Redskins Quarterly Report Card: Weeks 1-4

TEAM RANKINGS

Record: 2-2, third place in the NFC East
Points for: 99 (12th)
Points against: 112 (26th)
Offense (yards/game): 380.0 (8th)
Defense (yards/game): 413.4 (29th)
Passer rating offense:  92.6 (16th)
Opp passer rating: 94.2 (23rd )
Yards/rush attempt: 4.4 (7th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.9 (31st)

GRADES

Offense: C+
Improvements in weeks three and four are encouraging, but the offense must get much better in the red zone and Kirk Cousins must return to his 2015 form.

Defense: D-
Really, the only thing they do well is fall on fumbles. Everything else is a slow motion train wreck.

Special Teams: B+
PK Dustin Hopkins and P Tress “What an arm!” Way have been excellent. The coverage units have mostly been solid, perhaps because Hopkins and Way don’t give opposing return specialists much to do. The blemish is a blocked punt (not the fault of Tress Way) that was called back due to a penalty against the Giants.)

Coaching: C
Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry has been slow to figure out how to use CB Josh Norman, who has been mostly solid. However, critics who blame Barry for the defensive failures are off base. Barry has little talent to work with and you can see defensive linemen that are in the right place to make plays, but do not because they are moved out of the way by opposing offensive linemen. That’s not a coaching problem, that’s a talent problem. Barry has been given very little to work with and, unsurprisingly, he is struggling to make it work at all.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

MVP – Offense: TE Jordan Reed
Leads the team with 25 catches and 263 receiving yards.

MVP – Defense: OLB Trent Murphy
His four sacks and two forced fumbles lead the team.

MRP (Most Reliable Player): PK Dustin Hopkins
11-11 on FG this year. Has hit his last 16 attempts.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: ILB/SS Su’ Cravens
Not a lot of competition for this award since the team has gotten very little, thus far, from the 2016 draft class.

BEST SURPRISE: OLB Trent Murphy
Who saw this one coming? He’s not even supposed to be a linebacker.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: OLB Preston Smith
Only 13 tackles and zero sacks. The Skins need more.

REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

  1. They are moving the ball so if the red zone issues were sorted out last Sunday against the Browns, the Skins will have a very potent scoring offense.
  2. It’s possible the Skins rushing attack is now productive enough to make the play-action work again.
  3. Previously intimidating opponents like Carolina and Arizona might not be unbeatable.

REASONS FOR PESSIMISM

  1. The defense is awful in almost every single way. It doesn’t stop the run. It doesn’t stop the pass. It’s the worst — by far — on third down. The only thing it does well is create turnovers, but those are mostly fluky and cannot be counted on to continue.
  2. Kirk Cousins has been competent, but the team needs him to be at least as good as he was the last 10 weeks of 2015.
  3. Have you seen the defense tackle? Or try to tackle?

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