As we enter the final month of the 2013 NFL regular season, here are some key stats that help explain why the Washington Redskins are 3-9 through 13 weeks. And yes, we're going to focus mainly on the franchise quarterback, since he represents the biggest investment this franchise has ever made.
37.7: That's the percentage of dropbacks on which Robert Griffin III has been pressured this season, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). We keep hearing how bad Griffin's pass protection has been, and that's valid. But 12 other quarterbacks, including the very successful Cam Newton have been pressured more often, according to PFF. In fact, he's only been pressured slightly more often this year than he was last year (34.8), and PFF ranks the offensive line ninth in football in terms of pass-blocking efficiency.
But based on numbers provided by PFF, he isn't scrambling faster, he isn't throwing faster or slower and he isn't being rushed within 2.5 seconds of the snap any more or less often. His pocket-time stats are almost identical. It might just feel a lot worse because he's picking up less big runs.
38.3: That's the number of rushing yards Griffin is averaging per game, which is down nearly 30 percent from 54.3 last year. He's running less (6.8 times per game as opposed to 8.0) but is gaining fewer yards per rush (a decline from 6.8 to 5.6).
However, in his last four games Griffin has averaged 6.2 yards per carry on 8.3 carries per game, which is an indication he's returning to form as a runner. I'm not sure it's a good sign that he's been running more lately than he did in 2012, but at least he's getting more comfortable.
19.1: That's the number of points Griffin's passer rating has dropped by this season. One year after posting the league's third-highest rating, RGIII ranks 22nd at 83.3—behind Mike Glennon, Jake Locker and Case Keenum and less than a point ahead of EJ Manuel.
35: That's the total number of passes Griffin's receivers have dropped this season, according to PFF, which equals his total from 2012 and ranks third in the NFL behind only Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford. He's not getting a lot of help.
3: That's the number of games in which Griffin's passer rating has been in the "normal" or "league average" range between 80 and 100. He's either been good or bad. In fact, he and Tom Brady are the only quarterbacks in the league who have at least four games with sub-80 ratings and at least four games with ratings of 100 or higher.
0: That's the total number of touchdowns RGIII has scored as a rusher this season. After finding the end zone as a runner six times in the first six games of his career, Griffin has scored just one rushing touchdown in the next 22 games. Remember when he was such a stellar red-zone rushing threat? What happened? Maybe this play factors in. And hell, maybe it wasn't worth the risk anyway.
29.5: That's the percentage of 20-plus-yard passes Griffin has been accurate on, according to Pro Football Focus. He's going deep on about 10 percent of his throws, which is basically the same rate as last year, but he was accurate on 50 percent of those tosses in 2012. Also, he threw seven touchdowns and only a single pick on deep passes last season, but he's got four touchdown strikes and four picks in those situations this season.
|RGIII's sophomore slump|
|2012 (rank)||2013 (rank)|
|Comp. %||65.6 (5th)||60.9 (21st)|
|TD %||5.1 (8th)||3.5 (28th)|
|INT %||1.3 (1st)||2.6 (20th)|
|YPA||8.1 (1st)||7.1 (17th)|
|Rating||102.1 (3rd)||83.3 (22nd)|
|QBR||71.41 (5th)||42.12 (28th)|
|Rush YPA||6.8 (1st)||5.6 (2nd)|
|Rush YPG||54.3 (1st)||38.3 (4th)|
|Rush TD||7 (2nd)||0 (T-21st)|
|Pro Football Reference|
57.9: That's the percentage of times the Redskins have scored touchdowns when reaching the red zone, according to TeamRankings.com, which is surprisingly just four points behind their total from 2012. They ranked fourth in the league in this category last season, and they remain in the top 10 this year.
4: That's the number of 40-yard passes the Redskins have completed this season, which is tied for dead last in football. They're also one of only two teams with fewer than 30 20-yard pass plays. And yet for some reason they're passing 16 percent more often, according to TeamRankings.com.
5.0: That's the number of yards the Redskins are averaging per rushing attempt, which leads the NFL. And yet, again, they're passing more and running less. I understand they've trailed more this year, but they need to make more of an effort to feature Alfred Morris in the backfield.
20: That's the number of times the Redskins have turned the ball over this year. In 16 games last season, they turned it over just 14 times, which was the lowest total in the NFL. Now they're on pace for 27, which would have been the 10th-highest total in football in 2012.
43: That's the percentage of third downs the Redskins have converted this year, which ranks in the top 10 and is up from 36 percent in 2012. Anomaly?
26.5: That's Trent Williams' PFF grade, which makes him the highest-rated offensive tackle in the NFL. The former top-10 pick stumbled a bit in November but has still given up just 2.4 pressures per game while performing well as a run-blocker. That pick is looking great, regardless of what's happening elsewhere.
75: That's the percentage of runs on third or fourth down with two or fewer yards to go that the Redskins have converted, according to Football Outsiders, which is the sixth-highest rate in the NFL. Roy Helu's presence has definitely helped.
30.3: That's the number of points per game the Redskins have given up this year, which ranks 31st in the league, just ahead of the Minnesota Vikings. They're giving up six more points per game this year than last year, and it's not as though that was a celebrated season on D.
|Redskins defense, 2012-2013|
|Year||PPG (rank)||YPG (rank)||Takeaways (rank)|
|2012||24.2 (22nd)||377.7 (28th)||31 (5th)|
|2013||30.3 (31st)||374.1 (23rd)||24* (19th)|
|* On pace for (Pro Football Reference)|
1.25: That's how many yards opposing running backs are averaging against the Redskins between five and 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, according to Football Outsiders, which is the sixth-highest total in football. That's an indictment on the linebacking corps as well as the secondary. Inside linebackers London Fletcher and Perry Riley are both ranked in the bottom 10 by PFF among players at that position, and David Amerson, Brandon Meriweather, Bacarri Rambo, E.J. Biggers and Reed Doughty have struggled badly.
5.5: That's the total number of sacks Brian Orakpo has recorded in his last four games. He's finally getting back into a groove, which is a great sign for 2014.
-11.1: That's Washington's DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) rate on special teams, according to Football Outsiders, which ranks dead last in the NFL. The Redskins have given up a pair of punt return scores and plenty of big returns in addition to those, and they've averaged only 6.6 yards per punt return. They've yet to return a kickoff more than 28 yards. As a result, Washington is the only team in the NFL that is starting its drives, on average, inside its own 24-yard line. In fact, nobody else is even starting inside the 25.
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