WASHINGTON, November 11, 2013 — The Washington Redskins lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night, 27-34. The Skins were outscored 20-3 in the second half. Here are the grades from the game and some revealing statistics explaining why Washington fell short.
Offense (Rushing), B: The running game went missing again in the second half against Minnesota.
Revealing Stat: Washington does not run the football when they are winning. Did you know that despite Washington being ranked first in the NFL in rushing yards, there is only a 19 percent chance that the Redskins run the ball when they have the lead in a game.
Offense (Passing), C: Robert Griffin III had a very efficient first half. His pocket protection failed to pick up the Vikings’ blitz schemes.
Revealing Stat: RG3 simply did not have time to throw and was sacked four times and knocked down eight times.
Defense, F: Against a team reliant on the running game, Washington gave Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder too much time to throw while giving up a touchdown all three times the Vikings reached the Red Zone.
Revealing Stat: According to ESPN Stats and Info, Christian Ponder had a 95.0 Total QBR, which is the best in a regular-season game by a Vikings quarterback since Brett Favre had a 97.5 Total QBR against the Giants in Week 17 of the 2009 season. John Carleson had only 19 catches in one and a half years with Minnesota prior to this game against Washington. On Thursday night, Carleson caught seven passes and a touchdown. Throughout the second half Carleson seemed wide open and dominated Washington’s linebackers.
Special Teams, F: In the third quarter, Washington punter Sav Rocca, executed a fake punt attempt by throwing the ball to a wide open Niles Paul. Paul did not know Washington was planning a fake punt and ran past the football. How a player does not know when a fake punt is being executed is enough to drive a fan crazy, but that was not the end of it. The fake punt was cancelled due to a false start penalty, but it did not hide the dysfunction. Once Sav Rocca punted the ball, it only netted 11 yards. Washington committed a costly face mask penalty, gave up a 20-yard return and the Vikings were given the football inside Redskins territory.
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