Full Week 3 Stat Predictions for Washington Redskins Offensive Players
Even though there are still 14 games left in the regular season, the Washington Redskins have plenty of reasons to panic after their 0-2 start. While their defense is nothing to write home about, their offense has been a mess.
Against the Detroit Lions, the Redskins are more likely to flounder on offense than feast on the underrated Lions defense.
The Redskins defense is in disarray, due in part to Robert Griffin III's spotty play as well as the stagnant offensive game plan. Now defenses know that RGIII isn't going to take off, and thus they can play a much more attacking defense to exploit the Redskins' limited offensive options.
With all of that in mind, here's how the Redskins offense performs against the Lions defense.
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The Lions defense isn't spectacular, but they have some playmakers along the defensive line and an understated toughness that often keeps them in games.
You can't talk about the Lions defense without mentioning Ndamukong Suh, who has a penchant for unnecessary roughness and violent hits on just about everyone. If Suh gets his hands on RGIII, it could get ugly, though he is on the verge of a suspension if he keeps drawing the attention of the officials with his questionable play.
As a unit, Detroit's defense has allowed an average of 243 passing yards and 98 rushing yards per game, good enough for the league's 15th-ranked defense.
The strength of the Lions defense is the front seven, and RGIII has seen a fair number of passes deflected, which is likely to be a factor in this game, particularly with linebacker DeAndre Levy already grabbing two interceptions
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Out of sync, lacking rhythm, unimaginative, a mere shell of the 2012 iteration, the Redskins offense has been mediocre through the first two weeks of the season.
Save for a few big days from the likes of Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon, nothing has stood out in a positive way for Washington's offense. Even the offensive line, which was much better than expected last season, has been average at best this season.
Two straight weeks of late-game stat-stuffing has made the Redskins offense look better on paper than it has looked on the field thus far.
RGIII looks hesitant to even consider running when the pocket breaks down, and he's forced to improvise. His knee, the brace or both are clearly affecting his play, and that will likely play a big factor throughout the season.
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Through two weeks, it is the rookie Jordan Reed leading the way at tight end, grabbing eight passes for a serviceable 56 yards and a touchdown. Fred Davis has just three catches for 25 yards, only slightly better than Logan Paulsen's two catches for 13 yards.
Between Griffin's spotty accuracy and the general desperation the Redskins offense has operated in through two weeks, there isn't much hope for a huge season from any of the tight ends.
Davis has been underwhelming in his return from missing most of 2012 with a torn Achilles, and RGIII's struggles haven't helped. Reed has been an unexpected boon thus far and could see more opportunities with Davis not stepping up.
The Lions haven't faced any athletic tight ends, but the Redskins haven't been in sync enough to exploit their advantages.
Davis: 2 catches, 30 yards
Reed: 4 catches, 24 yards
Paulsen: 1 catch, 7 yards
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A healthy Pierre Garcon has been far and away the Redskins' best receiver, putting up 207 yards and a touchdown through two weeks. However, after Garcon, there hasn't been a ton of production down the depth chart.
Leonard Hankerson had a solid opener with five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns but only had three catches for 35 yards in Week 2. Josh Morgan and Santana Moss have combined for 14 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown.
Aldrick Robinson, who has the potential to be a serious deep threat, has caught a single pass this season and almost coughed it up in Green Bay.
Detroit's defense isn't spectacular, letting Jerome Simpson erupt for seven catches and 140 yards to open the season before limiting Larry Fitzgerald to just two catches for 33 yards last week.
Garcon: 8 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD
Hankerson: 4 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD
Morgan: 3 catches, 40 yards
Moss: 2 catches 25 yards
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Like the rest of the offense, Alfred Morris got off to a horrendous start to the season. Rather than run roughshod over the new-scheme Eagles defense, the stretch run was stifled, and Morris struggled through 12 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown.
He bounced back nicely with 13 carries for 107 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry, but it didn't matter at the final whistle.
Roy Helu has tallied all of one carry thus far, despite being the most experienced back the Redskins have on their roster, as well as the most versatile.
Detroit held Adrian Peterson under the century mark to open the season and faced a mediocre Cardinals rushing attack led by Rashard Mendenhall's 14 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. The Lions have a nasty defensive line, but this could be the week the Redskins and Morris go big on the ground.
Morris: 19 carries, 130 yards, 1 TD, 1 catch, 6 yards
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Though there is a bit of a clamor for Kirk Cousins to get on the field in place of the struggling Griffin, it isn't likely to happen unless Griffin completely tanks or is otherwise injured.
Griffin has struggled with his timing in addition to dealing with his bulky knee brace, which has limited him to nine rushing attempts. Almost all of those rushes were out of desperation rather than having a real shot at making a play with his legs.
Washington's offense has worked best with quick passes to keep the pressure off of Griffin and help him get comfortable. Without the read-option as a threat, the Redskins don't have the same rushing attack that was so dominant last season.
Griffin will continue to work with shorter, quicker passes where his receivers can do most of the work. It will be more of a methodical game than Griffin has played in his short career, but he hasn't shown any level of comfort, nor has he had the time, to let one go down the field.
Griffin: 25/33, 292 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 2 carries, 17 yards
Total Yards of Offense
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It won't be pretty, but the Redskins may finally start to show signs of life on offense. They aren't likely to blow the Lions out of the water, but they'll look more in sync than they have through the first two weeks.
Week 3 will be back to basics for Washington's offense, and that may be precisely what they need to get on the same page and make something out of this season.
Total Yard: 292 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 147 yards rushing, 1 TD