Quick Links

Is the Redskins' pass protection slipping?

USA TODAY Sports Images

Is the Redskins' pass protection slipping?

Things are looking up for the 2017 Redskins in many ways. They are in the top half of the league in many key statistical categories. But there is one key area where they excelled last year that needs some work in 2017.

Kirk Cousins has been sacked seven times in Washington’s three games. That’s not a huge number but if you look at it in context there is some reason for concern.

Last year through three games, Cousins had been sacked four times. The difference between last year and this season is worse when you look at the number of pass attempts. Last year through the first three games Cousins had 125 pass attempts. Doing the math, he had been sacked on 3.2 percent of his pass plays.


This year, Cousins has thrown 97 passes, making the sack rate 6.7 percent. That’s 16th in the NFL. They were the fourth best in the league in 2016

If you project the numbers out over a full year, you can see that this could become an issue for the Redskins. Last year, Cousins attempted 607 passes and he was sacked 23 times. If you project the 2017 numbers out over 16 games, Cousins would throw 517 passes and get sacked 37 times.

That is not a recipe for success in this offense. Although they occasionally have been successful in getting some first downs from behind the chains, working from second and 18 after a sack a few times a game will lead to more punts than sustained drives. And while Cousins has never missed a snap due to injury, the more he gets hit the higher the risk of that streak ending.


Yes, we have a relatively small sample size here. This is more in the category of something to keep an eye on than it is a cause for high concern.

Still, preventing sacks is an area where the Redskins have been among the best in the league the last two years (they were fifth with a sack rate of 4.6 percent in 2015) and it’s no coincidence that they have enjoyed some success in those two seasons.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Quick Links

Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

USA Today Sports Images

Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.


Quick Links

Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!