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Why the Redskins Weren't More Aggressive in Addressing the Offensive Line

Jammal Brown will return as right tackle for Washington next season. Photo by dbking. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

To my way of thinking, one of Washington's biggest needs this offseason was a major upgrade on the offensive line. I figured the team needed new starters at right tackle, center and left guard. Then, in the offseason, the Redskins added precisely zero new starters up front. 

Are the Skins doomed to failure this season? Will rookie QB Robert Griffin III end up running for his life? According to numbers posted by Football Outsiders , maybe not.

When Football Outsiders graded the offensive lines for last season, Washington ranked 10th overall in their metric, dubbed adjusted line yards. I think that ranking offers a false precision given how close the scores are, but Washington's score suggests they were somewhere between the league's 6th and 14th best line last season. 

The numbers suggest that Washington was even okay in pass protection, ranking 15th in adjusted sack rate. Or, to treat the pass protection numbers the same as I did the overall ranking -- somewhere from 13th to 18th.

Interestingly, the Skins o-line was weakest on the left side, particularly at left tackle. It's not clear from the numbers how much of a hit (if any) the team took when Trent Williams was suspended for the last 4 games of the season. According to the Outsiders, the interior of Washington's line was 2nd best in the league. They were middle-of-the-pack at right tackle.

Here's how the NFC East teams ranked, according to Football Outsiders.


  • Dallas Cowboys -- 9
  • Washington Redskins -- 10
  • Philadelphia Eagles -- 26
  • New York Giants -- 28
Pass Protection
  • New York Giants -- 6
  • Philadelphia -- 11
  • Dallas -- 13
  • Washington -- 15