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Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

A lot of writers are going to be gut-checking the Redskins this week for two back-to-back subpar performances in the passing game. And it's not totally 100% unwarranted. However, there really seems to be no good reason to be in freakout mode about. There are a few offensive misconceptions about the Browns game to address here.

1) The 0-0 score at half represents a defensive domination of the Redskins O.

2) Zorn's playcalling may have been a bit too run heavy.

3) Jason Campbell had a bad game.

PLUS one very true statement:

4) The Redskins had a meltdown in the final five minutes of the game (Actually, final ten minutes, but then London Fletcher went batshit crazy and saved the game).

First off, an announcement: I am no longer going to list Offensive Personnel or Playcalling statistics in my breakdowns. This is the seventh offensive breakdown of the year, and they all say pretty much the same thing: Zorn is very good at balancing the run with the pass, and finishing teams off. He likes the 3+ WR sets, generally avoids 4 WR personnel packages, rather opting to split Cooley out, and uses the Shotgun sparingly. In my bye week review, I will update you all on the total strategic Zorn-effect, but until then I'll just list the interesting things.

Now on to the misconceptions.

  • The Redskins ran more than half of (nearly 60%) their offensive plays in the first half. They did not turn the ball over in the first half. 15 (3/7) of the plays in the half were successful. There was a PART of the first half where the Redskins were totally ineffective. From the Rock Cartwright screen that got blown up for a loss, the Redskins failed to register a successful play or a first down for the rest of that drive and the next two drives. The main culprits were two poor throws by Campbell, and a poor job by the OL in run blocking (5/9 calls were runs, and the screen had it's timing thrown off by a lazy effort from Jansen. Three series may have fizzled out there, but the Skins should have still ended up with some points. The other two drives of the half were long, time consuming, successful drives, but one got ended by poor execution on the parts of Casey Rabach and Rock Cartwright, and the other got ended by the clock. At the very least, the Skins deserved to be 6-0 at the half.
  • The Redskins called their least balanced gameplan yet this week: 36 runs, 24 passes. The Redskins did this because the Browns LBs cannot actually play a running play properly. More on this in the Rush Offense section. There is no legitimate argument for blaming the playcalling in this game, especially when you take Campbell's groin into consideration.
  • Campbell has seen better days, but on the 24 plays he dropped back, he saw pressure on an average amount of plays (about 1/3). When Campbell got pressured, he was somewhat errant with his passes. However, the Browns were confusing pressure for blitzing. Because you can't get any pressure on Campbell by blitzing him. The Redskins do a great job at picking up blitzes (overload blitzes are another story, but the Browns don't run those), and Campbell was just killing one on one matchups and soft zone coverage this whole game. When the Browns DBs got physical with the Redskins WRs, they put Campbell in some tough situations and threw the Redskins passing game off. It's night and day with the Redskins WRs what happens if you press them.
  • The Redskins absolutely melted down in coverage in the final five minutes of the game. The offense didn't give them a lot of help in it's final 4 plays: 4 Portis runs, 1 fumble, 7 yards gained. It's become a misconception that the Redskins are a great dominant physical team in the fourth quarter. All we are seeing in the 4th Q pt differential is that the Redskins are beating up teams through the 2nd and 3rd quarter, and the points are starting to come in the 4th once the Redskins iron out the things that are keeping them from scoring. However, that's exactly what the Browns did to the Redskins this week.
Jim Zorn

Zorn was big into Fred Davis today for the first time all season. Two Redskins skill position players are in Zorn's doghouse: WR Devin Thomas, and TE Todd Yoder. Those who have read my previous breakdowns know that I feel that the tape shows that these two have been weak links on the Redskins Offense, and that Fred Davis has done a great job blocking and running routes that get him open. Zorn tried a misdirection running play with Davis, and watching it on tape, I thought it was a good use of the TE's skills. Davis clearly runs with great balance and body control demonstrated by how he gave a stiff arm to Corey Williams that sent him to the ground and off the field with the injury. The only problem is that the Browns totally sniffed out the play. Williams went nowhere on the zone fake to Portis and was right in the backfield waiting when Davis got the football.

Davis' stats look very, very weak, and that's not really his fault. He was wide open twice and Campbell missed him, plus the -4 yard run that the Browns were ready for.

Davis and James Thrash are splitting Devin Thomas' 3rd WR role in the offense while Davis and Mike Sellers are combining to split Todd Yoder's reps at No. 2 TE.

Pass Offense

Vital Statistics:
Total Adj Yards = 159
Yards per Play = 6.63
Success Rate = 11/24 (46%)

The million dollar question is this: If the Redskins' running game was so dominant (it was), and the passing game had above average yards per play and success rate, with only one turnover all day, why did the Redskins only score 14 points? The answer is three parts:

1) Field position: The Redskins started their second touchdown drive from midfield. Before that, they were forced to begin most drives inside their own 40.

2) Lack of significant gains in the passing game. Moss and Randle El each had one big play, but Cooley had an off day of sorts. There were enough big plays to balance out the imperfections created by the pass pressure, but not enough to score a ton of points on the Browns given the field position.

3) 3rd down errors. Our old nemesis. The Redskins were 3/8 in converting first downs through the air on third down. ALL of those conversions came in the first half, in which the Redskins scored no points (thus, the point spread by quarter is deceving). The average distance of a converted third down via pass was 5 yards. The average distance of a missed conversion on third via pass was 10 yards. So clearly the Redskins were in third and long (oftentimes, longer than 10 yards) far too often. The 3rd down conversion stats are the result of penalty yardage and poor OL play on first and second down.

The Browns blitzed the Redskins 7 times, with absolutely no sort of success whatsoever. They got a sack when Campbell dropped the football, if you can call that success. Most of the time, the blitz didn't get anywhere near Campbell and he beat it with a pass to Moss or ARE or Cooley. Meanwhile, if the Browns could generate a pass rush with only 3 or 4 men, Campbell was not able find open WRs down the field. This created a lot of the third and longs.

Redskins Receivers

(Targets, Catches, Successful Plays, Yards)
Santana Moss 7, 4, 4, 74
Chris Cooley 7, 4, 3, 32
Antwaan Randle El 4, 4, 4, 55
Fred Davis 2, 0, 0, 0
Clinton Portis 1, 1, 0, 8

Antwaan Randle El is having another wonderful season. The Philly game, where he dropped three balls, is the only blemish to date. For the first time this year, Randle El now leads the Redskins in Yards per Target. Santana Moss' catch rate has dropped significantly, but he provided many big plays in this game, and continues to be a reliable deep threat. Chris Cooley didn't have a great day catching the football, but he continues to be a dominating force in the running game.

Rush Offense

Vital Statistics:
Total Adj Yards = 164
Yards per Play = 4.56
Success Rate = 16/36 (44.4%)

Success Rate suggests that the rushing game's inconsistencies might have been to blame for the low number of points scored. This explains why the Redskins were in 3rd and long so often. Both holding penalties occurred in the running game. There were stretches of the game where Portis was totally ineffective (first quarter, end of game). However, it's important to note that a majority of our 10+ yard plays came from the running game, and those plays allowed Portis to hit the 175 yard mark.

We did something really interesting in our blocking schemes this week. We went with a zone exclusive rushing attack against the Browns, with the focus of the game being Browns DT Shaun Rogers. The Redskins wanted to run the stretch play, and try to cut block Rogers with the backside guard chasing him down. This is a dangerous scheme because it can lead to 15 yard penalties if Rabach engages Rogers and say, Pete Kendall goes low and cuts his legs out. That's an illegal block.

What the Skins did to avoid this was REALLY creative. They had Rabach push past Rogers (just shove him and run past) and go right for the playside LB immediately. Then, Kendall/Thomas would haul ass to reach around Rogers, and either turn him out, or try to block him in the front. Kendall and Thomas did a fantastic job with this all day long. Rabach was a MONSTER at the second level. I mean, between 5 and 10 times I charted him tossing a LB around like a ragdoll between 15 and 20 yard downfield, with Portis easily into the secondary.

However, this scheme couldn't always be used. The Browns moved Rogers around their defensive fronts, sometimes lining him up on Jansen or Samuels, or right head up over Rabach. On the plays where he was over Rabach, Rogers threw him to the ground most of the time. It wasn't a fair match. Samuels and Jansen had some success against him, but mostly it was the Guards who were there to save the day.

Rushing Numbers

(Attempts, Successful Runs, Yards Gained)
Clinton Portis 27, 14,175
Rock Cartwright 3, 2, 12
Shaun Alexander 3, 0, 8
Fred Davis 1, 0, -4

This is the fourth week in a row I would have to say that Portis had his best game as a Redskin. Cartwright should hold the 2nd RB job over Alexander, for now at least.

Offensive Line

I just went over the run blocking schemes the Redskins used, but once again, the pass protection was iffy. Kendall, Thomas, and Samuels each got beat once, and Jansen had a better game, as he could handle Willie McGinest on the pass rush. Jansen had some problems with getting driven back into Campbell. Rabach was the main problem in pass pro as most pressure on Campbell was just Shaun Rogers either pancaking him and coming up the middle, or slipping around him, or Corey Williams doing the same. It was pretty sad watching that mismatch. It's hard to imagine the Redskins are going to have a dominating passing game with Rabach (not) protecting the pocket. The blitz pickup, as mentioned above, was excellent this game.

Overall Offense

Vital Statistics:
Total Adj Yards = 323
Yards per Play = 5.38
Success Rate = 27/60 (45.0%)

When your offense is generating more than 5.3 yards per snap, 14 points is definately on the low end of the expected points spectrum. That should correct itself, but how long do we have to say that before it happens?

My guess: it happens next week at Detroit.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Also see this week's AOL Fanhouse Every Play Counts, by Michael David Smith.

Every Play Counts: Clinton Portis - NFL FanHouse
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Quote:
London Fletcher went batshit crazy and saved the game
LOL well said.

This guy HAS TO to make the Pro Bowl this year.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
LOL well said.

This guy HAS TO to make the Pro Bowl this year.
It's been Art Monk-like the shafting he's gotten the past few years.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

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Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
Also see this week's AOL Fanhouse Every Play Counts, by Michael David Smith.

Every Play Counts: Clinton Portis - NFL FanHouse
Portis definitely looks stronger this year... more drive in his legs than we've seen before. And he seems to really be using his blocks, on almost every play he seems to be right on the hip of one of his guys.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

thanks Gtripp, really enjoyed the reading, especially about how rabach would release on rogers to get to the second level with the guard cutting back . . . . thats is some serious in depth analysis that i love learning . . .
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:25 PM   #7
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Excellent work as usual. What do you do for a living GT? You should consider coaching, or at least working as a film analyst for a team somewhere. These breakdowns are IMO some of the best stuff on this site.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

good analysis..whats the deal with devin thomas...i tell you what..if one of these recievers dont work out im gonna be pissed at vinny
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:32 AM   #9
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Offensive Breakdown: Skins vs Browns | postgameheroes.com
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:49 AM   #10
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Offensive valuation, this game:

1) Portis
2) Kendall
3) R. Thomas
4) Randle El
5) Samuels
6) Moss
7) Rabach
8) Cooley
9) Campbell
10) Fred Davis
11) Jansen
12) Mike Sellers
13) Cartwright
14) S. Alexander
15) Thrash
16) L. Alexander
17) D. Thomas
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:33 AM   #11
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Offensive GT Review

Great job man!!! hip hip for G tripp!! Never thought about Thomas being in the doghouse, just thought he only knew how to run post routes and streaks.
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