offense still missing in action

(photo by Brian Murphy)

The Washington Redskins held on to narrowly defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-13 Sunday. And while the offense was so dreadful for much of the day that the hometown fans booed early and often, sadly, this game actually represented an offensive explosion for the offensively challenged Redskins.

Take a look at the results from the last six games played at FedEx Field, dating back to last season:

  1. Redskins defeat Buccaneers 16-13
  2. Redskins defeat Rams 9-7
  3. Redskins defeat Eagles 10-3
  4. Giants defeat Redskins 23-7
  5. Cowboys defeat Redskins 14-10
  6. Steelers defeat Redskins 23-6

First, the positive – the Redskins defense has allowed just 23 total points in their last three games at FedEx Field. Meanwhile, the Redskins offense has scored just 35 total points over the same span. That’s an average score of 11-7, which is fine if you’re a baseball team. Not so much if you make a living playing football.

The Redskins have a total of five touchdowns in their last six home games. Diving deeper into the numbers, here’s a breakdown of the offensive output during this stretch of futility:

  • Campbell has just three touchdown passes – connecting with wide out Santana Moss, tight end Chris Cooley and fullback Mike Sellers. Considering two of those came this past weekend, that’s pretty pitiful.
  • Running back Clinton Portis has one rushing touchdown. So does receiver Devin Thomas.
  • The rest of the team’s production came courtesy of kicker Shaun Suisham, who has eight fieldgoals. Add in four extra points and Suisham’s 28 points make him the top scorer on the ‘Skins during this timeframe, even if he’s one of the lowest-ranked kickers in the NFL.

We then took things one step further, breaking down the production of Campbell, Portis, Cooley and Moss during this six-game span. The numbers were as ugly as you might expect.

  • Campbell has completed 122 of 205 pass attempts for 1,156 yards with three touchdowns and seven interceptions. That’s 192 yards per game, with a 59.5 completion percentage and a 65.8 quarterback rating.
  • Portis has 105 carries for 388 yards and one rushing touchdown. That’s an average of 17.5 carries for 64.6 yards per game (which translates to just under 3.7 yards per carry).
  • Cooley has 37 catches for 372 yards and a touchdown, which equals six catches for 62 yards per outing. Out of everyone, Cooley is the one guy who comes out of this study looking respectable.
  • Moss has 21 catches for 235 yards and a touchdown, which equals 3.5 catches for 39 yards per game. Sadly, his 59-yard touchdown catch against Tampa Bay surpasses his total receiving yards for any of the other five games during this span. Without it, Moss would have just 20 catches for 176 yards (which equals less than 30 yards per game).

This is the point where we remind folks that Jim Zorn was first hired as an up-and-coming offensive coordinator. Just 15 days later, the Redskins front office then promoted him to head coach. He was specifically brought in because management felt he would be the guy who could help Campbell develop into a solid NFL quarterback.

And yet, 20 games into his coaching career, the Redskins offense has arguably regressed.

The party line in the locker room Sunday was “a win is a win.” But it’s foolish not to notice just how easily this team could be 0-6 at home during this span, if not for above average play from the defense. Fact: the Redskins have scored 17 points or less in 13 of the 20 games Zorn has been here for. The bottom line is simple – something needs to change if Zorn and Campbell are going to remain in Washington.

The day he was hired, we were told Zorn was an offensive innovator. It’d be nice to actually see that translate into more than 10 points a game.

1 comment

  1. Andrew
    October 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I really think Zorn has it in him to be a great coach. But I really think he needs to game plan better. But that is just watching and the game plan might be really solid just players not getting it done.
    I am not bashing Campbell, I just don’t think he is NFL starting material.
    Even since he has started the Offense has been bottom of the barrel. I want him to succeed more than anything, but I just don’t think he has it
    Just wish people would stop acting he is better then sliced bread….This Organization really needs to get a Franchise QB if they really want to be contenders.
    Love your insight and website
    Keep up the great writing!!

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