Despite the focus of the coaching staff for two weeks during the bye, the Redskins run game remained off-track in New England. Washington managed just 37 yards on the ground against the Patriots, continuing a troubling trend for the team's impotent rush attack. In their last four games, Washington has failed to crack 52 yards on the ground.
More troubling, while it appears rookie Matt Jones has more burst and vision than veteran Alfred Morris does, the Redskins have a trust issue with Jones.
Sunday in New England, Jones lost a fumble, his third of the season. What's worse, it seems Jones' fumbles come at the worst times for the Redskins, particularly in losses. Against New England, Jones put the ball on the ground to end a promising Redskins drive, and all 'Skins fans remember the fumble in New York as he was jumping into the end zone.
It's fairly obvious Jones has been running better than Morris of late. On 74 attempts, Jones has rushed for 276 yards and three TDs, good for a 3.73 yards per carry average. So far this season, Morris has rushed 95 times for 312 yards, good for a 3.3 YPC.
What's worse, when the Redskins have slumped in the run game the last four games, Morris' numbers have been really poor. In the last four games, Morris has rushed 29 times for just 51 yards. That's a 1.75 YPC average.
The offensive line has dealt with a number of injuries during that time, and in some of those games the score required the 'Skins to abandon the commitment to the run game. The struggles do not all fall on Morris, but the numbers also hold weight.
Does Washington need more from Jones? Yes. But can Jay Gruden trust the rookie? Remains to be seen. An early reputation as a fumbler will put a running back in a coach's doghouse, and once there, it can be awfully tough to get out.
Is it time for the Skins to give Jones more work? Or are the fumble concerns too important? Let us know in the comments.