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Redskins Statistics and What they All Mean
LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 12: London Fletcher  of the Washington Redskins stops Jason Witten  of the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season opener against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on September 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 13-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Through 5 weeks, the Redskins have won three games against three of the better teams in the NFC.  They have lost to the two softest teams on their schedule, however, which has left fans wondering exactly what it all means.  Well, that’s why I titled this article: “Redskins Statistics and What they All Mean.”  If there’s a player who is playing in games for the Redskins, I have a statistic on them.  Even if I had to create it to have one.

Lineman Yard Average; Game-by-Game Table

Week Trent Williams Heyer Lichtensteiger Dockery Rabach Hicks Montgomery Brown Sellers Cooley Fred Davis AVERAGES MEDIANS
1 1.69 5.50 0.50 3.29 4.23 5.44 4.97 1.19 4.17 5.25 3.62 4.20
2 4.30 1.00 5.25 0.33 4.46 2.13 0.65 2.83 2.50 2.00 2.55 2.31
3 4.66 4.98 0.25 4.12 4.17 4.48 7.25 0.00 3.74 4.32
4 4.70 3.95 7.29 8.67 5.22 8.65 4.58 4.06 5.79 5.88 5.22
5 2.75 3.00 3.15 3.88 3.33 4.00 2.00 2.17 3.03 3.08

I’ve accepted the reality that the formatting of this post is going to be wonky.  Joomla is pretty good at sorting out cut and paste tables out of spreadsheets, but I have little flexibility to alter the way things look.

You may remember Lineman Yard Average from last year: it’s a charting project of lineman involved at the point of attack on running plays (POA runs are subject to the decisions of a running back and tendencies of the playcaller).  Wherever the run hits the first level, I mark up to three lineman at that point, trying to isolate successful lineman from unsuccessful linemen.  Only run blocking ablities are considered here.

Here’s a good example of somewhere the Redskins are unquestionably improved from last season.  Last year, the Redskins best large sample lineman was Mike Williams, who scored a 4.18.  Look at my rankings list below.  There are four different starters (or in Heyer’s case, a spot starter) over that figure this season.  Our best run blocking game last year was the Denver game, where our average LYA run was 4.6 yards and the median was 4.4 yards.  We’ve already had a game better than that this year.  The Eagles game was the best rushing game by the Redskins in the past two seasons.

However, we’ve already had two stinkers against the Texans and the Packers that are well positioned with the worst games of last season: both Giants games and both Cowboys games.  The improvement against the Cowboys to this season is evident in the statistics, as is the improvement made in blocking by both of our tight ends.  Cooley is up .8 yards from last seasons total and Fred Davis is up .3 yards from last year’s total.

The other guy making a major improvement is Casey Rabach. He had a classic stinker against the Rams (Fred Robbins still owns him), but his showing against Jay Ratliff was much more respectable than in the past and on the whole, Rabach is up .8 yards from last season.  Trent Williams has not been a useful player in run blocking thus far.

Lineman Yard Average Rankings (minimum 10 attempts)

  1. Will Montgomery 4.98 (sample size: 10)
  2. Casey Rabach 4.59 (sample size: 41)
  3. Stephon Heyer 4.49 (sample size: 27)
  4. Jammal Brown 4.31 (sample size: 22)
  5. Artis Hicks 4.28 (sample size: 33)
  6. Chris Cooley 4.05 (sample size: 33)
  7. Kory Lichtensteiger 3.94 (sample size: 35)
  8. Mike Sellers 3.70 (sample size: 22)
  9. Fred Davis 3.55 (sample size: 15)
  10. Trent Williams 3.00 (sample size: 14)
  11. Derrick Dockery 2.40 (sample size: 10)

I think that it’s a good thing that with the exception of Montgomery, all of our small sample linemen populate the lower end of this list.

Redskins QB Pressure Statistics

Player Hurries Hits Bats (at LOS) Times Held Hits/Hur/Holds
Brian Orakpo 14 1 1 5 20 3.33
Andre Carter 9 9 1.50
Lorenzo Alexander 5 2 1 8 1.33
LaRon Landry 6 4 10 1.67
Kedric Golston 5 1 6 1.00
Albert Haynesworth 3 1 2 5 0.83
Vonnie Holliday 4 1 4 0.67
Adam Carriker 4 1 5 0.83
Ma’ake Kemoeatu 1 1 0.17
Rocky McIntosh 4 1 5 0.83
Chris Wilson 3 3 0.50
Jeremy Jarmon 0 1 1 0.17
London Fletcher 0 0 0.00
Phillip Daniels 1 1 0.17
Carlos Rogers 2 2 0.33
DeAngelo Hall 0 1 0 0.00
Team Totals 61 11 4 8 80 13.33

The Estimated Sacks formula I am using takes simple hurries, hits, and holdings drawn, adds them together and divides by six to project how many sacks a player has based on the idea that the players with the most sacks are the players who spend most of their time around the quarterback.

All of these statistics are heavily dependant on usage as a rusher.  Players who rush more often will score better.

Pass Coverage

Player Targets Completions Completion % Successes Success % Total Yards vs Yds per Tgt
Carlos Rogers 36 25 69.4% 17 47.2% 257 7.14
DeAngelo Hall 36 31 86.1% 23 63.9% 268 7.44
Phillip Buchanon 23 14 60.9% 10 43.5% 169 7.35
LaRon Landry 25 14 56.0% 9 36.0% 134 5.36
Reed Doughty 23 11 47.8% 10 43.5% 137 5.96
Kareem Moore 7 2 28.6% 2 28.6% 28 4.00
Rocky McIntosh 18 15 83.3% 9 50.0% 86 4.78
London Fletcher 19 9 47.4% 9 47.4% 129 6.79
Lorenzo Alexander 9 2 22.2% 1 11.1% 9 1.00
Andre Carter 6 6 100.0% 5 83.3% 43 7.17
Brian Orakpo 4 2 50.0% 1 25.0% 6 1.50
Chris Horton 1 1 100.0% 1 100.0% 27 27.00
Vonnie Holliday 2 1 50.0% 0 0.0% 4 2.00
NFL Baselines

75th Percentile 55.5% 46.0% 5.7
50th Percentile 62.5% 52.0% 6.6
25th percentile 67.5% 57.0% 7.9

If you’ve read Hog Heaven for any substancial amount of time, you are familiar with this chart, but the color coding is something new this year.  I added in NFL baselines for the statistics so you can get a feel for how the Redskins are doing at a glance.

What stands out is that all of our most targeted players (the three corners) are giving up more yards per throw than the league average.  A lot of those throws are unconstested throws made by the quarterback while the Redskins are trying to pass someone off in the secondary.  In five games, Rogers, Hall, and Buchanon have combined to give up 700 passing yards just between them.  That’s most in league for a CB trio, but the main issue is the insane number of targets they have. 95 between them, also most in the league.

You see, the Redskins are giving up a mere 6.3 net yards per pass (including yardage lost to sacks), which is a better figure than that of 14 teams in the NFL.  The fact, then, that the Redskins rank 30th in passing yards against is a function of the fact that pass-heavy teams have thrown up to 50 times a game against them.  There’s no reason to overrate this fact: the three corners give up around a league average number of yards per throw, but the Redskins rank well above the league average at nearly every other position.  This, considering that the Packers and the Texans have both thrown more than 50 times against the Redskins in overtime thrillers.

The inside linebackers have very different coverage roles.  London Fletcher lines up to the tight end side and is primarly responsible for the Tight Ends in this defense.  Lorenzo Alexander has the same coverage responsibility when not pass rushing.  On the other side, the weakside linebackers are primarily responsible for running backs out of the backfield.  That’s why Fletcher and McIntosh’s coverage numbers look so violently different.  McIntosh has little control to defense passes, but instead holds the ability to go make the tackle before successful yardage is reached.  Same with Orakpo on the rare chance he isn’t rushing the QB.  But Fletcher’s passes defended are thrown down the field over five yards, and so he needs to prevent the completion to be successful.  So far: less than half of passes charted for Fletcher have been caught, and he’s having another great coverage year.  Like the corners, his YPT total is being hurt by completions made behind him in holes in the zone.

There are two weaknesses in our defense, personnel-wise: DeAngelo Hall and Andre Carter (and Chris Horton, whenever he plays).  Carter has been largely replaced by the far superior Lorenzo Alexander in coverage.  Hall is going to play as long as he doesn’t get beat deep.  That 86.1% completion figure is not a misprint, he’s really allowing charted completions at that rate.  However, it’s an inflated number.  Our opponents target Hall in “smoke” concepts based on the principle that you want to make Hall come up and tackle a receiver.  That’s more or less an automatic completion for the quarterback.  As long as Hall makes the tackle quickly, it won’t be a “successful” completion.

Of course, teams have targeted Hall successfully 64% of the 36 times they have tried and he’s given up more yards against than anyone on the team.  Stats don’t know that Hall won us a game with an intelligent strip of Tashard Choice before the half ended, but they do see that play as one of the 36% of the time that QBs have completed a pass against Hall that was stopped short of the target line.