Monday, October 3, 2011

Redskins: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Ryan Kerrigan makes an interception against Giants. (Photo from timeleader.com)
Entering the bye week the Redskins are 3-1. After defeating the Giants and the Cardinals to start the season, the Redskins fell 18-16 to the Cowboys. This past week, the Redskins defeated the Rams. The season has gotten off to a hot start, but this team is far from perfect. Let's see what is working, what could be better, and what is just plain awful for the Redskins. I am going to avoid the area of quarterback here.

The Good:
Defense. The defense should be under a category titled "The Great". Statistically the Redskins have the 5th best defense in the NFL. They only give up 212 yards per game passing (8th) and just 84 yards rushing (6th). In terms of total offense, the defense only gives up 296 yards of offense. The defense has 3 interceptions and has forced 7 fumbles and recovered 3 of them.

Ryan Kerrigan is on his way to the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Kerrigan has 18 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 1 touchdown. He was awarded NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September.

The Bad:
The offensive line. The offensive line isn't terrible, they could just be better. Rex Grossman has been hit 24 times and has been sacked 8 times. The offensive line is ranked 14th in the NFL overall. Like I said, they aren't the worst, but they could be better. Behind this offensive line, the running game only averages 4.1 yards per carry. That ranks 19th in the NFL. They are running what this offensive line is good at. The lineman are athletic and the zone blocking scheme works well for them. It's time to tie up the loose ends and pull it all together.

The Ugly:
The fourth quarter play calling. The Redskins have the 6th best rushing attack in the NFL. Why don't they use it? It's the reason they took the lead against the Cowboys. It's the reason the Redskins defeated the Giants and the Cardinals. Rex Grossman is good for 2 or 3 interceptions a game, it seems, so don't give him the ball in crunch time. Hand it off to the weapon that is either one of the running backs and let them go.

The Redskins will face the Eagles after the bye week. The easiest part of the season is over. I like to think of that as pre-season part 2. The real season begins in two weeks. It should be interesting to see if the Redskins can keep up the string of success that they have had and see if they improve on the things the need to.