Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 2, 11 days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.
—Today's schedule: Bye week
—Days until: Vikings @ Redskins 11; Packers @ Redskins 18; Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 22
Looking at the Redskins going into the bye
—I posted my initial thoughts on the Trent Williams suspension here. There are many more layers to unpack and I’ll do that over the next few days.
—I’m trying to sort out the Redskins’ red zone problems. It’s a common notion that they don’t run there very often or very effectively. But the numbers don’t fully support that. They have run on 30 of their 74 red zone snaps, or 40 percent (stats via the indispensable Pro Football Reference). The Redskins have run 511 plays from everywhere on the field and they have run on 198 of those, or just 38.7 percent. Jay Gruden and Sean McVay don't become more pass happy when they get inside the 20.
—The Redskins average 2.9 yards per carry in the red zone. That sounds bad but actually it’s better than most teams do in the compressed area inside the 20. Four teams average over three yards a pop in the red zone and they are the elites in that category. The Redskins are sixth. I’m not saying that in certain situations that the Redskins should not have run when they passed. But this whole no run in the red zone “issue” seems to be a product of fans cherry picking their memories to support their own points of view.
—Regardless of the red zone running situation the Redskins are a passing team. Kirk Cousins is on pace to attempt 642 passes. That would shatter the team record of 543, set by Cousins last year. Such a season would be just outside of the top 15 in single-season pass attempts. To knock out Tony Romo’s 2012 season out of the No. 15 spot Cousins would have to attempt 649.
—Just so you know that Cousins isn’t throwing all those passes for nothing, he also is on pace to shatter his own team record for completions in a season (379 last year) and passing yards (4,166 last year).
—The trade deadline came and went and the Redskins made no deals. That is not surprising despite some fan speculation that they might try to deal for Jets DL Sheldon Richardson. He’s a good player at position of need and he would be fairly cost effective at about $700,000 for the rest of this year and a shade over $8 million on his fifth-year option in 2017. According to multiple reports the Jets were shopping him aggressively. But trade deadline deals usually are pipe dreams and/or vaporware and this was a whole lot of both.
—So the Redskins will go into the second half of the season with what they have, barring an injury pickup or two. It’s a decent roster. It’s not one that seems to be capable of winning a Super Bowl but there was nothing they were going to be able to do about that at the trade deadline anyway.
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In case you missed it
- What Redskins face, now without Williams
- Williams suspended four games by NFL
- Redskins' offense historically inefficient at midway point
- Gruden cancels last practice before bye
- NTK: Final look at Redskins-Bengals—Davis still a playmaker