With All The Talk About RG3, Don\’t Forget About BR7

There has been a lot of talk this week about quarterback Robert Griffin III as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to host the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The talk is indeed warranted as the rookie is off to a great start. Instead of focusing on the Redskins offense today, I want to bring a couple of things to light about their defense, especially their pass defense.

Heading into this weekend the Redskins defense ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed a game with an average of 328.4. They also rank 27th overall in passing yards allowed per play with an average of 7.71.

Where offenses have been able to victimize the Redskins the most is to the short right, deep middle, and deep right areas of the field as you can see in the chart below.

Redskins Pass Defense By Direction
Short LeftShort MiddleShort RightDeep LeftDeep MiddleDeep Right
Plays: 84Plays: 68Plays: 89Plays: 14Plays: 21Plays: 21
NFL Rank: 2NFL Rank: 2NFL Rank: 4NFL Rank: 14NFL Rank: 1NFL Rank: 4
Avg Gain: 4.93Avg Gain: 5.63Avg Gain: 7.09Avg Gain: 10.93Avg Gain: 21.62Avg Gain: 16.10
NFL Rank: 1NFL Rank: 3NFL Rank: 29NFL Rank: 15NFL Rank: 30NFL Rank: 28
Comp %: 58.33Comp %: 61.76Comp %: 76.40Comp %: 35.71Comp %: 61.90Comp %: 57.14
NFL Rank: 2NFL Rank: 8NFL Rank: 31NFL Rank: 12NFL Rank: 26NFL Rank: 27

To make matters worse, the Redskins defense has allowed 29 explosive plays so far this season through the air and that number jumps to 30 when you add in the play that included a penalty to exceed the 20 yard barrier.

Opposing quarterbacks are completing 72.7% of their passes on third downs against the Redskins defense and 30 of 66 pass attempts on third downs have resulted in the chains moving.

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall is primed to be picked Sunday at Heinz Field as he has allowed a completion rate of over 71% when thrown at and just over 14 yards per reception.

This game sets up beautifully for the Steelers talented group of wide receivers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is probably just itching to wing it deeper a bit more than he has so far this season.

So while RG3 is the acronym that everyone will be using this week, make sure not to forget about BR7.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Kenneth Wilt

    While I agree that Ben should have great numbers on Sunday, I worry mostly about stopping the Redskins. Our defense MUST raise their game.

  • M Jones

    You’ve got to be excited about the potential for a good passing game, but as Ken said, the D has to stop Washington. I’m a bit concerned about Wallace’s hands too. Ben throwing the deep ball only works if the deep receiver hangs onto it.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I’ve been waiting for the Steelers to throw long instead of doing those dink and dunk passes. Maybe this will be the game for them to break out.
    On defense, I think they might use the same plan that contained Michael Vick, but I think RG3 is a better QB than Michael Vick, even though RG3 is a rookie. Watch for Emmanual Sanders to have a big game. He will be up against the Redskin’s 3rd cornerback.

  • Don

    When your line is struggling, a short passing scheme is one way to adjust. If they continue to show improvement, the deep pass can be brought back into the game plan more.

  • SteelSpine

    Oakland & Tennessee were going to be easy wins too based on stats, & how bad those 2 teams stats were, & how bad those 2 teams really are, & how other teams had their way with those 2 bad teams.

    Intangibles & instincts are what BR7 & RG3 are about, the attitude & instincts they bring to their teams. Ben apparently got over the departure of his friend BA, Ben obviously studied the Haley encyclopedia this offseason to be ready, Ben could use changing offensive system as a way to excuse this year but he didnt, instead he is I-think the MVP of Steelers thusfar. Stats shmats, stats dont show Ben’s value to this team this year, Ben’s intincts & ability in the face of onslaughts on field this year needed to be watched to appreciate! Ben’s 3rd down passing % success reflect that but other than that stat, I dont think any stat shows Ben’s actual peformance. As to RG3, you have to hear interviews of RG3 even while he was in college to know what a rare great mature attitude that guy has, I’ve heard them & lemme tell you that guy’s head is screwed on straight.

    Point is, thusfar this year showed that the stats of upcoming oppenent doesn’t predict squat.