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1st quarter grades. Feel free to add your own or just complain about someone elses.


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I will start with a bit of bad news friends; today a full quarter of the football regular season has been completed. The offseason is so long and aggravating and it seems that the football season goes by so fast when it finally arrives. Clearly it’s time to extend the season to 80 or so games. Just think of the advancements to sports medicine such a move would bring with it?

Ok on to the point of this post, The Washington Redskins (shut up, UnWise Mike). With a quarter of the season under the belts it’s time to look back and see what we’ve got so far. We’ll start with the stats and compare them to last season.

Offense 2011 vs 2010total

Yards per game: 356.0 to 335.9

Points per game: 20.8 to 18.9

Rushing yards per game: 126.8 to 91.3

Passing yards per game: 229.2 to 244.6

Defense2011 vs 2010total

Yards per game: 296.5 to 389.2

Points per game: 15.8 to 23.6

Rushing yards per game: 84.5 to 127.6

Passing yards per game: 212.0 to 261.7

Sacks: 15 to 29.0(the entire season)

Wins and Losses:

3-1 2011 vs 2-2 2010

As you can see we’re better than we were at the end of 2010 in every category other than passing yards per game where we are down by a small amount. The defense certainly seems a world apart from the unit that horrified fans last season.

So let’s get to the fun part and grade the units ourselves. Screw the professionals, let’s use our eyeballs and subjectively assign grades. This is the stuff forums are made for people. Grades should take the league into consideration not just the skins. If you say “A” that means it’s amongst the best performances in the league.

Offense overall. C+

Leaving too many points on the field and not scoring enough. Compared to the league average the scoring is not average. The yards per game have been average. The results have been more wins than losses.

Quarterback. D+

Started off strong but has been fading each week. Rex delivered great week 1, a horrible week 4, and two below average games in between.

Running Backs. B.

It’s not just the fact that Torain is back and looking like the Juggernaut *****. The entire stable of horses we have here are good in my opinion. Yards per game are top ten. I really like the young backs we have and what they are able to do.

Offensive Line. C.

They’ve been more good than bad and seem to be about average compared to what I’ve seen from other teams. If you’ve been a skins fan for a while the idea of having an average line is a great thing.

Wide Receivers. C.

They’ve had some good moments and some moments where they can’t seem to get open. The reality however is that this team has no skill position player that the QB can throw it to, while in single coverage, and just trust him to go get it. Until we get a true #1 wide out I don’t see this unit being better than a C.

Tight Ends. A.

Simply put we have two probowl caliber tight ends on this team. Chris Cooley has been consistently a top 5ish tight end (statistically) in the league. Fred Davis is emerging as a game changing player for us when used properly. Having two tight ends that can do so much offensively is a luxury.

Defense Overall. A-

They’ve given up some big plays and haven’t been clutch enough to become one of those frightening defensive teams. Despite that they are keeping teams from scoring and containing opposing offenses tremendously well.

Defensive Line. B

Compared to what the skins have been used to this line is a dream come true. Younger faster stronger but healthy enough to not require extensive participation by medical experts.

Linebackers. B.

Ryan Kerrigan has proven to be a good draft pick so far and has resulted in Orakpo getting held by one player instead of two this season. Rocky seems to have found his place in the 3-4 and of course Fletcher is still the tackling machine and leader he has been.

DB. C+

They have been more good than bad but they’ve given up some major plays consistently enough for me to say they are slightly above average by league standards.

Redskins Team: B+

Would be an A if we had defeated the Cowboys. ****ing Cowboys, man!

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Other than upping the LBs to an A- or maybe QB to a C- I think this sums it up perfectly. We are tied for the lead in sacks and 3rd down percentage in defense and I think that is directly related to how well they are playing. Fletch and Rocky have both played extremely well on screens and Kerrigan and Orakpo seem to be in the face of the QB almost every play. Grossman has been average. He definitely has been up and down, but nowhere near like what Romo sits to pee has been. His 3rd down completions have been crucial, and he has done a good enough job running this offense.

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I think you are too hard on the DBs. Look around the league and show me a defensive secondary that has given up less major plays than ours. There are only a few, if any. The only ones that stand out to me are Hakeem Nicks long reception to the 1 and the Fitzgerald TD. The 3rd and 21 wasn't D Hall's fault, you cant expect him to play deep zone by himself against Dez Bryant.

Also either LB or D line deserve an A considering we are tied for 1st in sacks and produced several fumbles and an interception with the front 7.

So I have something to be critiqued on too:


RB B- (torain's game today and hightower's pass protection raise it up from otherwise unimpressive rushing numbers)




Offense C (mainly because of points scored and Grossman)




Defense A-

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QB: D+ ? Ok i get it, you dont like rex grossman. I feel you have expressed your opinion on Rex enough at this point. It feels like every other post of yours is related to this topic. 2 of his passes have been tipped off of our receivers. 2 of them have been extremely poor decisions. Has he played great? No. But our offense seems to play so much better on 3rd down than i can remember, and i blame many of our offensive problems on the play calls rather than the qb inefficiency. He is a solid C. As he has been most of his career. The rest of your analysis seems relatively sound.

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QB: D (Rex has been wayyyy too inconsistent. Bad turnovers at bad times. 1 great game in 4 attempts is not good.

RB: B+ (We may have the best 3 back system in the NFL right now)

WR: C+ (We have solid WR's but no one on this squad scares the beejeebus out of you. Lack a real game changer)

TE: B (Both Cooley and Davis have contributed)

OL: B (This unit has actually suprised me. Id give them an A in the running game and a C in the passing game, but they look to be constantly getting better)

DL: B (Solid unit up front - allows our linebackers to make plays)

LB: B (For the first time in YEARS, the Redskins have a consistent reliable pass rush. Orakpo is feared and Kerrigan might be better than him. Good luck quarterbacks for years to come)

DB: C (This unit gets a C becasue of 1 player. D Hall. He cant cover and he's been exposed multiple times this year already)

K: B (when we can block em up, kicking game is decent)

P: A (Best pickup of the offseason thus far)

---------- Post added October-3rd-2011 at 06:28 AM ----------

QB: D+ ? Ok i get it' date=' you dont like rex grossman. I feel you have expressed your opinion on Rex enough at this point. It feels like every other post of yours is related to this topic. 2 of his passes have been tipped off of our receivers. 2 of them have been extremely poor decisions. Has he played great? No. But our offense seems to play so much better on 3rd down than i can remember, and i blame many of our offensive problems on the play calls rather than the qb inefficiency. He is a solid C. As he has been most of his career. The rest of your analysis seems relatively sound.[/quote']

LOL Rex has never been a C player. What we are seeing from Rex is pretty much what we are going to get from him. Outside of his one season in Chi town, he hasnt done jack in the NFL. He's had 1 decent season in 9 years. Not good.

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Defense: A - Vastly improved over last season. I knew getting the right parts would help, but I don't think anybody saw our pass rushing improving the way it has. I'm very pleasantly surprised.

Offense: C - Average. Even C-. Grossman is incredibly inconsistent, and has stretches where he has looked just bad. The running game is better than last season, and we have 3 capable backs, which is fantastic. The WR's are improved, but I'd like to see more production out of our tight ends. We have to great TE's, and we are not utilizing them enough. We aren't scoring enough, period. The red-zone offense needs to improve quite a bit.

Special Teams: D+ No room for Banks to run on the punt returns. 2 blocked field goal attempts. Too many penalties. The only real positive is Rocca, who has been a stud. Great pickup for us, and he's young. Fantastic.

Overall: B to B+. We're getting better, and can compete with any team in the division.

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Quarterback - C

The definition of an average quarterback. He's made some contributions, and he's also had some bad moments, but half of those turnovers were not his fault. The ones that were, were really boneheaded.

Runningbacks - B+

They are doing an excellent job in all facets - running, receiving, and blocking. Their running numbers are just not that good because our blocking is barely above average.

Offensive Line - B

Passblocking and runblocking could be better. But it's been a decent surprise.

Receivers - B

Everybody's contributing in a good way. If the quarterbacking was only a little bit better...

Defensive Line - B

Good. Not great. Still lacks a real push up the middle which we keep trying to compensate for with exotic blitzes.

Linebackers - A

Only weakness is Rocky McIntosh and even he showed he could be an impact player in the Rams game.

Defensive Backs - B+

Our safety tandem is excellent, better than expected as OJ has been a great fit in bringing chemistry to the defensive backfield. Our corners are good, but not great.

Special Teams - D

Our punting is awesome. But every field goal is still more difficult than it should be. Our return game is just not doing well. Don't know if it's because of the blocking, or if it's because Brandon Banks has lost something as he just keeps dancing sideways and slipping... But it's been a disappointment.

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Wow. I think people rating our running backs much too highly. Averages are too low for a b+. They've been too many times a step away from making the big play that was there. I'd say a B is fair. I think yesterday's game is coloring your opinion too much. Judget the runners after Dallas and you would have given a different score.

I'd give Grossman a C/C- He has moved us well in the twenties and made some wonderful third down conversions. He has also made some really frustrating throws. Yesterday, he gave up two interceptions. One was a good throw that Moss volleyballed to a defender and the other was a horrible throw. He should have known there was a linebacker in that area.

Also, I think I'd rate TE higher and linebacker higher than many of you. We lead the NFL in sacks. I think that's worth an A. Orakpo, Fletch, and Kerrigan have been outstanding and Rocky has really improved from last year.

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A C+ for DBs doesn't seem entirely fair, so far they have played solidly, do they really rate lower because Fitz made a big play? The guy is a beast, having him make only ONE play like that says something good about the secondary IMO. Barnes is looking better, Wilson was an upgrade, Atogwe is still getting into a groove in a new team, he will decide a game or two before it's all over, and Landry just got back on the field (with an immediate impact).

Shanny's philosophy of multiple RBs fighting to get playing time keeps 'em hungry and allows him to "play the hot hand", that's a huge upgrade not only in performance but in attitude. Just like the QB though, they are dependent on the O line play, so that's where I am hoping to see more cohesion and fewer mistakes since that will pay the biggest dividends.

Biggest overall improvement so far? The general air here in the Stadium, less whining, more civility and humor, more meaningful conversations, more genuine football talk then we have seen in years, the "culture change" on the board is palpable and long over due.

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QB-C.....Grossman has played up and down. What has he shown me through 4 games? He's a great QB, TERRIBLE decision maker.

RB-B.....I've been saying since the off-season that Torain was our best back...he proved it. We are grooming a GAMER in Helu and THT is still a very capable runner.

WR-A....They were A+ good through 3 games, but they had 3 very signifigant drops vs the Rams...Still, they are producing VERY NICELY.

TE-B+...Two very capable TE's.....They disapered against Dallas, though.

Oline-B....Pass protection has been a C and Run Blocking has been A....even it out.

Dline-A...Anytime you can have 5+ sacks from your 3-4 Dline they are playing great...Anytime you have allowed 7+ sacks for your LB's, you're playing great.

LB-B....Orakpo and Kerrigan are playing lights out and Fletch is playing fine as well is Mcintosh.

DB-B...Josh Wilson is our best cover guy and DeAngelo has been fine and he will eventually make a play. Wilson's tackling needs to improve. Otogwe has been great as a cover safety and he is blitzing well. Landry is still adjusting but he has played about as good as he can for sitting out for 10 months.

Punting-A+...Rocca is amazing.

Kicking-B- Gano has been better so far than he ever has.

Brandon Banks-C.....He needs to remember he is a PLAYMAKER.

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the Washington Redskins - B+. 3-1 is hard to argue against and will raise each of my grades a bit just for that record.

Offensively.. Overall I give the offense a B ..

Passing game- C

Yesterday was the passing game's worst day of the season.. Grossman's 2nd INT was a patented 'WTF' Rex pick.. Moss popping that first one up was terrible, not the sort of mistake a vet like him should make. Davis has been removed from the offense pretty effectively once, and yesterday he was not much of a factor. Playcalling seems to get away from our strengths at times.

QB- Grossman - C

He's been spotty. At times he's read well and made nice throws to open receivers. Most of the time he's been smart with the football.. he throws it away when there's nothing a lot more than I remember him doing in the past. But.. yesterday he threw his most disturbing INT. How he didn't see that crowd that was right in front of him is a mystery to me. He obviously focuses solely on the receiver on some plays and ignores everything else,, like the defense. He can't run.. in fact if he has to run, I think he should lateral it to a guard or a tackle that is faster than him.

OL- A-

Grossman has time. A lot of it. He isn't getting swarmed over, there aren't jailbreaks like we have been accustomed to. Our RBs have found holes.. enough to be effective when it's needed. I love seeing our OLmen getting to the second and third level of blocks. Torain ran like a beast yesterday, and he was finding some massive holes. I put the "minus" in there because on the stretch plays they seem to get strung out a lot.. Hightower is getting the corner maybe 20% of the time.

Receivers- B-

They don't have a burner with Armstrong hurt, and while we've gotten good production out of Davis and Gaffney and Moss.. it's not lighting up the scoreboard. Moss has beenhis usual steady self,, except for the bobble-INT yesterday. That was just bad.

Gaffney has found big holes in zones. been a very good chain-mover.

No other wideout has been a factor yet.

Backs- A+

Hightower plays as hard as anyone I've ever seen. He has good vision and can make a little something out of nothing,, but nothing is often what he's seeing in these stretch runs. He's been excellent in pass protection.

Helu is what we'd hoped, very good cutbacks, excellent vision and balance. He certainly looks like he could be special. I'd love to see what he can do with 20 carries.

Torain is Torain, and that's as beastly as it gets. So far he's healthy, and my fingers are crossed.

Darrel Young has been hurt, but when he's in he's been a very positive contributor, good blocker, and a couple of quality touches.

Cooley has been blocking well out of the FB position too.

Defense - A

They've given up one TD in the last eight quarters. The've given up less than 16 points on average. They've gotten good production from people stepping in for injuries. The youth movement is beautiful.

Gigantic season changing moment no one mentions.. Grossman throws a bad pick to give the dead Rams life and great field position, and the defense pushes them back OUT of FG range. Punt. The Rams score there,, who knows what momentum shift takes place. But they were stifled. The defense said NO. GO TO YOUR SIDELINE.


Outstanding,, they are doing exactly what they're supposed to do, and the linebackers are racking up the stats, and wracking up RBs and QBs. Cofield and Bowen and Carriker deserve a lot of credit for making the entire scheme workable.

LB - A

Outstanding. really. They've turned rocky MacIntosh into a tackling machine,, he's reading his gaps and hitting people wth serious authority. After seeing him look like he would be another wasted draft choice, he's been given life. He deserves a lot of credit for putting the work in, and LBs coach Lou Spanos deserves a big fat bonus for taking the talent he was given and unleashing it's potenial. That should not be understated. It's not as easy as it seems to make highly talented people work together.

Our LBS are HITTING people. HARD. I love it.

Kerrigan is looking like the DROY at this point. Fletcher is his usual disruptive self, and Orakpo is now the pass rushing force that we drafted him to be.

Front 7- A+++++++++++

the Washington Redskins are tied for the NFL Lead in sacks.

read that again.

Ok, so now back to the grades.

Secondary - B+

Very good.. peppered with the occasional mistake.. yesterday there was some luck in that the rams dropped a lot of passes (but not so much luck in that they are constantly dropping passes in every other game too.)

Josh Wilson has been outstanding... he's tenacious,, reminds me a lot of Pat Fisher. He hits hard and is all arms and hands when he tackles. Tangles the hell out of the ballcarrier.. like watching a pissed off octopus grab hold of someone.. He plays with attitude, and I like it. He makes good tackles and is constantly harrasing the ball while he does it.

DeAngelo Hall has also been outstanding, even if he's given up a play here and there. He's usually one on one with their number one, and they will get a few. His tackling has been amazing.

Atogwe finally gives us some stability, and Landry is like a torpedo.

I was on Doughty for the first game, but he's played well since in his role.

Barnes has been very good in coverage, and he's been fearless tackling. Very good nickel back.

special Teams - C-

Two blocked field goals in one season is inexcusable. Other than that, I'd give them a C+ / B-

Coverages are excellent. There's no way those two hits were penalties in actual real football. This junk they call the NFL,, well maybe. Probably not with another set of refs that don't know the bloated rulebook.

Gano's kicking has been outstanding. Very pleased with him.

Rocca's punting is great.

Returns aren't happening. The blocks aren't being set up. But, fewer flags, no fumbles (lost).. so I can live with that. The threat is still there that he can go the distance if a few things fall into place. I think people overestimate a returner in that when it is said "he can bust one at any time".. it's still a pretty rare occurence. The redskins are 16th in the league with a 9.7 yards per punt return average.. and we're second in the number of returns. (more returns means the average slips a little. The league leading Broncos have returned half as many as we have.)

Overall, not bad, except for two blocked field goals, a KO out of bounds (That they tried their best to replicate vs the Cowboys the next week).. these drag the grade down.


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No grades, but I will say this.....

We are staring at an 8-8 season unless Rex get's rid of these constant turnovers.

However, we are headed in the direction I have been dying to see. Everything is coming together, outside of the QB situation. But I had zero expectations of that position being solved until 2012.

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Position Grades;

QB: C (In my book Rex had a B the first 2 weeks, but has regressed ever since).

RB: B ( They get an C for the NYG and Dallas Games and an A for the AZ and STL games so it avg out to a B. They may need to consider giving Torrain more time. After what he did yesterday, its hard to keep him off the field. Hightower has fallen off a bit).

WR: C (I think the absense of AAA since the beginning of the Dallas game had an affect on the down field passing game. None of the WRs seems to be able to get separation).

TE: C+: (Teams have really started to key in on Davis after the first two weeks, which means that plays should be made on the outside, but it hasn't occured. I also think Cooley needs to get out of the backfield as a FB and return to his natural position. )

OL: B-: (The major difference with the Oline btwn last year and this year has been at center. Monty has really done a good job in preventing pressure up the middle. If the bookends can play consistant, then at some point the Offense will improve.)

DL: B+: (This unit would be an A had Jenkins not gotten injured, but the addition of Cofield and Bowen has worked WONDERS. They hardly get pushed out of position and occasionally get pressure up the field which has rejuvenated the LB corp. The play of Carriker has improved as well. This has turned into a position of strength which was once a position of weakness for so long).

LB: A : (I can honestly say that we probably have a 10 LB corps. I can also say that i would have never thought Kerrigan would have made such an impact, this early in his career. Fletch is THE MAN! what else needs to be said, Orakpo has continued to improve due to lack of double teams b/c of Kerrigan, and Rocky has quietly been making plays and his flying all over the field. I REALLY love what we have here with this YOUNG front 7!)

....Gotta run I'll do the rest later.. :)

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