Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Redskins: Here Are Some Stats for Your Ass

The Redskins have been utterly dominant on defense this year, and that's not an understatement, but their offensive woes in key areas have cost them dearly. Let's do a little stat breakdown of this year and past years to really see why they haven't been able to put everything together. Maybe, as a group, we can highlight what's really causing the skins to implode every other game.

I really encourage you to read today's article in the post by Jason La Canfora, but to sum it up; In the last four years under Gibbs, the Skins have been a miserable team at winning after halftime and winning back to back games. The Redskins have recorded 12 losses since 2004 despite leading at halftime. If you add these decisions to their 24-29 record it immediately becomes 36-17, and even if you cut that number in half, their record sits at 30 - 23.
What Canfora also gives as a telling statistic is "Since 2004, the Redskins have just two stretches of three wins or more - a three-game run to open the 2005 season and a five-game streak to close out 2005." Outside of those streaks, in the other 45 games, the Skins have won back to back games just twice. Basically,we fold. We just can't capture the consistency that good teams have, and while we can get up and play at a high level one week, the next week we get snake bit. Until we can master these swings, the Skins will be a middle of the pack team.

This year it certainly isn't the defense's fault. In the NFC the Redskins rank first in Points per Game (13.8), Yard per Game (259.4), Yards per Play (4.2), Third Down Efficiency (31%), Passing Yards per Game (179.4) and they rank third in Rushing Yards per Game (80.0). That's a show right there.
And our offense has been serviceable. They respectively rank 7th in Points per Game (20.2), 7th in Yards per Game (333.4), 6th in First Downs per Game (18.6), 3rd in average Time of Possession (32:15) and they are dead even in Turn Over ratio.

So it begs the question, where are we going wrong? Why aren't we able to put teams away? Why aren't we able to take it to that next level and become a reliable force not only in the NFC but in the NFL?
I looked at three different stats that I thought were particularly telling of our inability to move the ball and finish off opposing teams: Third Down Percentage, First Downs per Game, and Ratio of Field Goals to Touchdowns.

In 2004, the Skin's 3rd Pct was 32% (70/221) good for 28th in the league. In 2005, 42% (97/230), 7th in the league *that was our playoff year.* In 2006, 37% (79/211), 18th. 2007, 39% (28/71), 19th.

In 2004, the Skins average First Downs per Game was 16.8 (27th in the league). 2005, 18.8 (15). 2006, 18.4 (15). 2007, 18.6 (16).

In 2004, the Redskins kicked 27 field goals and scored 25 touchdowns. 2005 they kicked 21 FGs and scored 42 TDs. 2006, 30 FGs, 31 TDs. 2007, 9 FGs, 10 TDs.

Now, I'm not sure if these are stats indicative of their mediocrity, or if these stats dictate their failures, but an inability to covert on 3rd downs, a failure to consistently get first downs and a propensity to settle for three points instead of getting six highlights the root of their sporadic frustrating play. As individual players, they make plays in close games and put up some solid numbers, but it's just not enough. I hate to say this, but with year after year of these kinds of performances my blame is starting to fall on the three-headed coaching monster. Are too many Redskin cooks spoiling the broth? It's time to mix up the coaching staff.

- The Hokie

1 comment:

DMG said...

I think that only one of the three heads may need to be cut off. Williams is obviously doing a monster jobs as the defensive coach.

Saunders has had a lot of success in the past and I don't think he can be faulted for not having a great season in a year where his two quarterbacks were a rookie and Brunell, who lost all his arm strength and mobility before he even came to D.C., Clinton Portis was hurt and Brandon Lloyd proved how horribly inept he is as an NFL wideout.

Gibbs is another issue though. He has received criticism from pundits for thinking free agency can be a cure-all for a team and thus being too willing to part with draft picks for players (the Lloyd trade sticks out) - I can't comment on that too much because I don't know how much clout he has when it comes to personnel moves. But Gibbs's players have been running their mouths more than you'd like to see as a Skins fan, he's been abysmal on challenges and he has shown very poor clock management. These are mistakes you would expect to see out of a first year coach and even then they wouldn't be acceptable. I think Gibbs is a smart guy and obviously his track record from the 80's speaks for itself, but it may be the reality that the Skins would be better off with someone else behind the helm.