It's Redskins week boys and girls, and that means that the "Upon Further Review" group will be looking at what's happening with the team from our Nation's Capitol for the last 5 weeks. Once again this is brought to you by the efforts of Boydy, Bshrout, Broncofan91, and Kaptain Kirk. Read on and see what we've discovered.
Where to start with the rapidly falling Redskins. They are playing sloppy football. All year long, points have been left on the field and points have been given away to the opposition, and the Injury Bug has infected the team.
They spent three 2nd round picks on two WRs (Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas) and a pass catching TE(Fred Davis) in 2008, but none of them have produced. Is it poor coaching or poor scouting. Head coach Jim Zorn is no longer calling the plays for the offense. Vinny Cerrato replaced him with Sherman Lewis after Washington’s 14-6 loss to the Chiefs because he’s the only other staff member who has called plays and is well versed in the West Coast offense.
The Redskins have played a weak schedule so far. They are the first team in NFL history to face six consecutive win-less opponents (in their 1st six weeks), barely managing 2 wins. Their offensive problems go beyond injuries and spotty play along the offensive line: Their West Coast offense doesn't fit the strengths of its personnel. They were built to run the ball, under previous coach Joe Gibbs. QB Jason Campbell is best throwing the ball off play-action. However, Washington uses a timing-based, short to medium route passing attack that doesn't play to Campbell's strengths.
Washington’s defense is ranked second against the pass, giving up 164.9 yards per game while allowing six TDs. The Redskins are fifth in total defense at 283.4 yards a contest and in scoring defense at 17.6 points per game. They have been more vulnerable against the run, allowing 118.5 yards a contest, but they are good in the Red Zone, having limited opponents to 3 rushing TDs.
Week 4: REDSKINS vs PANTHERS --Boydy
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR DENVER:
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR DENVER:
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR DENVER:
WE SHOULD NOT LOSE THIS GAME....although it does feel a little bit "trappish" to me. The Redskins are hard to scout....no Portis, no Cooley so that limits Campbell’s weapons. Betts is no hack, and I have liked his play over Portis the last couple of years. I think that the Redskins will come out and throw, and we need to douse that flame so they don’t get on a roll.
WE need to score TD’s on most possessions, and move the ball with precision. Haynesworth will bring it, and pressure Hochstein and Kuper....we need to deal with that. I favor bringing in DG to help in pass protect on Polumbus side until the flow of the game gets going, then he could be a weapon across the middle.
Denver is better across the board and should win going away. A good team wins the game they are suppose to win. In this manner, this is a statement game for Denver.
Week 6: Kansas City @ Washington --Bshrout
Give the recent discussions here at MHR regarding the offensive woes of the Broncos, I decided to focus strictly upon Washington's defense in this game. A choice that was further prompted by the fact that offensively, Kansas City only managed 4 field goals against the Redskin's defense.
The defensive starters for this game were:
Defensive Line: LDE #93 Phillip Daniels, LDT #96 Cornelius Griffin, RDT #92 Albert Haynesworth, RDE #99 Andre Carter
Linebackers: LOLB #98 Brian Orakpo, MLB #59 London Fletcher-Baker, ROLB #52 Rocky McIntosh
Cornerbacks: LCB #23 DeAngelo Hall, RCB #22 Carlos Rodgers
Safeties: FS #30 LaRon Landry, SS #37 Reed Doughty
It should be noted that the Redskins moved Orakpo and Hall around a fair amount, depending upon how the Chiefs lined up.
The base formation used by Washington, and which did not appear to vary significantly throughout the game was to set up using 4 down linemen, 1 LB would creep up next to a DE, the MLB would hold the middle of the field 3-5 yards deep, the other LB would either line up 3-5 yards deep on the opposite side from the one on the line, or would line up to cover the slot receiver. Hall tended to line up 5-8 yards off his receiver while Rodgers tended to line up 1-3 yards off the line of scrimmage. The safeties tended to line up 10-15 yards deep.
The first two Kansas City drives were very typical of what the Redskins did throughout the game on defense.
Drive #1: 1-10 @ KC 20
1) 4 down linemen, strong push by the d-line, but 3 of the rushers were taken off their feet by the blockers. Only Daniels kept his feet. Screen to WR who slipped a tackle by Hall in the backfield, and was gang tackled at the line of scrimmage.
2) Shotgun formation. 4 down linemen, 2 LB on LOS - one covering a receiver, 3rd LB 4 yards off line. 1 CB covering a WR, the other covering the opposite side. Both safeties were 10 yds off LOS. Landry ran up to the line showing blitz, but backed off just prior to the snap. Orakpo and Carter blew into the backfield untouched, Haynesworth was dropped to his knees by a blocker. Carter batted down Cassel's pass 5 yards deep in the backfield.
3) Shotgun formation. 3 linemen in 3-point stance, 4th standing up. 1 LB was lined up to right side of the RDE. Hall was in coverage at the line, the other DB was 8 yards off his man. Safeties were 5 yards off the line. The Redskins rushed 6. Haynesworth blew right past the lineman trying to block him. Daniels blew past the WR who tried to block him. Haynesworth and Daniels hit the QB as he was releasing the ball. Incomplete pass and a punt.
Drive #2: 1-10 @ KC 47
1) Single back formation. 3 linemen down, 1 up. LBs lined up 3-5 yards deep. DBs 5-7 yards deep. Safeties 8-10 yards deep.Chiefs tried a run to the outside on the right side of the formation. LBs slid down the line and Orakpo slipped away from his blocker to make the tackle for a loss of 1 yard.
2) Offset I formation. 4 down linemen. 1 LB lined up next to RDE. MLB in the middle of the field 3-5 yards deep. 1 LB showing double coverage of a wide receiver. Safeties 12+ yards deep (one was off the screen). Play-action roll out to avoid a strong pass rush. With the WRs covered, QB scrambles up the middle for 8 yards, chased down from behind by Daniels.
3) Single WR set. 4 down linemen. LBs 6 yards off line, 2 in middle of the field, 1 up close to the line. CB up on line of scrimmage in coverage. Other CB 6 yards deep on other side. 1 Safeties 10 yards deep, the other 16. Dump screen pass, gang tackled after a gain of 2.
4) QB sneak on 4th and one slipped through a stacked line for a first down.
The rest of this drive went pretty much like what is described above, as did most of Kansas City's drives throughout the game.
Some Random Observations From All of This
A) Washington's LBs & DBs play a "soft" coverage in which they line up well off the line. But they are also close very quickly to the ball.
B) Most the pass rush pressure came off the edges. It came mostly from the DEs, with an occasional blitz by a LB or DB.
C) QB was getting hit/touched on nearly every passing play.
D) The defense was, overall, very tough against runs up the middle, and runs to the far outside.
E) The best runs seem to come in rushes next to the tackles, and when there was a second RB to run as lead blocker.
F) The pass defense was relatively vulnerable to quick passes over the middle and out patterns run in the 11-25 yard range.
G) When the DTs were forced to turn to the side, rather then charging straight towards the backfield, they had a harder time coming off their blocks.
H) The defense was able to get consistent, strong pressure from the front 4. They did not blitz very often.
I) Short quick passes were the most effective, to negate the strong pass rush.
J) The D-line rushers can be pushed to the outside.
k) The Redskins' defenders are willing to risk late hit calls to get in that last, little intimidation contact at the end of plays.
What This Means for Denver
1)Establish the run, then use play action to slow down the pass rush.
2)Use short quick passes over the middle along with quick outs and come-back routes to the outside in the middle range to negate the pressure by the front 4, and to limit the LB/CB blitzes (Sorry to all of those who are advocating throwing downfield -- the DBs played deep and were very quick to close on the ball once it was thrown).
3)Give the DT's an outside route to open up space for Orton to step up away from the pressure generated by the DEs.
4)Use lots of multiple WR/TE sets to force the LBs back into coverage.
5)Use 2 RB sets on running plays.
6)Use Washington's speed against them. Not by throwing lots of bubble screens, but rather by designing delayed roll outs for Orton.
Week 7: Washington vs Philadelphia --broncofan91
Starters: DE Phillip Daniels(#93), DT Cornelius Griffin(#96), DT Albert Haynesworth(#92), DE Andre Carter(#99), OLB Brian Orakpo(#98), MLB London Fletcher(#59), OLB Rocky McIntosh(#52), CB Carlos Rodgers(#22), SS Reed Doughty(#37), FS LaRon Landry(#30), CB DeAngelo Hall(#23)
1st Quarter: Overall, the Redskins defense did a good job in the first quarter. They only allowed one touchdown in three possessions. The TD came on a 67 yard end-around to DeSean Jackson. On that play, the defensive end, Andre Carter, lost contain by over-pursuing on the fake to Brian Westbrook. Also, it looked like the free safety, LaRon Landry, committed to the inside run too early. Washington used a 4-3 defense with 7 players in coverage for most of the quarter. They were able to collapse the pocket consistently and had good coverage down field. They did struggle against off-tackle runs and screens.
2nd Quarter: The Redskins continued to get pressure with a 4-man rush. They gave up ten points in four drives. Andre Carter played a great second quarter. He was constantly in McNabb's face and managed to sack Vick on an option play. He was also good against the run with one tackle for a loss of three. Other notable performances on defense for this quarter include Cornelius Griffin, Albert Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo. The field goal really wasn't the defenses fault. A muffed punt gave the Eagles the ball at the 25. The same cannot be said about the 60 yard touchdown-pass to Jackson. On a 3rd and 23, Carlos Rodgers was burned by a double move.
3rd Quarter: On the first defensive series for the Skins, Andre Carter flew past Jason Peters, the Eagles' left tackle and hit McNabb from behind. The hit forced a fumble that was recovered by Philly. The defense forced a 3 and out on the next play. Washington continued to pressure McNabb for the rest of the quarter. They did not allow a score in 2 drives.
4th Quarter: The defense finished strong for the Washington Redskins. They completely shut down Philadelphia's offense. The relentless pressure continued as Haynesworth got his first sack of the game.
I was going to breakdown each quarter of offense for the Redskins but since all four were so similar that I decided to do a quick summary. Chris Cooley is a great tight end but he got hurt early in the first quarter. His backup, Fred Davis, is a good receiver but he did not do a good job blocking. Jason Campbell was very indecisive throughout the game. He also had a bad case of happy feet during this game. The interior of the line had trouble in both pass-protection and run-blocking. Clinton Portis looked a bit sluggish and wasn't able to get anything going. Washington has good receivers but they need someone who can get them the ball. Overall, this offense doesn't scare me a bit.
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Washington vs Atlanta --KaptainKirk
The Falcons dominated the Redskins at the point of attack and used their physical ground game to control the tempo. Michael Turner made sure that the Redskins wouldn’t win their 3rd game with 166 yards rushing, including 2 long TD's. He broke off a 30-yard touchdown run to help the Falcons build a 24-3 halftime lead, then finished off Washington with a 58-yard score early in the 4th quarter. He followed up a 20-carry, 151-yard effort against New Orleans with an even better performance against the Redskins, who had one of the league’s top-rated defenses.
A scuffle occurred after LaRon Landry’s late hit on Matt Ryan set off a near-brawl in the 2nd quarter. DeAngelo Hall jumped into the middle of things, surrounded by a horde of Atlanta players, Atlanta Head Coach Mike Smith included. Fines were assessed by the League Office.
Washington looked down and out at the midway point, having lost RB Clinton Portis to a concussion. The Redskins had a hard time trying not to beat themselves in the 1st half. They racked up 69 yards in penalties, they didn't run very well and Jason Campbell found out how hard it is to complete a pass while lying on his back. Missed blocks, poor technique, and blown assignments on blitz pickups contributed to the 5 sacks the Redskins surrendered in the first half. Most of the sacks came when the Falcons only had three players rushing. But Campbell directed a pair of 13-play scoring drives on Washington’s first 2 possessions of the 2nd half to close the gap to 24-17.
Portis still has a headache and does not remember the play on which he sustained the injury. He left the game with 3:20 remaining in the 1st quarter after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud. The Redskins have nothing to gain by rushing back Portis. Concussions can be tricky, and the fact that Clinton lost consciousness immediately, means he'll be out for the Broncos game. Ladell Betts will get the starting nod at RB Sunday. Betts rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown filling in for Portis.
OT Mike Williams left with an ankle injury on the same play that knocked Campbell out of the game and D'Anthony Batiste filled in at Tackle for the rest of the game.
Campbell finished the game 15 of 22 for 196 yards, including a 3-yard TD pass to Todd Yoder that gave the Redskins a chance. But he also threw a pick 6 to Tye Hill good for 62 yards.
Matt Ryan threw his 8th interception in the last 4 games, and was held to a season-low 135 yards passing. But Michael Turner put the offense on his shoulders and carried the Falcons to victory. Washington had dominated the 2nd half with two long scoring drives, but Turner's dash changed the momentum.
Mistakes in key moments also determined the outcome of the game.
1st possession: 1 yard run and a sack by Falcons Floyd Bierman. 3 and out.
2nd possession: Starting at their own 47, Clinton Portis runs for 5 yards. sfter an incomplete pass, QB Jason Campbell runs for 14 yards. A run to Portis gets taken for a 2 yard loss. Then, Portis takes the ball to the left side and gets nailed by FS Thomas DeCoud. Clinton loses consciousness, receives a concussion and is knocked out of the game. Topping it off, the Redskins are called for holding on the play, leaving them at 2nd and 22. Campbell throws to TE Fred Davis who tips the ball to Ty Hill for a 62 yard pick 6.
3rd possession: An incomplete pass by Campbell starts this series. Ladell Betts, in relief of Portis, runs for 3 yards.Then Jason Campbell completes his first pass of the game with 2:15 left in the 1st quarter; good for 9 yards to TE Fred Davis. Ladell Betts runs for 4, and they try a screen pass to Rock Cartwright that Vance Walker tackles for a 1 yard loss. Campbell gets sacked by Jonathan Babineaux for 3 yards. PUNT.
4th possession: Ladell Betts for 3 yards. Lateral pass to Santana Moss for 4. 5 Receiver set on 3rd and 3 (Moss, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Antwaan Randle El, and Marko Mitchell) FB Mike Sellers gets open over the middle for a 47 yard completion. Campbell is sacked by CB Chevis Jackson for a 9 yard loss. Randle El makes a catch for 13 yards, 3rd and 6, Jonathan Babineaux sacks Jason Campbell and the Redskins are forced to kick a FG.
5th possession:Campbell gets knocked out of the game near the end of the 1st half when he gets sacked for the 5th time in the game by Babineaux and John Abraham. Todd Collins comes in and throws a 4 yard pass to Moss. PUNT
The Redskins made a few adjustments and Campbell was able to put together 2 long TD drives and controlling the clock. But it was too little too late. Penalties and mental errors continued to plague the team, preventing them from being competitive.
1st possession: Betts 5 yard run. 3 receiver set, Campbell scrambles for 19 yards. 5 more yards for Betts and 4 for Rock Cartwright.They convert for a 1st down on a play-action rollout pass to Mike Sellers in the flat for 11 yards. A complete to Marko Mitchell for 11 and a toss to the left by Betts for 3 yards. They overcome a False start penalty with a screen pass to Betts good for 23 yards down to the 3 yard line. After 2 tries by rock Cartwright, Ladell Betts is able to punch it in from the 1 for a TD.
2nd possession:Play-action pass to Fred Davis for 16 yards. Ladell Betts has a 3 yard followed by a 15 yard run. An End-around to Santana Moss gets 7 yards and Rock Cartwright runs for 5. LT Stephon Heyer gets caught with slow feet and is called for Holding. On 1st and 20, Moss makes a catch for 15 yards. RT Mike Williams is injured and replaced by D'Anthony Batiste. Another run by Betts for 2. Four WR set and Randle El has an 8 yard catch. Ladell Betts runs for 7 yards in a 3 WR set. The 'Skins convert on a Holding call on the Defense, putting them at the 3 yard line. Rock Cartwright picks up a yard. In a 3 WR set, TE Todd Yoder makes a highlight catch in the corner of the endzone for a TD, bringing Washington to within a TD at 24-17.
3rd possession:on the first play, Campbell eludes a sack by getting back to the line, but Babineaux is there to make the tackle and the QB re-injures his right ankle. Todd Collins comes in and goes 3-4 for 18 yards. Betts has runs for 4, 9 and 9 yards. Collins takes them down to the 43 before the Redskins turn it over on downs with 5:53 left in the game.
4th possession: Jason Campbell returns again and passes to Santana Moss for 25 yards. A 7 yard pass to Moss, then an in-completion. Campbell gets flushed from the pocket on 3rd and 3, and gets forced out of bounds after picking up a yard. On 4th and 2, Campbell gets hurried and misses a wide open Malcolm Kelly, and the 'Skins turn over the ball on downs once more, with 2:20 left in the game.
DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers shut down Falcons WRs Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. Rookie LB Brian Orakpo (twice) and backup DT Kedric Golston sacked Matt Ryan. LB Rocky McIntosh jumped for a gorgeous INT. The only down note was backup LB Chris Wilson getting singled up on TE Tony Gonzalez and getting beaten for a TD. The Redskins had no answer for Michael Turner as the Falcons ran their way to victory.
Atlanta's 1st possession: DT Albert Haynesworth was so charged up for this game that he was offsides on the very first play. The Falcons mixed it up with a delay to Michael Turner, and a naked bootleg off play action by QB Matt Ryan. Ryan then rolled out right and passed to TE Tony Gonzalez for 13 yards. MLB London Fletcher covered him on the play. Fletcher missed the tackle and Safety LaRon Landry had to make the play. Turner runs behind his FB, and Andre Carter tackles him for a loss.Turner then takes a toss to the left for 33 yards, running past Fletcher before being pushed out of bounds by Landry. After an incomplete and a scramble for no gain, Ryan passes to Brian Finneran for 9 yards. The Falcons go for it on 4th and 1. Matt Ryan shifts his RB's twice and changes his cadence. he catches Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher with an encroachment to convert the 1st down. Michael Turner runs for 2 yards down to the 2 and Ryan hits Gonzalez for the TD.
2nd possession: Eric Weems takes an End around 2 yards. Turner makes a catch over the middle for 5 more. On 3rd down Haynesworth occupies a double team freeing up Rookie LB Brian Orakpo for a sack, forcing a punt. But Reed Doughty lined up with is head and shoulders in the neutral zone on the punt, so the Falcons got another chance. After a False Start penalty, Ryan gets intercepted by LB Rocky McIntosh, who returns it 19 yards.
3rd possession: Michael Turner runs up the middle for 2 yards and FB Aaron Stecker runs for 6. Turner took an inside handoff for 5 yards. Roddy White had a Reverse toss for 2 yards. Turner then had a 39 yard run negated by a Holding penalty. Two short passes and another penalty forced the Falcons to punt.
4th possession: A 3 yard run by Turner. Then two consecutive passes to Roddy White for 21 yards, picking on CB Carlos Rogers. Turner has a catch over the middle for 5 yards, and then takes a toss to the left 30 yards for a TD.
5th possession: An incomplete pass to Gonzalez. A shovel pass to Aaron Stecker for 14 yards. Pass to Gonzalez for 7 and then another incomplete. Ryan scrambles for a 1st down and LaRon Landry is called for a Late Hit out of bounds. This causes a scrum. When the smoke clears, the penalty stands and there are no ejections. After a 9 yard catch by Marty Booker, Matt Ryan is sacked by Reed Doughty and Kedric Golston for 8 yards and an Intentional Grounding penalty is added. An incomplete on 3rd and 11 is salvaged when Lorenzo Alexander is called for roughing the passer. Roddy White has a 7 yard reception and Ryan gets sacked by Orakpo for an 9 yard loss. Gonzalez makes a catch for 13 yards. Time runs down and Jason Elam kicks a 33 yard FG to end the half with the Falcons leading 24-3.
1st possession: 3 and out
2nd possession: Ryan rolls out and passes to FB Ovie Mughelli for 8 yards. Michael Turner runs for 7 yards. Toss left to Turner for a 58 yard TD. 3 plays 73 yards in 1:42.
3rd possession: 3 and out.
4th possession: Turner rushes 10 yards for a 1st down and the Falcons run out the game clock.
Shaun Suisham is now 10-for-10 on the FG's after nailing a 48-yarder. New P Sam Paulescu averaged 50 yards gross and 46 net, helped by strong coverage. Rock Cartwright didn't do too well on kickoff returns. Atlanta had 2 touch-backs by former Bronco Jason Elam and KR Rock Cartwright had 3 returns averaging 15.66 yards, which is very sub-par. DeAngelo Hall lost 2 yards on the lone punt return of the game. The kickoff coverage was nearly got burned by Eric Weems for a TD.
THE INJURY FACTOR
The slew of injuries has forced some lineup changes for Washington on both sides of the ball. The Redskin's defense will be without Chris Horton, who was placed on IR after the strong safety severely injured his left big toe late in the Atlanta game.. Reed Doughty, who has been job-sharing with Horton all season, takes over the job full time. Doughty bruised his right knee against the Falcons but is good to go.
The team used Horton's roster spot to re-sign running back Quinton Ganther. With Portis expected to miss his first game of the year, Ladell Betts will get the start and both Rock Cartwright and Ganther will also likely play.
Already minus two Pro Bowl players, LT Chris Samuels and TE Chris Cooley, as well as longtime RG Randy Thomas, the Redskins lost RT Mike Williams for 2-4 weeks with a torn ankle ligament suffered during the loss to Atlanta.
Stephon Heyer, who has a sprained left knee, will switch back to RT, where he started the season, from the left side, where he had been since Samuels went down in Week 4. Former Bengals starter Levi Jones, who signed with the Redskins on Oct. 20, will start at left tackle this week against AFC West leader Denver.
The Redskins didn’t address the lack of depth on their O-line in the off season and it has come back to haunt them. Their offense is struggling, and injuries have taken their toll. They will put their 5th combination of linemen this season against a very good Broncos defense. Levi Jones, signed last month, will get his 1st start since November 2008, when he played for the Bengals. He'll be at LT and Stephon Heyer will slide to the right side, where he began the season.
Levi will face off with Elvis Dumervil, the league's sacks leader. The two have met once before. On Dec. 24, 2006, Dumervil posted a tackle and a sack in a 24-23 win over the Bengals.
"He is definitely difficult for a lot of tackles that can’t get down there and play with him, can’t bend their knees," Jones said. "The people you see that struggle with him the most are the taller people that he can run underneath, because the guy is 5-11, and he’s strong."
Hunter Smith, whose lingering groin injury forced the Redskins to sign fill-in punters Glenn Pakulak (Weeks 5 and 6) and Sam Paulescu (last week), will try to kick during practice on Friday. If he survives, the Redskins could cut Paulescu and add depth at running back, safety or on the offensive line. If not, he could be a candidate for IR.
The good news on the injury front is that quarterback Jason Campbell (ankle, chest) will be ready for Denver, as will backup safety Kareem Moore (ankle). Reserve CB Byron Westbrook expects to be ready after missing the Falcons game following a 'scope of his left knee on Oct. 27.
DE Andre Carter has 5.5 sacks
LB Brian Orakpo leads all NFL rookies with 5.5 sacks
Jeremy Jarmon, the DE that the Redskins picked up in the Supplemental Draft, has played sparingly in all 8 games making 5 tackles and forcing a fumble.
The Redskins have allowed a 30th ranked 23 sacks
Their defensive line is the strongest part of the Redskins defense.
Washington's Red Zone defense has given up 6 TD's in 17 possessions for a 35% average
Brian Orakpo is the SAM LB and Chris Wilson is his back up. But I saw Wilson and DE Lorenzo Alexander covering TE Tony Gonzalez in the Atlanta game. Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham could have a field day if the Redskins try to cover him with Brian Orakpo. But if they can get to Kyle Orton, Washington can disrupt the Broncos offense. The Broncos don't possess a powerful bruiser at RB unless you consider Peyton Hillis, but neither do the Falcons. Still, this will be another Trench Battle.
Can the Broncos protect Kyle Orton and make holes for Moreno and Buckhalter to run through?
Will Eddie Royal take DeAngelo Hall to task again in Round 2?
Truth is, the Broncos should by all rights win this game. The Redskins are a team in shambles and the Broncos are seeking to rebound from two losses to 2 great defensive teams. We'll find out this Sunday.
This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR