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    • By Destino in ES Coverage
      Good afternoon Redskins nation!  I’m in beautiful Landover, MD with Spaceman Spiff who has been pulled away from Instagram models and tailgating and sent down to the field to do what he does best (roll around in the mud).
      Let’s get down to business...  Can we block them?  There are other story lines entering into this game but worrying about them feels largely academic.  The Texans have two terrifying pass rushers and the Redskins intend to block them with optimism and underdog stories.  Alex Smith isn’t a statue but he does take time in making decisions and getting the ball out.  This combination looks disastrous.  The sort of thing that has us all after the game consoling each other with things like “well, it was just a bad matchup" and “we caught them at the worst possible time.” 
      Or... we could walk away wondering just how the heck this team managed to pull off another improbable win.  Last week the gave up something like twelve thousand yards of offense to the Bucs, I’ll have to check those numbers to be sure, but only three points.  That’s not supposed to happen.  Maybe we can enjoy an outrageously unlikely result again.  Not probably, not likely, but you know... maybe.  I’m saying there’s a chance.   
      I’m here for that chance.  (and you know... the free food and climate controlled free seats) 

      1st Quarter Update
      Redskins are running their bend and break defense, and I’m not sure a little over three quarters is enough time for the Redskins offense to close a 10-point gap.  I’m having flash backs of week nine, but having human emotions is considered “disruptive behavior.”  I'm fine.  Everything is fine. 
      That Quinn celebration, whatever that was, was the highlight of the 1st quarter. 
      2nd Quarter Update
      Is there a better way to start a quarter than by scoring a touchdown?  There is, if you follow that TD drive with a forced turnover on defense.  Things are looking good! 

      So much for that.  A great start was quickly ended up canceled out by the Redskins offense.  With a chance to take a lead Alex Smith throws a pick six in the red zone and takes the air out of the stadium.  He followed that up by throwing another interception on the very next drive.  Alex Smith almost made me forget about Vernon Davis dropping that pass.  Almost. 
      Texans missed a field goal attempt and the lead remains frozen at 10. 
      This quarter feels like a giant blown opportunity.  
      Halftime Update. 
      I should have stopped at one hotdog.  I deserve this.
      3rd Quarter Update
      You know the feeling where you say and think all these bad things about a player and then he breaks his leg and you immediately feel bad about it?  I live there now.
      Colt McCoy has freed me from that place of sadness! 
      As much as I love this defense, they have to start forcing teams to punt at some point.  Is there a stat for defense tha thas forced the fewest punts?  We have to be near the top of that list.  Texans have punted just once today.  Holding them to three was good, though.   
      The lead is down to six and Colt McCoy has arrived to save us.  (Please let that be true.) 
      Personal Note:  Someone just stomped, loudly, out of the press area like a while muttering at his phone.  Laughter and comparisons to toddlers followed him.  The media's laugh is an evil laugh!  Good times. 
      4th Quarter Update
      Colt has brought us back.  Welcome to the first lead change of the season, Redskins fans.  You like that?!  (Yeesh, was that always so lame?)  I guess you could say Adrian Peterson contributed by actually scoring the touchdown.  I bet Colt told him to score though, so you have to factor leadership into things.
      Once again, the defense cannot force a punt, hard to feel great about holding a team to a field goal when that field goal gives them the lead in the 4th quarter 
      Remember that whole "can we block them" thing?  The answer was absolutely not on the Redskins 2nd drive of the 4th quarter.  Watt and Clowney each sacked our man Colt, and ended that drive before it really had a chance to begin. 
      Horrible, no good, very bad holding called on Norman gifting Houston a first down at the worst possible time for it.
      Colt chooses to throw deep at an inopportune moment resulting in a 60+ yard attempt for an injured kicker.  Heartbreaking end to a game that cost this team entirely too much (via injury) yet still seemed to be within reach several times. 
      I'm off to the post game press conference and locker room, check back later for updates.
      Final Thoughts
      I’ve always found it preferable to watch my favorite team simply get destroyed, than to feel that they were the better team and still managed to lose.  The Redskins gave this game away with mistakes in the 2nd quarter.  Fred Davis makes a routine catch and Alex Smith doesn’t throw a pick six, and the scoreboard shows at least 7 fewer points for the Texans.  Even if the Redskins had settled for field goals, that’s a 13 point swing in 2 point game.   
      Losing the game wasn’t even the worst part.  Losing Alex Smith, for at least the remainder of the season, is likely enough to push the Redskins past the point where they can continue toughing their way through key injuries. 
      We'll all feel better after a win against the Cowboys next week. 


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Chalk Talk: Year by Year by the Numbers

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Feel free to comment in this post. TK is working on getting a sub forum up to put each post without comments :)

There are some minor things to clean up on this post, I know. But I've been working on this in my free time for the last few days, forgive me :)

The thumbnails can be clicked on the actual blog page if you have problem seeing them here. Follow the link below to enlarge them.

This is a post reviewing our yearly averages in Rush Yards Per Game, Rush Yards Per Carry, Pass Yards Per Game, Pass Yards Per Attempt, Pass Yards Per Completion, Completion Percentage, Total Yards Per Game, Total Yards Per Play, 3rd Down Conversions, Fourth Down Conversions and Turnover Ratio.

These charts are strictly on a by the numbers basis and not analyzed further than what they are. Take from them what you will.

The charts provided will graph the offensive numbers versus the defensive numbers in order to show if there's any correlation between our "winning" seasons and "losing" seasons based strictly on the statistics, which admittedly don't always tell the entire story, but it's a start.


Rush Yards Per Game. Pretty self explanatory here. Every season for the past five seasons, our offense has rushed for more yards per game than our defense allowed. That is very good news and encouraging. Our running game and rush defense, as a whole, appear to be doing quite well. Yards per game were actually quite low in 2004, though.


Once again, every season in the past five years has been even or tilted more towards the offense in rushing yards per carry. In 2004 the defense actually only allowed 3.1 rush yards per game. That's ridiculous on many levels. Our offense averaged UNDER four yards a carry twice (2004 and 2007) and our defense only allowed OVER four yards a carry twice (2005 and 2006).


Our offense only averaged more yards per game in two seasons (2005 and 2007). For the most part, we were pretty even here, though, with the exception of 2004 and 2006 where we were outgained by quite a few yards per game in the air.


Okay, this is where it got interesting. According to the stats on nfl.com we had a higher number as far as average per COMPLETION, which likely means we'd have a higher number in average per ATTEMPT here. However, I took from our TOTAL pass yards, that includes sacks for loss, the stats on nfl.com do NOT account for sacks.

Yards per Attempt take into consideration every pass thrown for us and against us. Incomplete or completed doesn't make a difference. How ever many times we threw or they threw, this is the amount of yards they got per play. This is an area that both our offense and defense can seemingly use improvement on.


This is the same story as the yards per attempt above. I took sacks into consideration.

We allowed almost a first down PER completion defensively every single year the past five seasons. Ouch. In turn, offensively, we averaged over ten yards per completion in three years. Not bad, but that stat needs to be over ten each and every season.


Self explanatory. 2004 and 2006 are the only years where our defense allowed a higher completion percentage than the offense.


Our offense got more yards per game than our defense allowed in every season except in 2006. That's an encouraging stat based on our defensive output. Alot of our total yards are dependent on our rushing game, which is great, but we could use more production from our passing game (not that this chart tells us that, just sayin'



More self explanatory charts. Our offense was over or at five yards per play in four of the five seasons. Our defense only allowed over five yards per play twice. Not bad for either unit.


3rd Down Conversions. The defensive stat is how often they allowed a conversion on third down, obviously, the offensive stat is how often we got a first down on third down. I think we could use improvement offensively, and we need to stay below 35% every season defensively as well. Allowing a team a first down on third down once every three attempts isn't too bad statistically. We should aim there.


We allow an absolutely alarming rate of fourth down conversions. I don't have the exact numbers here, but I'd imagine these are pretty much mostly all short yardage situations with the occasional exception here and there. We allow too many and we definitely don't convert enough of them. This needs to improve. Last season appeared to be a step in the right direction offensively, but not so much defensively.


We've had a positive turnover ratio ONCE in the past five seasons and it was at +1. That's no good. We had a -5 TWICE. We need to force more turnovers and take better care of the ball.

Stay tuned, next Chalk Talk thread will be a breakdown game by game of the 2008 season where I measure our average with our peaks and valleys throughout the season. :)

Then we'll get in to the real X and O talk :)

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