If third down is the money down in the NFL, then the Redskins are completely broke.
For the first few games of the 2019 season, one of the main stories surrounding the Burgundy and Gold was how wildly ineffective their third down defense was.
Well, through nine games, the offense has officially caught up with the defense when it comes to wild ineffectiveness, making Washington the league's worst collective team on the league's most important down.
The numbers are gruesome. Grueeeeesome.
Greg Manusky's group is allowing opponents to convert 50-percent of their third downs. Only the Falcons, at 53-percent, are more generous.
On the other side of the ball, meanwhile, the Redskins are moving the chains on only 24.2-percent of third downs, topping just the Jets. That's less than a quarter of their opportunities. A high school J.V. team would be unhappy with that rate.
Now, at least the Falcons and Jets are only truly appalling on one of their units. The Falcons' third-down defense is pathetic, but on offense, they're the 11th-best team. The Jets' third-down offense is pitiful, but on defense, they're just bad, at No. 26.
The Redskins find no such respite. Their entire operation in key situations is flawed.
There are so many reasons why.
Jay Gruden/Bill Callahan's bunch is the ninth-most penalized roster, which harms them constantly. Their receivers don't win enough, while their secondary doesn't cover well enough. There's an overall lack of aggression and risk-taking that shows up no matter who's on the field.
The last franchise to finish in the bottom three of the NFL in both third-down offense and third-down defense in the same season was the 2007 Lions. Somehow, though, they managed to finish 7-9. The Redskins will not be finishing 7-9.
Just because the Redskins are broke on the money down, however, doesn't mean you have to be. When watching their games, bet against them on any and every third down. Odds are, they'll lose, but at least you'll win.
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