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Detroit Lions Week 12 scouting report: Washington is hella bad

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If the Lions can’t stop this offense... hoo boy.

New York Jets v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

I don’t need to be the one to tell you that a 1-9 Washington team is bad. Their record is more convincing than any stat or analysis I can present to you. But let’s give it a shot: Their only win was over a historically horrible Dolphins team and they haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 2 of the season. How’s that sound for bad?

Of course, that sound I can hear as I’m typing this is every Detroit Lions fan screaming at their screen that this will be Washington’s bounce-back week offensively. We’ll see. But as we wait for Sunday, let’s take a closer look at this Washington team.

Washington

Last season:

7-9 record (3rd in NFC East)
29th in points scored, 15th in points allowed
Overall DVOA: 29th (28th on offense, 20th on defense)

2019 offseason

Key free agent additions: S Landon Collins, G Ereck Flowers, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Key losses: EDGE Preston Smith, WR Jamison Crowder, OT Ty Nsekhe, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Coaching changes: Promoted Kevin O’Connell to offensive coordinator, hired Rob Ryan as ILB coach

2019 NFL draft picks:

Round 1 - QB Dwayne Haskins
Round 1 - EDGE Montez Sweat
Round 3 - WR Terry McLaurin
Round 4 - RB Bryce Love
Round 4 - G Wes Martin
Round 5 - C Ross Pierschbacher
Round 5 - LB Cole Holcomb
Round 6 - WR Kelvin Harmon
Round 7 - CB Jimmy Moreland
Round 7 - LB Jordan Brailford

2019 was an offseason that didn’t really move the needle for Washington. They lost some key players in Preston Smith and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but they also nabbed big-time safety Landon Collins. Other than that, not too much.

Of course, much of the team’s focus was on the offensive side of the ball after a colossal failure in 2018. They made an internal hire at offensive coordinator, made sure to keep the one positive thing from last year in Adrian Peterson, and then went offense with five of their first six draft picks, including their hopeful franchise quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Defensively, however, it does seem like the personnel got a bit worse.

Washington 2019 season (1-9)

Week 1: Loss to Eagles, 27-32
Week 2: Loss to Cowboys, 21-31
Week 3: Loss to Bears, 15-31
Week 4: Loss to Giants, 3-24
Week 5: Loss to Patriots, 7-33
Week 6: Win over Dolphins, 17-16
Week 7: Loss to 49ers, 0-9
Week 8: Loss to Vikings, 9-19
Week 9: Loss to Bills, 9-24
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: Loss to Jets, 17-34

Stats:

  • 32nd in points scored; 22nd in points allowed
  • 31st overall in DVOA (31st on offense, 28th on defense)

All those moves on the offensive side of the ball have done nothing. In fact, it’s pretty easy to say this team got much, much worse on offense. Case Keenum has already been benched, (offensive-minded) head coach Jay Gruden has been fired, and before the fourth quarter of last week’s game against the Jets, Washington’s offense had this crowning achievement:

The Dwayne Haskins era is off to a rough start. He’s completing just 58.2 percent of his passes at 6.3 yards per attempt, and he has five interceptions to just two touchdowns in four game appearances (two starts). That’s an overall passer rating of 58.0.

Defensively, they’re below average. They’re okay at stopping the run, but their secondary is a bit of a mess, with everyone—especially Josh Norman—underperforming.

Key injuries: LB Reuben Foster (IR), TE Jordan Reed (IR), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (IR), TE Vernon Davis (concussion), WR Paul Richardson Jr. (hamstring)

Washington lost a couple of key players on defense for the season in Reuben Foster and free-agent addition Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. As for recent injuries, Washington is currently missing a couple of offensive weapons in Vernon Davis and Paul Richardson. Davis has been out since Week 4, while Richardson only missed last week.

Biggest strength: Skill players

This is tough to say about a team that ranks at the bottom of the league in most offensive statistical categories, but Washington has a set of skill position players that can still be dangerous. Rookie receiver Terry McLaurin has been fantastic in his debut season, hauling in 35 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns. Among rookies, he is second only to D.K. Metcalf.

Elsewhere, Adrian Peterson continues to cheat football death (516 yards, 4.2 YPC), and Derrius Guice is finally back from injury.

Yeah, it’s not much, but it’s something.

Biggest weakness: Offensive line

In his two starts for Washington, Dwayne Haskins has been sacked 10 times. Overall, the picture isn’t quite as bad (22nd in sacks allowed, 17th in pass block win rate)—suggesting Haskins is a bit culpable for the sacks—but many of the team’s struggles can also be explained by poor line play.

Also bad: Secondary (26th in passer rating, t-25th in yards per attempt), quarterback

Vegas line for Sunday: Lions by 3.5