stat. First, the offense has to do better than 3 and out and that is really what I was driving at above. However, Mike's point is very valid that the defense needs to get off the field. I was not thrilled with that in the first game either. Third and long is still an issue for this team and that plays its part.

I just think the offense bares a larger share of the guilt so that is why I focused there.
 
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Neophyte

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that's where we've had out problems, the red zone. We move up and down the field a lot of times like we know what we're doing, then hit the red zone and crap out

Gotta get teh job done down there
Sarge, I have to disagree a bit. The Skins were in the Red Zone 3 times on Sunday and came away with 2 TDs and a FG. Not too bad there.

They had 10 offensive possessions. Of those 10 possessions, 6 of them were 4 plays or less meaning 60% of their possessions were for 3 or 4 plays. All ended in giving the ball back to NY either through a turnover or punt except the one that ended with a FG following the Hall INT.

We also had drives of 6, 6, 7 and 9 plays. Those ended in a pair of punts and a pair of TDs.

The team only had two drives longer than 37 yards and both of those drives went for TDs. Those two drives amounted 149 of the teams 272 net offensive yards. That is well over 50% of the net yards on just 20% of the possessions.

They had 5 drives of 11 yards or less. That is fully half of their possessions.

Consistently good NFL teams do not play offense this way and win. Not unless you are leading the league in scoring defense and the Skins aren't.
 
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Neophyte

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LOL - Thanks Mike. Just wait. It only gets worse the more data I have to use. ;)
 

servumtuum

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LOL - Thanks Mike. Just wait. It only gets worse the more data I have to use. ;)
You think you're bad, Neo, you've got company. This thread has me digging through NFL stats which I'm now running through some statistical analysis software I have-you may be in for a deluge. One interesting thing I've discovered so far is, based on the 2008 NFL regular season, there is a nearly .75 correlation between 3d down conversion percentage and points scored per game-that's a very significant correlation. I'm checking on the offensive plays/game and seeing what correlations I can find between it and other stats-plus a few more things. More to come.
 

servumtuum

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Hey, Mike-what can I say?:thewave:

BTW-the correlation I mentioned is what you might expect-better 3d down conversion rate equals more scoring-I just wanted to see how strong the correlation is.

How about one a bit more surprising-again from the 2008 regular season (enough data to make the results statistically significant). There is no correlation whatsoever between the number of offensive plays. and the number of fumbles. You would think that the more plays you run you would increase the probability of fumbling but there's no connection. Teams that average 50 plays per game fumble at just about the same rate as teams that average over 60 plays per game. (The first droplets of the deluge are beginning to fall. Remember, I warned you.)
 

China

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Well, after two games the Redskins now have run 120 offensive plays for an average of 60. I guess we'll keep a running tab.
 

riggins44

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The stat that in past 133 games we've only scored 30 or more points 16 times is very telling.
 

Yusuf06

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One of the things the Seahags were truly excellent at during their heyday under Holmgren was sustaining offense. It kept their defense fresh and maintained pressure on opposing offenses to keep up because they usually did a good job of finishing drives and scoring.

JC showed yesterday that he can probably sustain drives reasonably well. However, Zorn's playcalling in the redzone was just atrocious and almost lost us a game against a bad team. The ball control piece of the puzzle doesn't work very well if you're not able to get TDs to go with it.
 

Neophyte

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Well, after two games the Redskins now have run 120 offensive plays for an average of 60. I guess we'll keep a running tab.
Yes sir. 70 is a much better number than 50 (which is what the Rams ran yesterday, in case anyone missed that little fact). Now we just have to keep that up.
 

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