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Pitfalls: Rushes Around Left End

The Washington Redskins are not one of the best teams at rushing around left, not in a per play way, anyhow, but they are the most frequent rushers around left end. 23% of all runs by the Skins have been around left end, 4% more than the second place Kansas City Chiefs, and more than double the league average (11%). The Hawks are above average to excellent at defending rushes everywhere but left end, where they're 27th in the league. To see if that would have an abnormally large impact on the game, I decided to look over the Skins' schedule, and then evaluate their rushing performance against teams that were either in the top quarter at defending rushes around left end (1-8) or bottom quarter at defending rushes around left end (25-32). I threw out the second game against Dallas.

Worst Teams Defending Runs Around Left End

(Mia, GB, NYJ)

YPC Vs Average: 117%

Best Teams Defending Runs Around Left End

(NYG, Dal, Buf, NYG, Min)

YPC Vs Average: 101%

Interesting, but not eye opening. The Skins gouged the Jets for 296 yards rushing, and piled 191 on the hapless Dolphins. But managed only 94 yards against the Packers, who are bad against rushes around left end (25th), but strong against the rush in general (8th). So, the Hawks can expect to play slightly worse than normal against the run, but it shouldn't be decisive. After all, for a team that averages about 31 rushes a contest, even 22% of all runs is only about 7.