Kirk Cousins Replaces RG3; ESPN Replaces Sanity With Blanket Coverage

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 11, 2013

If you've been away from your television today and wonder what ESPN is up to, it goes like this: 

  • RG3 is benched.
  • Kirk Cousins is replacing him.
  • Mike Shanahan says he's doing it for RG3's own good
  • Is Shanahan trying to get fired?
  • Here's what RG3 had to say about it.
  • Let's go to the press conference introducing backup quarterback Kirk Cousins as starter.
  • Coming up next, Mike Shanahan press conference.
  • But first, lets take you back to what RG3 said.

Rinse and repeat on loop. 

For my money, the photo below - not benching the franchise quarterback - is damning evidence that Mike Shanahan wants out of Dan Snyder's pigskin Hell.

There's more to the story here, though.

The statistical reality is that RGIII is the Fall Guy for Shanahan's poor coaching and for the misperformance of one of the worst defenses in football this year.

Sure, RGIII took a big step back after his brilliant rookie season, in which he led the NFL in many measures of passing efficiency -- a unique achievement by a rookie. But even with his regression from the lofty standards of 2012, RGIII has passed the ball at a level this year similar to what we've seen out of Indy's beloved Andrew Luck.

Griffin's 2013 passer rating (82.2) is just a shade behind Luck's 2013 performance of 85.4, and still better than Luck's career rating of 80.3.

Griffin this year has also been more accurate than Luck (60.1% vs. 58.6%) and boasts a better average per attempt (7.0 vs. 6.7).

In other words, RGIII has played fairly well by the standards of a young quarterback. Washington's defense, however, has been a dismal failure by any measure.

Here's a look at where Shanahan's Redskins rank in several key categories, including our Quality Stats:

In fact, Washington is on pace to give up 501 points, easily the most in Redskins history. the current record is 432 by the 1954 Redskins (in a 12-game season); the franchise record for defensive futility in the 16-game era was set by the 1998 Redskins (421). 

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady couldn't win with that defense.

But let's blame the young QB RGIII. After all, it's good for ESPN's ratings.


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