WASHINGTON — The Redskins have averaged more rushing yards per game than any team in the NFL and have only allowed Kirk Cousins to be sacked five times, but Pro Football Focus says they have the second-worst offensive line in the league.
The NFL grading and analysis site ranked all 32 teams in the NFL through four weeks on Wednesday, and only the Detroit Lions finished behind the Redskins. Washington ranks 26th in pass blocking and dead last in run blocking, according to the site.
On Thursday, Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier discussed on 106.7 The Fan how this could be possible despite Washington’s general success on offense so far, ultimately deciding the site was making too many broad assumptions.
“The idea, whether it’s [Pro Football Focus] or anybody else, that with no ability to talk to any coaches on the Redskins staff, with no ability to talk to offensive linemen on the Redskins staff, with no credential—you’re not in the locker room, to my knowledge—no access, no real understanding of responsibilities play in and play out, you grade every play as a positive or a negative just based on what you’re seeing on film, not knowing what linemen are supposed to do … I don’t love the grades,” Paulsen said.
“It’s not just [PFF], it’s anybody. I just do not like grading, as a general rule, if you’re not in the film room with the coach or if you don’t know what people’s responsibilities are.”
The low ranking is mostly on the shoulders of center Kory Lichtensteiger, who PFF grades -25.0. The site says Lichtensteiger has allowed 13 quarterback disruptions and “he’s performed as badly as any lineman in the league.”
Despite that, the show’s hosts weren’t buying the low ranking.
“I have a hard time figuring out how this is possible,” Rouhier added, mentioning the Redskins are near the top of the league in both rushing yards per attempt, with 4.4, and sacks allowed. “If that continues, that’s an outstanding pace that’s similar to the 1991 Redskins’ pace, by the way, where they were one of the least-sacked teams in the history of the sport.”
In 1991, the Redskins’ offensive line allowed quarterback Mark Rypien to be sacked just seven times in 16 games. Backup quarterback Jeff Rutledge was also sacked twice. Rypien threw 421 passes that season, and Rutledge added 22 more.
Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams received the group’s best grade in PFF’s post, earning a 4.4. He has allowed just five hurries all season.