Hog Heaven has played a mind game wondering whether the Redskins could have a good season if their offensive skill players performed at what has been their “average” level.
We borrowed the idea from the statistics concept of regression to the mean. In the Redskins case, regression to the mean has really been reversion to mediocrity.
However, regression to the mean may be a useful device to think about what to look for in the ‘Skins 2014 offense. And not just what, but by how much to get to a 10-win season.
To cut to the chase, Robert Griffin III has do deliver more than he has ever done.
Pierre Garcon must not slip back to his career average, but the Redskins might be OK if DeSean Jackson does.
An average performance from Alfred Morris could power a winning season and save his legs too. Nobody on this team is more underpaid than Morris. We want him healthy for that second NFL contract.
Robert Griffin III
This is simple. RG must throw more, run less.
During his 2012 honeymoon with the Redskins, Griffin proclaimed that he would play in the style of QB Aaron Rodgers and not of Michael Vick. Vick ran too much and won too few titles.
In two seasons, Griffin rushed a Vick-like 103 times per year on average, a tad more than seven times per game. Rodgers rushed about three times per game.
Beast rivals Tony Romo rushed fewer than two times per game and Nick Foles averaged 3.4 times per game.
In 20 starts, Foles threw 27 TD passes against two interceptions. RGIII did as well in passing scores, but was disastrous in 2014 turnovers.
Romo threw 59 touchdown passes over the past two seasons.
RG cannot perform at his average. He must throw more … touchdown passes in 2014. 30 ought to do it.
New improved receiving corps
Washington’s revamped receiving corps has to catch 60+ percent of the balls thrown to them. That is not negotiable. As a group, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts’ career catch rate is 55.5.
Garcon stepped up big time when he joined the Redskins with hopes of becoming the No. 1 receiver. His time with the Colts is a dead weight on his career average. That is understandable given the Colts roster while he was in Indy. Pierre had the talent. He did not have the opportunity to excel.
DeSean Jackson stepped up in a big way when the Eagles lost WR Jeremy Maclin. Riley Cooper is no Jeremy Maclin. Chip Kelly turned to DJax perhaps more than he intended, but Jackson delivered the best season of his career.
Fans hope that Garcon’s 2014 campaign of 113 receptions and 1332 yards is his “new average,” though he is unlikely to do as well with Jackson on the roster.
The Redskins will do well if Jackson delivers what has been his career average of 1,000 yards.
Garcon and Jackson caught 61 percent and 65 percent respectively of the balls thrown to them.
A modest boost to Andre Roberts’ career average and he would deliver a Ricky Sanders-like 60 receptions for 700 yards and 5 scores. If Jackson and Garcon blow the top off coverage, Roberts could have the best match-up advantage of the three.
Griffin has to throw 30 touchdown passes to someone. Big tight end Jordan Reed and a player out of the backfield may steal red zone scores from the wide receivers.
Alfred Morris does not have to improve his stat line. His career average of 10 touchdowns and 1,444 yards per season works just fine. Rushing attempts of 300 over the season would save his legs.
Morris would have been 2013’s No. 2 rusher in yards if he delivered that performance. Instead, he ranked No. 4 in a down year. Hog Heaven says “No. 4” and “down year” in bitter sarcasm at the national media who think the whole story about the Redskins is RGIII.
The best Redskins defense is a strong offense
A three wide receiver set could stem pass pressure to a level the offensive line can handle.
A nickel defense forced to cover three wide receivers should open rushing lanes for whomever is rushing out of the backfield.
Robert Griffin III must THROW 30 touchdown passes with no more than 15 turnovers (INTs plus fumbles lost). He might throw for 4500 yards if he pulls that off.
The top three wide receivers must catch 60 percent of the balls thrown to them.
The Redskins can take the division with that performance. The defense had the same issues in 2012 when the Redskins won the division.
I’ll get back to you on a playoff run.
Games are not played on paper. They are played on television.
Series: Can the Redskins win with an average offense?