W2W4 New England Patriots vs Washington Redskins

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When the Redskins Run the Ball:

Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins rushing attack has been best described as “inconsistent”. Washington rushed for 161 yards in week one and added 182 yards on the ground in defeating St. Louis in week two (all stats from pro-football-reference.com unless otherwise noted). After being held to 88 yards in week three, the Redskins ground out 127 yards in defeating the Eagles. Since then, Washington has had just 135 yards rushing over 3 games as the running backs have been grounded.

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Rookie Matt Jones was a third round draft pick from Florida and at six-foot-one and 235 pounds is a load to tackle. He paced the attack on the ground in the first three weeks of the season gaining 189 yards on 36 carries. Since then, the mystery has worn off and Jones has gained just 60 yards on 27 attempts while not playing in week six against the Jets due to a toe injury.

The lead back remains veteran Alfred Morris and he has been average at best. The right side of the line is inexperienced and struggled to make space. Trent Williams is a stud blocker at left tackle in the passing game but in reviewing game tape can appear uninterested in blocking during running plays. Center Kory Lichtensteiger has a neck injury and is 50-50 to play. Washington does not have great blocking tight ends and can struggle to make space for their backs as they average less than four yards per rush.

New England has been focused on straightening out their run defense after allowing four of their first five opponents to top 100 yards on the ground. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich have improved setting the edge after early struggles and Sealver Siliga and veteran Alan Branch have been strong inside. Washington may try to mix in the run early to create play-action looks for the passing game, but if they fall behind they may abandon it as they did against Tampa Bay running the ball just six times in the second half.


Next: When the Redskins Pass the Ball