NOTE: Friday Sept. 27 at 6PM Eastern time I will have a special NFL week 4 preview with special guest Tony Williams, Giants beat writer for Metro New York paper. Hear it live at The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive there or at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
The Skins won the NFC East last season but this year the team is 0-3. The questions have centered on the comeback of QB Robert Griffin III but that is only part of the real answer.
4. The team has changed the offense to limit Griffin’s exposure to injury. That is a necessary move considering how many draft picks the team gave up to select him. For that to be a wise investment, Griffin has to play in D.C. for many years. Last year RG3’s running opened wide lanes for RB Alfred Morris. Since RG3 is not running as much the overall rushing offense of the Skins is down. Last season the team was first in attempts and yards with 519 for 2,709 or 169 yards per game. This year the team is 20th in yards averaging only 100.7 yards per game. The Redskins have been outscored significantly early in the first three games this year and gave up on the run.
3. Griffin’s footwork has deteriorated significantly. That has lead to four interception in three games. Last year he had only six picks in 16 games. His QB rating has fallen from 104.2 to 77.7. He is not stepping into his throws. He is also not planting his back foot properly. While part of this is due to him not fully trusting his repaired knee, the majority is him not trusting his protection.
2. The O line has not played as well as it did last year. The line held up remarkably last year after the injury to T Jammal Brown. It has not done nearly as well this season. The team averaged only a half a sack per game last year. This year the line has given up six sacks in 3 games. Another effect of this is Griffin having to throw the ball sooner than he did last year. WR Santana Moss average yards per reception has fallen from 14.0 last year to 11.5 this season. WR Leonard Hankerson has gone from 14.3 to 12.4 yards per catch. RG3’s yards per attempt has gone from 8.1 to 7.0 this season. The O line has also generated many more penalties than last year.
1. The defense has given up a lot more points and yards than last year. Last year the D gave up 24.2 points per game. This season it has become one of the worst in the league at 32.7 per game. Yards per game went from 377.7 to 488.0 this season. Defensive penalties are also up slightly. Even when RG3 is completely healthy, the defense will still have to improve greatly for the Redskins to compete.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.
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