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Redskins stat breakdown: Red zone struggles mounted in 2nd half of 2016 for Cousins

Redskins stat breakdown: Red zone struggles mounted in 2nd half of 2016 for Cousins

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Throughout the 2016 season, the Redskins struggled to score inside the Red Zone. At times it seemed fluky, but week after week, similar problems occured. The offense simply couldn't consistently get the ball into the end zone from inside the 20-yard-line. 

It's overly simplistic to blame one player for the 'Skins red zone woes, but it can be helpful to look at Kirk Cousins body of work in that area of the field across the arc of the entire 2016 season. It's particularly relevant as the organization is again on the precipice of placing the franchise tag on Cousins, working towards a long-term deal, or perhaps even some other option.

Working with The Edge Systems, every single one of Cousins passes thrown inside the opponent's 20-yard-line was analyzed and judged to be a success or not. Success was considered when:

  • Any play resulting in a first down or a Touchdown
  • 1st Down: gains 40 percent of yards needed for a new first down

  • 2nd Down: gains 50 percent of the remaining yards for a new first down

  • 3rd and 4th Down: results in a new first down

Below are Cousins' red zone pass attempts charted out for the entire season. (Click here for an enlarged chart)

The results run a similar pattern to the Redskins season. As Washington slumped over their final six games, going 2-4 and falling short out of the playoffs, the team struggled to score in the red zone and Cousins was particularly poor. Cousins found success on 36 percent of his red zone throws in the season's first eight games. That number dropped more than 10 points over the season's final eight games.

In the final two home games of the season, disappointing losses to the Panthers and Giants, Cousins found success on just one of eight red zone passes. Week 17, in a game the 'Skins needed to win to make the playoffs, Cousins went 0 for 3 on red zone passes. 

Again, these numbers can't be all put on Cousins. Poor run game and protection problems emerged over the second half of the year, especially against the Panthers and Giants. The numbers do provide another good measure of the quarterback that will likely determine the future of the Redskins franchise. 

This data dive wasn't intended to compare Cousins in the red zone with other quarterbacks. That data is more readily available (here from Pro Football Reference). Overall, Cousins completed 67 percent of his passes in 2017. Inside the 20, that number drops to about 46 percent. For a quick comparison, Tom Brady and Drew Brees completed more than 65 percent of their red zone passes, Matt Ryan completed 61 percent of his red zone passes, Eli Manning came in at 53 percent and Ben Roethlisberger at 47 percent. 

[Ed. Note: Georgetown assistant offensive coach Tyler Stevens coach compiled 2016 red zone data for this report]

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Redskins running back Derrius Guice being sued by his former agent

Redskins running back Derrius Guice being sued by his former agent

Despite missing much of his first two professional seasons due to multiple knee injuries, Derrius Guice is already one of the most popular players on the Redskins.

His personality helped raise his profile, which has led to a number of endorsement deals beyond his NFL rookie contract.

Now, Guice’s former agent has filed a lawsuit over not being paid in return for these deals.

The running back’s initial agent after leaving LSU was Fadde Mikhail, but Guice left his agency weeks before being drafted. He then signed with Young Money, and according to Mikhail in the lawsuit, was required to pay back the money he had been lent during the pre-draft process.

Per the lawsuit, Guice and Young Money have allegedly not repaid Mikhail, and the latter is now asking for $500,000. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in a California court.

Guice has endorsement deals with Nike and Hyundai, in addition to other opportunities to earn money from his likeness and autographs. This supplemental income is what Mikhail’s suit is regarding, in addition to alleged pre-draft loans of $191,000.

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Stephen A. Smith thinks Redskins are drafting Chase Young despite positive health noise about Tua Tagovailoa

Stephen A. Smith thinks Redskins are drafting Chase Young despite positive health noise about Tua Tagovailoa

The NFL Draft begins in three weeks, and what the Redskins will do with the coveted No. 2 overall pick remains a hot topic of conversation.

There's a large consensus from many draft experts that the Redskins will select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, who many have deemed a generational talent. However, there are still rumors surfacing that Washington is interested in drafting Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, but those have quieted down since the Redskins traded for QB Kyle Allen last week.

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith was asked if he thinks the Redskins should take Tagovailoa with the second overall pick, and he quickly shot down that notion.

"I've been told the Washington Redskins are not going to touch Tua," Smith said on First Take. "They're going after Chase Young. They're not drafting a quarterback. That's what I've been told."

Smith explained that pass rusher is arguably the second most important position on the field behind quarterback, and passing on a generational talent like Young would be a mistake. Additionally, Smith believes that Tagovailoa's durability concerns are not to be taken lightly.

"You can't have a question mark at the quarterback position due to talent, then bring in an additional question mark due to durability in arguably the most violent sport that we know," he said.

In the first part of his statement, Smith is referring to Dwayne Haskins, who the Redskins selected 15th overall last season. Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie but played his best football at the end of the season. New Redskins head coach Ron Rivera has preached wanting competition for Haskins, and he got his wish when he traded for Allen last week. The two are expected to battle for the starting job come training camp.

Tagovailoa has just recently fully recovered from a dislocated hip injury that he suffered last November. Last week, a video surfaced of the QB throwing for the first time since his injury.

On Thursday, a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo stated that Tagovailoa participated in a medical re-check administered by an independent doctor provided by NFL team physicians, and the results were "overwhelmingly positive." 

Despite the positive medical reports that have surfaced about Tagovailoa, Smith believes his durability is too much of a question mark to justify taking him over Young.

"He's the elite pass rusher in the upcoming draft. You've got the chance to take him with the No. 2 overall pick," Smith said on Young. "Could you imagine if they pass on him and grab Tua, then Haskins doesn't pan out and Tua gets hurt early? That would be problematic. You don't want that."

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