Redskins-Jaguars Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following every Washington game. This time, a 41-10 win over Jacksonville.

WINNERS

Kirk Cousins. Made sports talk radio callers the happiest people in the D.C. area this morning. Completed 66 percent of his passes for 250 yards and a pair of TDs with no turnovers. This happened against the Jaguars. This Sunday against Philly will be an actual test.

Ryan Kerrigan. Four sacks, generally unstoppable all day.

The Running Game. Morris/Redd/Helu combined for 128 yards and three touchdowns with Griffin and Andre Roberts throwing in another 41 yards. As a team, they averaged 4.5 yards per carry with 191 total on the ground.

Jason Hatcher. Seemed to be in the backfield all game, had 1.5 sacks of his own.

Chris Baker. Played great at his natural nose tackle position, danced even better after the game.

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Redskins-Jaguars Predictions

Brunell

So Week 1 was fun … not! (That was a not joke.)

Congrats to ODA for correctly picking that the Texans would ruin our opening game. Now he gets a guest post!

Moving on, here are our crackerjack staff’s completely scientific predictions for Sunday. Make yours down in the comments. Whichever reader is closest to the actual outcome gets to be a published author on this here weblog.

Jack Kogod: Jaguars, 20-17

BURN IT ALL DOWN

Matt Terl: Redskins, 24-21

An angry, embarrassed DC squad jumps out to a big lead, then tries to hold on to it and almost fails. This will be yet another borderline unwatchable game.

JP Finlay: Redskins, 24-16

Redskins win and perform relatively well. A lot of Alfred Morris against a stubborn Jax defense. Chad Henne gets beat up by Washington D.

PS – Remember we thought special teams had nowhere to go but up?

Chris Mottram: Redskins, 20-10

Without looking, I could name one player on the Jaguars, and he isn’t a starter (Blake Bortles). This surely bodes well for Washington. Skins win a game that no one should be forced to watch.

Andy Peden: Redskins, 23-18

It’s too early in the year for this thing to completely come of the tracks. That happens after the Eagles and Giants games.

Todd Davis: Redskins, 23-17

Original Americans fix specials and don’t fumble inside the 10, which is nice.

Jamie Mottram: Redskins, 20-13

This has to be one of the worst, most uninteresting possible matchups in the NFL. I shudder to think who the broadcast duo will be.

Composite prediction: Redskins, 22-16

Redskins-Texans Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time, a 17-6 loss at Houston to fall to 0-1.

Winners

Alfred Morris — Typical FroMo. 14 carries, 91 yards.

Pierre Garcon — Still a beast. 10 catches, 77 yards.

Ryan Kerrigan — Stripping Arian Foster inside the 10 was a sorely needed big play.

Jason Hatcher — Notched a real nice sack in his Skins debut.

Keenan Robinson — I don’t know if he actually played well or not, but it was his first career start and he got his name called quite a bit on the broadcast. Recovered a fumble and made a nice special teams tackle too. Seems like a swell guy.

Tress Way — Did you know our punter’s name is Tress Way? Averaged 49.2 per on five punts.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard — Puts Jayson Werth’s to shame. Not bad, Harvard.

The 49ers — Thank you for what you did to Dallas.

Losers

Jay Gruden — I was hoping for an electrifying debut like the one Shanahan had two years ago, but yeah, that didn’t happen. The good news is the Skins outplayed ‘em, picking up more total yards, first downs and time of possession. The bad news is they did a ton of stupid shit, from penalties to turnovers to special teams gaffes to burnt timeouts to bad challenges. Humble beginning.

Ben Kowitca — One year after the Redskins special teams unit was one of the worst ever, they allowed not only a blocked extra point but a blocked punt for a TD. HOLY SHIT. I don’t know anything about new ST coach Ben Kowitca, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he was in Bruce Allen’s frat or something.

Whoever was blocking JJ Watt — Tyler Polumbus? Chris Chester? K. Lichtensteiger? All of the above? Other? IDK, it never actually happened.

Bacarri Rambo — Got all turned around and lost on DeAndre Hopkins’ 76-yard TD. Safety is a problem.

Jordan Reed Strained hamstring on his first catch of the season. Fantastic!

Barry Cofield — Left with a high ankle sprain and was seen in a walking boot after the game.

Nile Paul — Had a huge catch-and-run, only to fumble inside the 10.

Santana Moss — Weird seeing him as a healthy inactive. Ryan Grant, the guy who took his spot, was not targeted.

Roy Helu — Got some action in the backfield, and did something with it (six touches, 61 yards), but also let his man fly right by him on that blocked punt, which was good for -7 points.

DeAngelo Hall – Picked up a very D. Hall unnecessary roughness penalty, pushing a receiver who had a caught a ball on him and was already on the ground back onto the ground, after the whistle.

Andre Johnson — Passed Art Monk for 16th in all-time receiving yards. Nobody passes Art Monk in anything.

David Diehl — The latest talking meat puppet to step off of the NFL factory line and into Fox’s broadcast rotation. I’d call him Capt. Obvious, but that implies a minimum level of competence. Specializes in awkward silences, repeating himself and heavy breathing.

Medium

Robert Griffin III — Accurate on the short stuff and didn’t turn it over except for the botched handoff. Didn’t look sharp diagnosing the pass rush, and just didn’t seem dangerous with the ball. The line was a wreck, and I’m not sure we could’ve expected much better than what we got. If Andre Roberts stays in bounds on that one deep ball, which I think he should have, RGIII’s looking at 81% completion percentage and 300+ yards.

Jim Haslett — I’m not sure if it was the Skins D that played well or the Texans O that played poorly. Houston fans are probably saying the same thing in reverse.

Kai Forbath — His kickoffs were going to the back of the end zone, which was nice.

Darrel Young — Accidentally tackled Roberts on a punt return. Vultured a rushing TD from FroMo.

Andre Roberts – Pretty lackluster debut. Thought he should’ve stayed in bounds on that deep first half pass. Did average 28 yards on kick returns and 18 on punts.

DeSean Jackson — Caught 8 short passes on 9 targets in his Skins debut. Also lined up at RB a couple times. Mildly exciting.

Redskins-Texans Open Thread

jay gruden

What’s an RGIII-infused Jay Gruden offense/Jay Gruden offense-infused RGIII going to look like? How will Trent Williams handle Jadeveon Clowney? How many offensive lineman does it take to stop JJ Watt? Will DeSean Jackson break a big one? Is it possible that Jim Haslett isn’t shitty after all? Is special teams going to be the same old crippling handicap? Can this season possibly be any worse?

I don’t know, but I’m genuinely excited to find out, for Week 1 at least. So pull up your craft beer and pulled pork BBQ nachos, or what have you, and watch this game with us. Comments below.

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
Line: Redskins 3 (O/U 44.5)
Our prediction: Texans, 21-20

PS: Here’s a good pregame read from Dave “Ride Around” Sheinin.

Redskins-Texans Predictions

6i24

And we’re back! Here are our crackerjack staff’s completely scientific predictions for Sunday’s season opener. Make yours down in the comments. Whichever reader is closest to the actual outcome wins a guest post on this here weblog.

Jack Kogod: Redskins, 27-24

Just enough hope to get us through to the next week.

Matt Terl: Texans, 27-17

The Houston defense annihilates the right side of the Washington offensive line. As a result, RG3 looks terrible. As a result of THAT, we get a week of talk radio apocalypse as everyone with a phone inexplicably demands a switch to Kirk Cousins. SO GLAD FOOTBALL IS BACK, YOU GUYS!

JP Finlay: Texans, 20-16

This will be close to the number (Hou -3). Skins move the ball but can’t score TDs. Texans score on a sack strip fumble return. Keenan Robinson with 10+ tackles.
Alfred > Arian
DeSean > Pierre
Clowney > Polumbus

Chris Mottram: Texans, 23-13

Why would I have any reason to believe Washington can go on the road and win with their shitty offensive line against the likes of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney? Let’s just hope RGIII makes it out with all his limbs intact.

Andy Peden: Redskins, 24-16

Gruden busts out just enough read option and rollouts for RGIII to be comfortable away from the pocket.

Todd Davis: Redskins, 17-16

Somehow they pull this out, but the offense continues to look awful. No major gaffes on specials will help.

Jamie Mottram: Redskins, 23-17

Who’s got two thumbs and is fired up for Jay Gruden’s debut?! Yeah, everyone, I suppose. That’s the kind of enthusiasm you get coming off of a three-win season when the hope is a .500 record and healthy QB. Good thing is, Houston is coming off of a two-win season, which is to say we have a chance.

Composite prediction: Texans, 21-20

Poking The Name-Defender Hornets Nest

On Thursday, we published our NFL season preview over at SB Nation. It’s neat, you should check it out. So neat, in fact, that I decided to tweet about it. And with that tweet, I decided to point out that we didn’t use “Redskins,” a word we haven’t used on SB Nation for a couple of months now.

This went over very well with the name defenders, who are a calm, rational bunch. Here, without comment, is just a sample of the responses I got in my timeline:

#Redsknis

Redskins-Buccaneers Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a game against the Buccaneers that existed, but really who’s going to quote the score or brag about a fourth preseason game.

Oh.

WINNERS

All of us. Preseason is over, everyone. We made it. RG3 didn’t burst into flames. Trent Williams is still going strong. Nothing horrible happened to any starters. Next time we see this football team take the field, it will be for a real game. Great job, everyone. Way to stay tough.

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Fancy Stats Show That RGIII May Be Good Again

Here’s a guest post from Eric Fingerhut, published with love for the Washington Post, Neil Greenberg and statistical analysis.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 9.58.04 AM

“Stats show that Redskins’ Robert Griffin III will never be as good as his rookie season,” screamed the headline on the Washington Post’s Fancy Stats blog Monday afternoon. The third sentence of the blog post was less emphatic but still pretty definitive: “We likely have seen the best RGIII will ever be.”

There are a number of reasons I could think of why RGIII may end up never flashing the form we saw in 2012: lingering effects of his knee injury, a failure to adjust to being a pocket passer, defenses simply figuring him out. But stats that show that RGIII will never be the same, even two, three or five years from now? I’d be interested in seeing those. But the author of the post, Neil Greenberg, actually shows no such thing.

Using a statistic called “adjusted yards per attempt” — basically dividing a QB’s passing yards by his attempts while also taking into account touchdowns and interceptions — he first shows that, other than Griffin, just three rookie quarterbacks since 1970 have achieved an AYPA of 20 percent above league average. Only one of those quarterbacks had a season as good as that again, which would give Griffin a 33-percent chance of returning to form, slightly better than never. (That one QB who did get back to that level? Dan Marino, who did it five more times.) Of course, as anyone who knows anything about statistics should know, drawing inferences from a sample size of three is pretty unreliable.

So Greenberg then links to a list of all QBs who ever had a season 20 percent above the league’s AYPA average. Conveniently, there are exactly 100 on the list, 47 of which had at least one more such season during their career (including such illustrious names as Chris Chandler, Elvis Grbac, Erik Kramer and Wade Wilson). Meanwhile, somewhat confusingly, the post also contains a graph which states that 49 percent of QBs who hit the 20 percent over AYPA average never repeat that achievement.

In other words, a post with a headline stating that RGIII will “never” be as good as 2012, and whose text claims that we’ve “likely” seen the best of RGIII, actually shows that RGIII has about a 50-percent chance of being as good as he was in his rookie season. Sure, 50 percent isn’t a guarantee, but it’s a very long way from never. And if someone tells me that something is “likely,” I usually think there’s a much better chance than 50 percent of it happening.

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Mr. Irrelevant is a D.C. sports blog covering the Redskins, Nationals, Orioles, Wizards, Capitals, Terrapins and more.