Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Redskins Biggest Problem

It may be obvious, but the Redskins have one glaring problem with their team: the passing game.

Both on offense and defense, the Redskins will live and die by the passing game this season. Against the Steelers, this weakness was exploited and used to the advantage of the Redskins opponent.

All season long, the Redskins have been able to give up over 300 pass yards a game and still keep it close at the end or even come away with the win. What the defense has lacked in pass defense, the offense has made up for in pass offense.

Since the Redskins pass offense has been so solid the entire season, the running game has felt the positive effects and the Redskins have averaged 166.3 yards on the ground per game which is second in the NFL.

When the Redskins passing game suffers, however, the whole offense falls apart. There becomes no balance because the defense can then zero in on stopping the run. Against the Steelers, the Redskins offense made THEMSELVES one dimensional.

Over the course of the game, the Redskins nearly doubled their season drops. Coming into the game, the Redskins had 11 dropped passes through the first seven games. Against the Steelers, the Redskins receivers came within one or two drops of doubling that season mark.

That inability to hang on to the football led the Redskins offense becoming one dimensional. One drive in the fourth quarter, the receivers dropped a pass on first, second, and third down which forced a three-and-out for the Redskins offense.

The same can be said on defense. The secondary is simply over matched. The Redskins don't have the athletes to match up against the receivers on the opposing teams. DeAngelo Hall was good...once. But, he's not as good as he used to be. He has his moments, but they are few and far between.

As a defense, the Redskins gives up over 314 yards per game passing. Yes, that's good enough for 32nd in the NFL. Notice my wording: "as a defense".

It starts at the bottom, the Redskins need to get pressure on the quarterback. One of the few times the Redskins got pressure on Ben Rothelisberger it actually saved a touchdown. Ben was ready to launch the ball down field but had to tuck it to save himself from being sacked.

Unfortunately, the Redskins really only have one pass rusher that's any good: Ryan Kerrigan. So, the opposing offense just game plans to block him and the pass rush literally becomes non-existent. In turn, the Redskins secondary gets put on an island and that does not bode well for the secondary.

The Redskins style of offense, believe it or not, is not setup by the running game. The passing game sets up the running game. That's what makes the pistol/triple option formation so successful. It looks like a pass, could be run, but then sometimes it comes out as an option play.

To sum it all up, if the Redskins pass offense doesn't get going, the team doesn't get going. The defense can't stop the pass and the running game will never get going without the pass offense making plays.

Robert Griffin III is the hinge point for the Redskins as a team. His ability to make plays allows the Redskins to keep up with their opponents (because they have by no means stopped anybody). The success of this team is a direct reflection of RG3 and what he can/can't do during a game.

Question: What do you think is the Redskins biggest problem? Comment your answer in the section below!

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