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July 14, 2015

10 reasons the Redskins will be a dumpster fire this season

Eagles NFL
071415RobertGriffin Richard Lipski/AP


The dumpster fire series is back! Over the next few days, we'll take a look at each of the Eagles' divisional enemies, in detail. To note, we will not be talking about the positives of any of the Eagles' NFC East rivals, because, well, that's no fun. This will be 100 percent vitriolic. Also to note, this will be published in the Eagles Almanac, which you can pre-order here.

1) The Redskins score fewer points than their opponents

The Redskins lost nine games in 2014 by at least 10 points. They lost five by at least 20. Three of those 20-point losses came to teams with six or fewer wins. My analysis: Scoring fewer points than your opponents is a poor strategy.

Here were the NFC teams' point differentials in 2014:

Team Point differential Team Point differential 
 Seahawks+140 Saints-23 
 Packers+138  Rams-30 
 Cowboys+115  49ers-34 
 Eagles+74  Panthers-35 
 Lions+39  Falcons-36 
 Cardinals+11  Bears-123 
 Vikings-18  Buccaneers-133 
 Giants-20  Redskins-137 

And here's what they were in 2013:

 TeamPoint differential Team Point differential 
 Seahawks+186 Packers-11 
 49ers+134  Rams-16 
 Panthers+125  Bears-33 
 Saints+110  Giants-89 
 Eagles+60  Vikings-89 
 Cardinals+55  Falcons-90 
 Lions+19  Buccaneers-101 
 Cowboys+7  Redskins-144 

Is that bad, Dan Snyder?

Dan Snyder math

Nevermind, Dan. Don't hurt yourself.

2) The Redskins hate possessing the football

Over the last two seasons, the Redskins have a combined turnover differential of -20. That was good for 3rd worst in the NFL.

 TeamTurnover diff - 2013 Turnover diff - 2014 TOTAL 
 Seahawks+20 +10 +30 
 Patriots+9 +12 +21 
 49ers+12 +7 +19 
 Chiefs+18 -3 +15 
 Panthers+11 +3 +14 
 Cowboys+8 +6 +14 
 Packers-3 +14 +11 
 Bills+3 +7 +10 
 Colts+13 -5 +8 
 Cardinals-1 +8 +7 
 Rams+8 -2 +6 
 Broncos+5 +5 
 Eagles+12 -8 +4 
 Buccaneers+10 -8 +2 
 Bengals+1 +1 
 Bears+5 -5 
 Dolphins-2 +2 
 Falcons-7 +5 -2 
 Browns-8 +6 -2 
 Ravens-5 +2 -3 
 Steelers-4 -4 
 Lions-12 -5 
 Texans-20 +12 -8 
 Chargers-4 -5 -9 
 Titans-10 -10 
 Jaguars-6 -6 -12 
 Saints-13 -13 
 Vikings-12 -1 -13 
 Giants-15 -2 -17 
 Redskins-8 -12 -20 
 Raiders-9 -15 -24 
 Jets-14 -11 -25 

Take that, Raiders and Jets!

RG3) The Redskins' QB isn't good

In games Robert Griffin III played the majority of the snaps in 2014, the Redskins went 1-6. He threw four TD passes on the season, was picked off 6 times, fumbled 9 times and was sacked 33 times.

And yet, the Redskins found it necessary for some reason to name him the starter... in February! Why would they do that, you might ask? It probably has something to do with the Redskins' front office structure.

RG3 Snyder

4) The Redskins' defense as a whole isn't good

The Redskins have surrendered more touchdowns than any team in the NFL in each of the last two seasons:

 TeamTD allowed - 2013 TD allowed - 2014 TOTAL 
 Seahawks22 27 49 
 Chiefs34 26 60 
 Panthers21 44 65 
 Ravens37 30 67 
 Cardinals35 32 67 
 Bills42 28 70 
 Lions38 32 70 
 Bengals32 38 70 
 49ers30 40 70 
 Patriots39 32 71 
 Dolphins33 42 75 
 Chargers40 38 78 
 Saints33 47 80 
 Steelers41 40 81 
 Browns46 36 82 
 Texans48 36 84 
 Rams44 40 84 
 Colts38 46 84 
 Jets41 46 87 
 Giants42 45 87 
 Broncos47 41 88 
 Buccaneers42 46 88 
 Titans40 48 88 
 Packers51 40 91 
 Eagles43 48 91 
 Cowboys51 43 94 
 Vikings57 38 95 
 Falcons49 46 95 
 Jaguars53 45 98 
 Bears56 49 105 
 Raiders54 51 105 
 Redskins59 53 112 

The Redskins added a "party deck" to their stadium a few years back. This was unnecessary, as there is already plenty of celebrating going on in their end zones.

Dez Bryant X

5) The Redskins' defense is old

The Redskins' defense isn't just bad -- It's old. The Redskins have the fourth-oldest projected starting defensive backs in the NFL, and the fourth-oldest projected starting front seven. As a whole, it is the second oldest defense in the NFL, behind only the Colts.

Old Redskins

6) The Redskins' special teams are always awful

The Skins' special teams rankings in each of the last seven seasons, via Football Outsiders:

 YearFootball Outsiders ranking 

In the last two years, the Redskins have given up eight special teams TDs. They've scored none.

7) The Redskins' offensive line went from bad to inexperienced

In 2014, the Redskins gave up 58 sacks, which was second worst in the NFL, behind only the Jaguars. While the quarterbacks were the culprits on many of those, the OL still gave up a ton of pressure. Trent Williams is awesome at LT, and first round pick Brandon Scherff might be awesome some day, but the projected starters at RG (Spencer Long) and RT (Scherff) have a grand total of 18 career NFL regular season snaps between them.

8) The Redskins have almost no really good young players

As noted above, the Redskins have the second oldest defense in the NFL. But it's not even that they're old. They don't have any good young pieces that they can build around. When the season begins, the Redskins will have just six projected starters under 27 years old: Spencer Long (18 career snaps), Brandon Scherff (zero career snaps), Jordan Reed (can't stay healthy), Robert Griffin (isn't good, as noted above), Trent Murphy (2.5 sacks as a rookie), and Alfred Morris (the only actual productive "young" player).

9) The Redskins' one productive young player might not even be a strength

As noted above, RB Alfred Morris might be the Redskins' only productive starter under 27 years of age when the season begins. He has racked up 3962 rushing yards just three years into his NFL career. However, a whole lot of running backs have had a whole lot of success in Mike Shanahan's zone blocking scheme, then fizzled out in a new offensive scheme. Is that what we saw out of Morris last year under first-year head coach Jay Gruden? Here are Morris' stats the first three years of his career:

Year Att Yards YPC TD 1st (%)
 2012335 1613 4.8 13 83 (24.8%)
 2013276 1275 4.6 57 (20.7%)
 2014265 1074 4.1 48 (18.1%)

In a new scheme, Morris posted his lowest numbers in attempts, yards, yards per carry, first downs, percentage of runs going for a first down, runs of 20+ yards, and runs of 40+ yards (he had none). 

I'm not yet ready to add Morris to the "Mike Shanahan All-Stars" alongside guys like Olandis Gary, Reuben Droughns, and Mike Anderson, but he could be on his way.

Alfred Morris Shanahan

10) The Redskins are still owned by Dan Snyder

No further commentary.

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