Washington Redskins News

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Objective, Data-Based Predictions for the Season

It's been a long time since the last Skins Analysis post, but it's important to go on record with my 2014 predictions before the season begins.  Why should you care?  First, I base my predictions on objective and careful consideration of available data, and second, I was pretty accurate last year.

Prediction #1.  RGIII will be markedly better this year than last.
This may sound obvious, but it's not.  Many news outlets -- including the Washington PostNFL.com, ESPN, and CBS Sports -- have reported that RGIII looks like the second best QB on the Skins.  But don't be fooled by pre-season observations.  As described below, the best available data suggest that RGIII will look more like his 2012 self.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Hate Jim Haslett (as a defensive coordinator)

I hate Jim Haslett as a defensive coordinator.  Today, the Skins had Romo and his Cowboys at 4th and goal from the 12 yard line.  A stop wins the game.  The only thing you don't want to do is: 1) give Romo time to set and throw, 2) telegraph the defensive play call so that Romo knows what's coming.  Haslett did both.

Haslett put only 5 defenders in the vicinity of the line of scrimmage (and rushed 4).  So not only was Romo free from pressure, but he knew pre-snap he would not have to worry about pressure.

I was screaming at the TV before the ball was snapped.  Haslett's play call gave Romo and the Cowboys their best chance to win.  And the Cowboys capitalized.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cranky 'I Told You So's

This season has been frustrating to say the least.  Obviously, the mature thing to do is shout three huge I Told You Sos to Skins management.

1) I told you RGIII would not play like his normal self this year.  RGIII is currently ranked 20th in Win Probability Added/Game and 26th in completion percentage.  This "all in for week 1" stuff was a sham.

2) I told you the Skins will never have a good defense under Jim Haslett.  Haslett's most consistent trait going back to the late 90s is to produce defenses that underperform.  I told you this back in 2011, and tried again in 2012.  This year the Skins defense ranks 28th. Beginning with 2012 and working backward, the Skins defense has ranked 20th, 20th, and 24th.  Before Haslett arrived the Skins defense ranked 14th, 9th, and 8th.

3) I told you not to cut Graham Gano, that he was all-pro caliber, and that cutting him "feels like [cutting] David Akers all over again".  This year, Gano is 14/15 on FGs including 5/5 from 50+.  In addition, Gano leads the league in touchback percentage, while the Skins are ranked 30th -- if you don't think touchbacks matter, consider that they are equivalent in value to a QB sack.

So there it is Skins management.  I told you so.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Skins vs. Bear: The Great, the Good, and the Not-So-Good

The Skins beat a solid team, and hope remains that the Skins can still make something of this season. Still, today's wild win against the Bears had almost as many lows as highs.

The Great
  • Jordan Reed.  The Skins rookie tight end out of Florida not only had 9 catches for 134 yards and a TD, but 0 drops (which cannot be said for the Skin's core of veteran receivers).  
  • Rushing Game.  More than 200 yards on the ground between Alfred Morris, RGIII, and Roy Helu.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Not much to do but wait and see... (REVISITED)

We revisit this pre-Cowboys game post:

"Either RGIII's physical and mental readiness will continue to show improvement, or he'll stay rusty like many do the first year back from ACL repair."

  • REVISITED: RGIII looked, well, maybe a bit more mobile?  He was certainly not the confident RGIII of last year.

"Either the Skins' defensive secondary will mature and work better together, or they'll continue to allow gobs and gobs of passing yards."

  • REVISITED: The Skins' defensive secondary looked not terrible.

"Either Kai Forbath will return to his ultra-accurate form, or he'll continue to struggle with injuries, accuracy, or both."

  • REVISITED: Forbath looked sharp and comfortable on three short FGs, and pulled a 49-yarder.

"Either the Skins will emerge from the bye ready to take over a weak NFC East, or they'll continue the year as a weak team in a weak conference."

Not much to do but wait and see...

The first quarter of the season is over, and there's not much to say.
  • Either RGIII's physical and mental readiness will continue to show improvement, or he'll stay rusty like many do the first year back from ACL repair.
  • Either the Skins' defensive secondary will mature and work better together, or they'll continue to allow gobs and gobs of passing yards.
  • Either Kai Forbath will return to his ultra-accurate form, or he'll continue to struggle with injuries, accuracy, or both.
  • Either the Skins will emerge from the bye ready to take over a weak NFC East, or they'll continue the year as a weak team in a weak conference.  
We'll learn a lot tonight when the Skins take on the Cowboys.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Skins vs. Lions: The Great, The Good, and the Not-So-Good

At least the game was competitive...

The Great
  • John Potter, maybe.  In relief of an injured Forbath, Potter was 2/2 on FGs and had 3 touchbacks on 4 kickoffs.  

The Good
  • RGIII.  Very mixed game from RGIII. He had some strong, accurate passes, and showed a bit of speed. But he also had two very Rex Grossman-like turnovers: a throw-away that became an INT, and a fumble caused by no one.