So far this season, I have watched about a total of one hour of live NFL football, split between two games: The first 30ish minutes of Bears @ Packers on TNF before the rain delay, and the last 30ish minutes of Saints and Dolphins in London. Not having a team to call your own does little to instill loyalties to the sport, and if these two games are any indication of what the season has been like so far, I’m pretty okay not watching much. So with that in mind, you may now be asking, “Why the hell are you doing this post on the [Redacted]s then?”
Division: Let’s start by getting the obvious out of the way. The Washington [Redacted]s are 2-2 at the BYE and currently in 2nd place among the surprisingly mediocre NFC East. It’s still early, but the Eagles currently boast a 2.5 game lead over Washington and have already beaten them once for a 4-1 record, while Dallas is hilariously 2-3 (3rd) after such high hopes of last season. The New York Football Giants (4th) should be 1-4, but those fuckers have failed me in the worst possible way — They ruined my dreams of a 0-16 Football Clippers season! And just when I was ready to say I owed Elisha an apology after all these years… BOLTMAN WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS FOR A MILLENNIA AND PAINT THE WALLS OF YOUR HOME WITH THE BLOOD OF–
…Huh? Oh, I’m sorry. Where was I?
Offense: Washington has looked pretty decent from what the stats say: 9th in Yards Per Game (363) and 13th in Points Per Game (22.8). Kirk Cousins appears to have gotten more efficient, with 7 TDs to only 1 pick so far on the season (3 fumbles though), and is throwing the ball down the field a bit more than before, nailing his 20+ yard passes 15 times. Would you believe it if I told you Kirk holds the 8th best all time passer rating in NFL history? It’s true! Someone told me that last week, and I had to look it up to believe it. I’ve always thought that was kind of a useless stat, and this confirms it as Matt Schaub ranks 15th on that list.
The run game really seems to be where they are shinning though, ranked 6th overall and averaging 130 yards per game on only 116 attempts. “Fat” Rob Kelly has been a little banged up these last two weeks with a rib and ankle injury, with the lionshare now falling to rookie Samaje Perine, who has performed nicely. Of course, Chris Thompson has scored the only 2 rushing TDs of the season, likely enraging fantasy owners everywhere and further proving that you just can’t get rid of the Shanahanigans from the Washington backfield, even after all this time.
I had better hopes out of Terrelle Pryor than what I’ve seen so far. While he does have the second most receiving yards on the team (186), Chris Thompson once again proves that a 5′ 8″ human of Woodheadian stature (like myself) can do more than just play this game. He leads all receivers with 235 yards and the second most targets (21). I’d say Kirk’s efficiency has more to do with this guy performing at a high level based on that alone. Crowder doesn’t seem to be as effective so far either and is likely drawing much more coverage after breaking out last year. Jordan Reed is also in the mix, but is apparently already dealing with “rib, sternum and shoulder injuries.” Yeesh dude. When he’s fully healthy though, there are few better in the game today.
Defense: The surprise for me so far appears to be Washington’s Defense, currently ranked 8th overall with just 310 yards per game! The run D has been pretty stout, allowing only 88 yards on average, but the passing game leaves something to be desired at 222. There’s some serious numerology in those repeating numbers according to the crazies out there on the interwebz. Missing Josh Norman for any period of time is not going to help with that, but if they keep producing fumbles (7), they should be able to mitigate a lot of the damage.
Outlook: Of the remaining games on the schedule for Washington, I see a few gimmes and enough that could go their way to make it a respectable season. Coming back from the BYE to play the hapless Niners should get them off to the a good start, before getting another crack at Philly and then hosting Dallas. If they can split out of those two before going into Seattle, I like their chances for most of the rest of the season. They’ll even have the benefit of a 9th home game when traveling to Legal Scalping Center in early December, and not just because of the symmetry! I’ll say 10-6, including a delicious upset beatdown of the Cowpokes Giants on Thanksgiving and a upset of the Cowpokes the following week.