Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 5 of the NFL season.
Record: 2-2 T-3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 1-1
vs. AFC: 1-1
Rankings (through Sunday’s games)
Offense (yards/game): 380.0 (8th)
Defense (yards/game): 413.4 (29th)
Points for: 99 (12th)
Points against: 112 (26th)
Passer rating offense: 92.6 (16th)
Opp passer rating: 94.2 (23rd )
Yards/rush attempt: 4.4 (7th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt: 4.9 (31st)
Weighted DVOA through Week 4 (Football Outsiders): 2.3% (14th)
Trending the right way: The Redskins have not allowed a touchdown in the second half of either of their last two games and have outscored the opposition 27-9.
Trending the wrong way: After throwing three interceptions in the last 10 games of 2015 Kirk Cousins has thrown four picks in the first four games of this season.
Top three storylines:
The defense can’t rest—Opponents are feasting on the Redskins defense on third down, converting 57 percent of them to first downs. The good news is that they are unlikely to remain that historically bad; their pass defense on first and second downs is pretty good and third downs are likely to catch up eventually. The bad news is that until they start getting it done on third down every game will be an adventure.
Stopping the run remains an issue—When it comes to rushing defense, it’s the same, uh, stuff, different year. Last year the Redskins were 31st in the league, allowing 4.8 yards per rushing attempt. This year they are also 31st allowing 3.9 per carry. Since the personnel in the front seven hasn’t been upgraded substantially it’s hard to see how this is going to improve substantially.
Injury picture improving—Bashaud Breeland and Shawn Lauvao will get on the field sometime this week to test their injured ankles. They could still be a week or two away from returning but getting on the field is a necessary first step. Although concussions are tricky there is a chance that David Bruton and Su’a Cravens will be able to go this week. And it looks like Ryan Kerrigan will wrap up his hyperextended elbow and go on Sunday.
Next three games
Sunday @ Ravens (3-1)—On paper this was one of the “easy” games based on Baltimore’s 5-11 record last year but I think everybody knew better. This will be a tough one especially if the Redskins can’t stop Joe Flacco going to Steve Smith Sr. on third down.
October 16 vs. Eagles (3-0)—Does rookie Carson Wentz really possess the best traits of Bret Favre and Peyton Manning as his coach said he does? Or is he a rookie who is off to a hot start and will come back to earth when defensive coordinators figure him out? If I’m the Redskins I’m more worried about an Eagles defense that has allowed just nine points per game.
October 23 @ Lions (1-3)—The Redskins once went for 30 years, from 1968 through 1997, without losing to the Lions. Now the Lions have won three in a row. The last time the Redskins beat Detroit Jim Zorn was in his first year as the head coach.