FFODC Looks At Baltimore

Against Their Offense:

Football Outsiders has the Ravens ranked 27th in Offense DVOA, so if the Skins are ever going to iron out their issues on defense it better be this week.

Baltimore usually operates out of 11 (1RB, 1TE) personnel:


with an occasional deployment of beefier personnel on early downs:


I’d prefer not to see the latter given our struggles with the interior of our 3-4 defense.  If Baltimore stays true to form and sticks to 11, then Kerrigan/Murphy and Smith should be able to wreak havoc out of our Nickel defense.  Rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley is listed as doubtful which means Preston Smith will be lined up against his replacement, rookie left guard Alex Lewis (72.)  Yes please.

Our underneath zone coverage will be put to the test with Cravens out this weekend.  Thankfully, large chunks of the Ravens’ passing game consists of Joe Flacco–30th in yards per attempt–staring blankly down field before dumping it off to his outlet receivers in the flats.

Baltimore’s run game is mainly inside zone.  This does mean lots of interior double teams but it also means we shouldn’t see as much of the pesky pulling guards like we did against the Giants and Browns.  Ricky-Jean Francois is pretty comfortable at dissolving zone blocks and can do that thing where he blasts into the backfield and disrupts the timing of the play.

Good News:  Preston Smith, Murphy/Kerrigan and Francois should be adding to their TFL totals this week.

Bad News:  Man beast Marshal Yanda and Center Jeremy Zuttah will probably find a favorable double team match up versus Ziggy Hood.  It could lead to some demoralizing yards on the ground.

Against Their Defense:

On defense, the Ravens line up the same way we do: Nickel versus 11 personnel and 3-4 against heavier formations.

Jernigan might be doing a lot of this tomorrow
Jernigan might be doing a lot of this tomorrow

The middle of the line is the strength this defense.  Timmy Jernigan (99) is the star up front, he and nose tackle Brandon Williams (98) are tough to move.  Scherff, Long, and Kouj/Lauvao will have their hands full all game.  Outside runs can help to slow down the Ravens interior and it just so happens outside zone is our bread and butter.  We might be able to find some success inside when rookie backup nose tackle Michael Pierce (78) enters the game.  His mobility is limited and he can be moved with one-on-one blocks–a junior Pot Roast.

On the back end, inside linebacker CJ Mosley (57) could be susceptible to play action, especially out of our heavier formations.  Behind him, cornerback Shareece Wright (24) is struggling.  He got burned against Cleveland and was beat multiple times last week versus Michael Crabtree.  Paging Desean Jackson, we need you to toast this guy real quick.  The only question mark is if Cousins will be willing and able to test the Ravens deep.

Good News:  Any time Desean is lined up across Shareece Wright in Cover 3 or one-on-one, Cousins gets the Rex Grossman F**k It I’m Going DeepTM seal of approval.

Bad News:  They are ranked 4th in Defense DVOA.  Spencer Long might have a bad day.

Elsewhere:  Odds Shark’s computer predicts the Ravens win 28-15.4, which ok I’m sure that’s useful to somebody.  Ravens are favored by 4, over/under is set at 45.5.  Hogs Haven interviews a Ravens’ blog.


Injury Report

Full injury report is here–and it’s sponsored!  (Wtf!)

Baker and Jenkins are full go, meaning our line will not die and has a fighting chance in the first half.

Breeland and Phillips are both out.  Somehow Dunbar has been coached up to ‘viable NFL corner’ status, he and Toler should see plenty of playing time in Breeland’s absence.  Zone coverage has helped to hide any deficiencies either corner might have.

Cravens is out, Kerrigan is questionable.  Su’a has emerged into a bonafide playmaker in coverage.   Run defense should stay the same without him.  Which is to say Compton will continue to get run over and safeties will be hanging back covering the world’s longest developing flea flicker.

Dashaun Phillips is out.  Rookie Kendall Fuller should get another shot at his slot CB spot.  Last week didn’t produce enough data for us to know if their is any drop off in coverage between the two.  I guess not getting burned by Cody Kessler is a starting point.

Lauvao is questionable.   Kouj was solid last week, flashing ability to combo block on outside zone.  He’ll have a stiffer test tomorrow if he’s asked to fill in again.

FFODC Gets Cut

Hey hey hey, Goodbye:  DL Kendall Reyes and SS David Bruton won’t see the field again this season as a Redskin.  Reyes was cut and Bruton placed on IR.  It looks like replacements for Reyes will come from within the organization with Ioannidis and/or rookie Anthony Lanier seeing more playing time.

Reyes becomes the second failed free agent signing along the defensive line under General Manager Scot McCloughan in the past two offseasons.

Reyes’ departure doesn’t effect much. We couldn’t rely on him when he had max health so a slightly tired Baker, Hood, Jenkins or Francois should be an upgrade. Not enough data is in on Ioannidis or rookie Anthony Lanier but the fact that neither could beat out Hood or Reyes for playing time doesn’t bode well.

Help at safety is coming from outside the organization with Donte Whitner and Josh Evans being signed to the team.   Do they understand how run defense works?  We will find out!

Whitner began his career with the Buffalo Bills. He most recently had played in 2015, with the Browns, but didn’t spend training camp or the preseason with any team.

Perry Fewell was his coach in Buffalo FWIW.  Blackmon will be slotted as the coverage safety while Whitner will be asked to put his nose in the box and hit people.  It could be interesting to see if and how offenses line up to force our safeties to switch roles.  In the short term, Nacho will be the nominal SS while Whitner figures out this defense.

Keim:  Keim does talent evals on guys Scotty Mac has brought in over the past 2 seasons…the returns aren’t good.  Everything he says is pretty on point, the only disagreement I have:

[Hood] would be much better used at end than nose tackle, but the Redskins do not have a true nose so that’s where he’s playing. It’s not Hood’s fault this area wasn’t addressed

We don’t really get to dictate if he’s an End or 3 tech. Teams motion and force our lineman inside where they are prone to double teams. In the 3-4 we can offer him some protection from that.  In Nickel, during early downs, he’ll have to play over centers and guards and endure doubles.

I lol’d:  Chris Cooley has an opinion on our quarterbacks.

Your Moment Of Zen:

Redskins OFFENSE vs The Browns

credit: MGoBlog.com for the idea to do these


We usually lined up in 11 (1RB, 1TE) personnel, but also threw in a few heavier formations throughout the game.  In the first drive we came out in 12 (1 RB, 2 TE) personnel:


with a WR split out wide to either side.  The Browns dropped a safety into the box and played Cover 3–meaning the 2 cornerbacks and 1 free safety (off the screen) played deep coverage.  Cousins attacked this by throwing quick 3 step drops to Garcon and Desean on the outside.  On 3 back to back plays it picked him up 9, 3(first down), and 5 yards.

Continue reading “Redskins OFFENSE vs The Browns”

Redskins DEFENSE vs The Browns


Note:  A brief overview of our ‘Nickel’ and ‘3-4’ formations can be found here

Cleveland started the game in 11 (1RB, 1TE) personnel and we responded with our Nickel package which had Compton lined up to the passing strength (2 WR side):


When the Browns brought in a fullback or extra tight end we responded with our 3-4:


Notice Compton is away from the passing strength and is lined up over the guard and tackle.  The thicker and stouter Foster (aka Rumble) is lined up over the ‘A’ gap in between the center and guard.

We got a little whacky with our 3-4 alignment on this play as we slid Baker over to defensive end.  We stood up Preston Smith, moved him around and then sent him blitzin’:

Continue reading “Redskins DEFENSE vs The Browns”

FFODC Checks In On The Offense

The bread and butter of our run game has been the outside zone run.  (This video shows outside zone and it's blocking assignments.)   It has afforded us the ability to horizontally stretch out defenses and compliment play action looks for Cousins that allow him easy throws downfield.

The reads for Matt Jones on this outside zone run are 3 fold:


[After the jump: Cousins…Play action…More arrows!]

Continue reading “FFODC Checks In On The Offense”