Monday, November 28, 2011

Jim Haslett and the 0-Blitz

Arguments about why Jim Haslett is a sub-par defensive coordinator have been made previously. This post specifically addresses Haslett's use of the 0-blitz.

Before going further, here's a quote from Brian Orakpo on the 0-blitz after the win against Seattle: "But whatever was called, we had to rise to the occasion and go with what was called." Does that sound like a player excited or confident in the 0-blitz?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Redskins vs. Seahawks: High Highs and Bizarre Lows

- Rookie Roy Helu runs for 108 yards and a TD
- Anthony Armstrong makes a tremendous catch on a long-bomb for a go-ahead TD
- Santana Moss is back
- Dante Hall with the game-clinching INT after a rough game last week

- Grossmans' interception on a ball thrown in the general direction of Santana Moss and not one, not two, but three Seahawks defenders ... Why Rex, Why?

um .... Rex?

Rex just threw his second interception after throwing the ball into triple coverage. I have no words.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No to Kyle Orton

The Denver Broncos just released Kyle Orton, and many wondered if Orton would represent an improvement at QB for the Skins. I wondered the same thing, and checked out the Advanced Stats. For QBs, I like the statistic Win Probability Added/Game (WPA/G) because it not only captures how often QBs make good plays, but it takes the 'game manager' factor into account -- for example, throwing for 8 yards is worth more on 3rd-and-7 than on 3rd-and-15, and throwing a TD pass in a close game is worth more than in garbage time.

This year, Orton struggled with a lousy -0.09 WPA/G, which ranks him 32nd in the league. But he was in a new offense, so I looked at previous years also.

In 2010, Orton's WPA/G was 0.01, 23rd in the league. Donovan McNabb was slightly better (0.04), and average QBs like Jason Campbell (0.10) and Matt Cassell (0.09) were clearly better.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bad Call Haslett

Cowboys had the ball 3rd and 15 in OT. The announcers note that Dez Bryant has single-coverage with open space on his side of the field (the same Dez Brant who beat Hall on 3rd and forever the first time the Skins and Cowboys played this season).

Just before the snap of the ball a Skins safety runs from his position near the line of scrimmage towards Dez Bryant. Presumably, the idea is to double-cover Bryant but to disguise this until the last moment.

Redskins vs. Cowboys: Biggest Changes

This game looked much different from the last few, and here's why in order of importance:

1) The patchwork offensive line gave reasonable pass protection. They were not overpowering, and could not produce a consistent rush attack, but they often gave Grossman time to throw.

2) Grossman looks comfortable again running the offense.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

QB Options

The Skins might be just two ingredients away from respectability: a starting-caliber QB and a reliable offensive line. This raises a key question: from where can they get a starting-caliber QB?

Guest Article: Time to Demand Results

Guest Article submitted by: Carlos, from the DC area

As a long-term resident of the DC area I have been an avid Redskins fan my entire life. I am writing in response to the previous post stating there are "reasons to be optimistic". As a long-term fan I am tired of the constant excuses and promises of "next year".

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be Optimistic (really)

The season is crumbling. Actually, it's crumbled. But here's reason to be optimistic that the team needs just two ingredients to become very good: a starting-caliber QB and a reliable offensive line.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Redskins vs. Dolphins: The Great, the Good, and the Not-So-Good

Skins drop their 5th straight and have little hope of salvaging the season. Yet, if you're looking for a bright-side, there are a few talented rookies providing glimmers of long-term hope:

The Great
- rookie Ryan Kerrigan remains a playmaker, producing two sacks and two forced fumbles
- rookie and fast-rising prospect Leonard Hankerson has 8 receptions for 106 yards

Grossman Again: What To Expect

Just a couple hours before game time news broke that Rex Grossman would start, not John Beck. What can we expect from Grossman against Miami?

On the optimistic end, Grossman should have an advantage because Miami was game-planning for Beck all week. Grossman and Beck are different QBs -- Grossman reads defenses more quickly and executes the Shanahans' offense more efficiently, whereas Beck is more mobile in and out of the pocket -- and the Miami defense prepared for Beck's strengths and weaknesses, not Grossman's.

On the pessimistic end, Grossman is the same QB he was before -- turnover prone and immobile -- but now with a battered offensive line and some new receivers in the line-up who have not had time to establish a rapport with Grossman.

On balance, I don't think we can expect a resurgence. Grossman should be a slightly less productive version of who he was during his first run as starter.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Redskins vs. 49ers: The Great, The Good, and the Not-So-good

The Great
- Graham Gano: not counting blocked kicks, Gano has made 12 consecutive field goals, including a 59 yarder (Redskins record) and two from 50 yards

The Good
- Orakpo and Kerrigan each had a sack

Start Next Game in the No-Huddle Offense

Since becoming starting QB, John Beck has been consistent in only one area: the no-huddle offense. He makes good quick decisions, throws accurately, and looks poised. Outside of the no-huddle offense his reads have been poor and his throws herky jerky and often inaccurate.

Obviously Beck's no-huddle success may be due to the game situation: the other team is winning handily, so the defense plays softer. But the Skins offense stinks right now, and as my high-school basketball coach was fond of saying, if something doesn't work, do something different.

So start next game in the no-huddle offense.

One Bright Spot: Graham Gano

Things look bleak for the Skins. Offense is anemic, defense holds its own for awhile but eventually gives up points. But Graham Gano is a bright spot. Not counting blocked kicks, Gano has now made 12 consecutive field goals, including one from 59 yards (longest in Skins franchise history) and two from 50 yards.

Gano faced some criticism early in the year, and it's nice to see him turning into the top-notch kicker some have forecast him to be.

This Time Blame Beck

Beck just threw an interception on a pass intended for Fred Davis. Hard to say exactly what went wrong, because Fred Davis was open and the throw was accurate. However, a hard charging 49er safety had anticipated the throw and beat Davis to the ball.

Perhaps Davis should have broken harder on the ball or sensed the defender and stepped in front to shield the ball with his body. But I'm putting this one on Beck.

Beck's First Three Passes: Good Performance, Poor Results

With 6:34 left in the 1st quarter against the 49ers, Beck's stats are a follows: 1 for 3 for 2 yards. Anemic. But here's why stats don't tell the story.