Fletcher: We're still responding to Shanahan
Through the first eight games of the season, the Redskins were doing a pretty good job of keeping Robert Griffin III upright in the pocket. They had allowed just 14 sacks. That wasn’t a performance that was going to make anyone forget the 1991 Hogs or anything but it was very respectable.
That respectability has gone by the wayside over the course of the last four games. They have allowed a whopping 19 sacks, at least four in each game.
If the issues could be narrowed down to one area they might be relatively simple to solve. But the sacks have been coming from all over the opposing defenses’ fronts.
[Related:Flat second half costly to Redskins]
Among the players getting multiple sacks in the last four games are Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams (2.5 sacks) and Justin Smith of the 49ers (2). That is an indication of problems in protection in the middle of the line.
But plenty of sacks have come from the outside, too. From the right side Robert Griffin III has been nailed by Eagles’ linebacker Trent Cole (2) and linebacker Aldon Smith of the 49ers (2). And last night Justin Tuck (4) came from his left defensive end spot six days after Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco’s left outside linebacker, got two sacks.
It’s like Dutch girl putting her finger in to plus a leak in the dike. But once one leak gets plugged, another one appears.
The Redskins have done a pretty good job of pass protection in the first half of games. In their last four they have allowed just four sacks in the first two quarters and three of those came in the game against the Eagles. But whatever has been working in the first half has come undone in the second, with defenders getting to Griffin 15 times.
To put that in perspective, Griffin has gone back to pass a total of 84 times in the second halves of the last four games (69 pass attempts plus 15 sacks). He has been sacked 17.9 percent of the time he has dropped back. To put that in perspective, the worst sack percentage in the NFL over full games is the Jets at 11.6 percent.