After putting up over 500 yards yards from scrimmage in back to back games for the first time in team history, the Redskins are the NFL’s top team in total offense.
The Redskins have piled up 4,690 yards in 11 games. That’s an average of 426.4 yards per game, tops in the NFL. The Saints are second at 422.0 yards per game and the Falcons are third at 416.6.
The last time the Redskins led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage for a full season was 1945. If they keep up their current pace they would gain 6,822 yards. That would shatter the team record of 6,253 yards set in 1983. In fact, they have to average just 313 yards per game the rest of the way to break that record.
Although their red zone problems persist (more on that below) the Redskins are among the top 10 teams in scoring now. Going into the game against the Bengals in London the Redskins ranked 15th in the NFL in scoring with 22.7 points per game. After Thursday, they are eighth in the league with 25.5 points per game.
Against the Cowboys the Redskins scored two touchdowns in five trips to the red zone. That kept them right about where they were going in, 28th in red zone efficiency at 43.4 percent. The red zone issues have been among the team’s most glaring. You could easily build a hypothetical case that the Redskins could be 10-1 or 9-2 with middle of the pack red zone efficiency of about 60 percent.
One way the Redskins have been able to get a spot among the league’s scoring leaders despite the red zone problems is that they can bypass taking snapsa the red zone on the way to pay dirt. They have nine touchdown plays of 21 yards or longer, tied for fourth in the NFL. They have four such touchdowns in their last three games with Kirk Cousins throwing touchdown passes of 70, 67, 44, and 38 yards.
The Redskins need to get their red zone problems fixed if they are going to make the playoffs or make any noise if they get there. But players continuing to run right through the red zone on their way to the end zone will at least partially mitigate the damage while the problems are being corrected.
The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.
Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction.
What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb.
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For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined.
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The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.
Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.
Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.
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After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.
The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).
The salary cap hits per year are as follows:
2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million
The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.
Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.
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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.