The Oakland Raiders running attack, which is led by a particular three-headed monstrosity, will face yet another test when they take on Washington’s run defense.
Now, if you love statistics, then this article is for you! I know how the old saying goes, ”There are lies, damn lies, and statistics” but often when applied correctly the result will be useful knowledge. So while stats do not offer any guarantees, many times we can gain valuable insight into a game even before a player steps foot on the field and make educated, analytical predictions based on the history that stats provide.
Redskins Interior Line
Washington has five interior players that have all rotated in pretty evenly throughout the first two weeks, with Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen, and Terrell McClain leading the charge with 61, 71, and 47 snaps played respectively. Also worth noting is former Oakland Raider Stacy McGee has seen time logging in 51 snaps.
When taking a closer look at each defenders grades against the run per ProFootballFocus, nobody grades higher than 71.0 (Allen) while McClain sits just behind Allen’s grade at 70.3. All other Redskins linemen are ranked in the mid-40’s against the run per PFF, something that should excite the Raiders’ offensive line! In fact, even Allen’s overall grade is only good enough to rank him at 63rd best amongst interior defensive linemen throughout the entire NFL. Matt Ioannidis has the best overall grade for the Redskins at 76.1 per PFF, still only ranking him at number 46 amongst interior big men in the NFL. Ioannidis is the only interior player for Washington to get to the quarterback with only one-half sack.
Redskins Edge Defenders
Washington has two solid but not elite edge defenders in Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith. Kerrigan should be Oakland’s biggest concern statistically as he grades out at 77.4 against the run. Preston sits at 75.5 against the run per PFF. Kerrigan grades out overall at 80.2, ranking him 27th best in the entire NFL amongst edge defenders. Preston has two sacks through two games while Kerrigan has registered one and a half sacks, one interception and one forced fumble through his two games, per NFL.com.
The Redskins have two inside linebackers that have solid showings against the run. Zach Brown leads the charge with a PFF grade of 87.0 against the run, while Mason Foster comes in at a grade of 66.3 against the run. Both linebackers, however, have very pedestrian numbers when it comes to their overall grades, as Foster grades out at 63.6 and Brown at 60.6 ranking them at 31st and 33rd place amongst all NFL inside linebackers.
For an overview of each player’s grades overall at their position and how they match up, go ahead and check out the picture below courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com.
Redskins Defense As A Whole
According to NFL.com, the Redskin’s defense ranks 26th in the league through two weeks. Opponents are racking up an average of 344 yards a game and six yards per play, which bodes well for Oakland’s high-powered offense.
However, looking at stats alone we see the Redskins rank 9th in the NFL in total yards allowed on the ground, averaging 77.5 yards per game through two weeks. However, this is where stats become deceiving, because Week 1 the Redskins played an Eagles team that currently ranks 21st in rushing who allowed 58 rushing yards total to Philadelphia.
Nevertheless, the following week, Todd Gurley racked up 88 yards and one touchdown on the ground versus the Redskins and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Oh, and the scary stat: the Rams only have one offensive lineman graded at 80 or above in run blocking per PFF; meanwhile, the Raiders have four offensive linemen ranked higher than 80 and two graded 90+ in run blocking.
In addition, Oakland’s primary blocking tight end Lee Smith grades out at 83.8 in run blocking. Oakland also currently ranks 5th in the NFL in rushing through two weeks, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. A very impressive stat considering Oakland has a three-headed monster in the backfield.
If stats say anything about this game, it is that Oakland should have its way in how, when, and where they want to run the ball come Sunday night. Many in Raider Nation have heard Redskins linebacker Zach Brown quoted as saying he, “dares you (Carr) to put the ball in the air.” Now I believe Mr. Brown does not relish this matchup in the fact that he will probably get tossed around by the likes of Penn, Osemele, and Hudson, all the while having to take on Lynch. Moreover, when he does find himself free of the big bodies, I bet he would rather see Carr air it out to make his job a bit easier come Sunday!
In spite of this, I doubt Jack Del Rio and company are buying it. However, Carr should not have a problem moving the ball through the air either, since Washington also ranks 26th in total pass defense, allowing 64.1 percent of passes to be completed at an average of 8.7 yards per completion.
The obvious enemy to these stats is that it is only two weeks worth of data, so as with all numbers, a grain of salt is suggested to be taken with them. However, after watching the Rams run and pass with relative ease versus the Redskins last week, I don’t see any major roadblocks for a much more talented Raiders offense come Sunday night.
I do not see any huge numbers for Lynch. Why, you may ask? Well, I see Oakland rotating all three backs in and all three finding success under the lights on Sunday night. Also, I would not be surprised to see Patterson break another play or two as well. I am giving Lynch 70-plus yards and two touchdowns with both Richard and Washington chipping in another 60-plus yards combined. Also, it will be Washington’s turn to find the end zone on the ground this week. However easy it will be for the offense to move the ball I believe it will still be a close game.
Final Score: Oakland 34 Washington 28