FanPost

Yard Stick-Wk3: Cowboys Defense vs Redskins Offense

The Redskins offensive line has many cracks that the NY Giants exposed, but the Cardinals were unable to capitalize on. In the Giants-Redskins game, RT Jammal Brown and RG Chris Chester were the weak links on the line. That's the right side of the line, where Marcus Spears and Anthony Spencer usually line-up. According to ProFootballFocus, both OLinemen scored in the negative (-2.5 and -2.4 respectively). LT Trent Williams tired as the game went on and his game took a down poor because of it, which is where D-Ware usually lines up.

Against the Cardinals, the entire Redskin's OLine rated positive. Which begs the question, did the OLine get better or are the Cardinals front-7 poor? The Cardinals were able to slow down Carolina's run game in week 1, but so did the Packers in Week 2. This hints to Carolina's inability to run the ball, not Cardinals great front-7. Which tells me that the Redskins did not improve over that one-week span, but that they played a weaker front-7.

Redskins Total Net Yards: 332 vs Giants

Redskins Net Avg/Play: 5.2 vs Giants

Rams Total Net Yards: 367 vs Giants

Rams Net Avg/Play: 5.5

As you can see, the Giants defense gave up pretty much similar amount of yards to the Rams as they did to the Redskins.

Redskins Total Net Yards: 455 vs Cardinals

Redskins Net Avg/Play: 5.8 vs Cardinals

Carolina Total Net Yards: 477 vs Cardinals

Carolina Net Avg/Play: 7.0

Here we observe that, although the average per play are different, the amount of Net Yards is pretty much the same. The only thing that is similar in the Redskins' offense, between both games, is their Avg/Play, which I expect to stay the same against the Cowboys. Let us see why.

Jets Total Net Yards: 360

Jets Net Avg/Play: 5.6

SF Total Net Yards: 206

SF Net Avg/Play 3.8

SF doesn't have a great QB, nor do they take many chances. Therefore, I compare the Redskins style more to the Jets. They like to establish the run and they will take shots deep. This is why I say that I expect Redskins Avg/Play to stay within their current range because its what the Cowboys have allowed so far.

Redskins Total Net Yards (vsGiants + vsCardinals): 787

Redskins Total Net Avg/Play (vsGiants + vsCardinals): 5.5

Cowboys Total Net Yards Allowed (vsJets + vsSF): 566

Cowboys Total Net Avg/Play Allowed (vsJets + vsSF): 4.8

I'm looking at the Cowboys' defense to allow 5.2 net yards per play. Similar to what the Redskins put up against the Giants, but less then what the Jets put up against us. Yet, that isn't the most important part. What's more important then gaining yards? What really kept both Niners and Jets in the game?

Efficiency!

Jets 3rd-Down Efficiency: 6/14 (42%)

Jets Redzone Efficiency: 1/2 (50%)

SF 3rd-Down Efficiency: 8/16 (50%)

SF Redzone Efficiency: 2/2 (100%)

Cowboys Total 3rd-Down Efficiency Allowed (vsSF + vsJets): 14/30 (46%)

Cowboys Total Redzone Efficiency Allowed (vsSF + vsJets): 3/4 (75%)

If this continue it's going to be a long season for the Cowboys. Although there hasn't been too many trips into the Cowboys' Redzone, the opposing team seems to find the endzone when they're there.

As for the 3rd-Down Efficiency, I do blame a lot of those on Alan Ball, but he is part of the defense and it must improve. I'm not one for wild guesses, so I'm not gonna say that with Newman back and Walker in the slot that we're going to play better in the efficiency game. We just don't know that yet.

What we do know is that we are allowing teams to continue to move the ball on us. We saw huge improvements in the second half of the 49ers game; however, we have to wait and see if this is consistent. What we can see now is the efficiency of the Redskins' Offense.

Redskins 3rd-Down Efficiency: 5/15 (33%) vs Giants

Redskins Redzone Efficiency: 3/4 (75%) vs Giants

Rams 3rd-Down Efficiency: 5/17 (29%) vs Giants

Rams Redzone Efficiency: 1/4 (25%) vs Giants

We can see that the Giants have allowed the Rams the same amount of Redzone visits as the Redskins and the same amount of 3rd-Down conversions. Seems to points towards a habit by the Giants.

Redskins 3rd-Down Efficiency: 6/17 (35%) vs Cardinals

Redskins Redzone Efficiency: 2/7 (28%) vs Cardinals

Carolina 3rd-Down Efficiency: 3/11 (27%) vs Cardinals

Carolina Redzone Efficiency: 1/2 (50%) vs Cardinals

Here we observe a couple of differences. The Cardinals just couldn't keep the Redskins out of the Redzone like they did to the Panthers, but the Redskins are obviously a better a team. Just how bad are the Cardinals is the question here.

Let us revert our focus more towards the efficiency. Unlike the previous game, the Redskins did poorly in the Redzone, yet similarly in 3rd-Down Efficiency. This lack of efficiency in the Redzone is what kept the Redskins from blowing out the Panthers.

Redskins Total 3rd-Down Efficiency (vsNYG + vsARZ): 11/32 (34%)

Redskins Total Redzone Efficiency (vsNYG + vsARZ): 5/11 (45%)

The Redskins have visited the Redzone 11 times in two games, while the Cowboys have only allowed 4 Redzone visits in two games (2 in each game). The Cowboys are darn good at keeping teams out of their Redzone, but if efficiency in the Redzone continues then It'll probably be around 50% efficiency by the Redskins' offense. That could be 1/2 (50%), 2/4 (50%), 3/6 (50%). I'm leaning towards 1/2 (50%).

Same for the 3rd-Down Efficiency. The Redskins seem to be within the 30 percentage on 3rd-Downs; however, the Cowboys have allowed 46% of 3rd-Downs to be converted. If this continues, I think we'll be seeing the Redskins converting 40% of their 3rd-Down Conversions, which looks like this, 6/15 (40%).

Conclusion

Much talk is going on about the Cowboys defense. Sack leaders and all, but there are still some who look at the points. I agree with that, just not the way some are looking at it. The Cowboys defense are not responsible for all the points put up by their opponents.

In the Jets game, there was a punt block and returned for TD. Then there was Revis' Interception, which put them in field goal range already. Therefore, the Cowboys defense allowed 2 TDs and a FG in the Jets game. That's 17 points!

In the Niners game, San Fran started on the DAL 46 and were able to move the ball to the DAL 37 to kick a field goal. No first down was made on that drive. If we remove that FG out of the equation, then the Dallas Defense allowed 3 TDs. Thats 21 points, for a Grand Total of 38 points allowed. That's 19 points a game.

Why bring this up? For the simple reason of pointing out that I predict the Cowboys' defense is going to give up 17 points in this game based on their efficiency. 1 TD will be in the Redzone. I could be wrong; however, I am basing this on all the information I've given above. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Note, I am not saying the Redskins final score will be 17. Just that the Cowboys' Defense will give up 17 points.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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