Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Those Tricky Redskins

ARE the QB > ARE the WR > ARE the PR

When Antwaan Randle El connected with Chris Cooley for a touchdown pass in last Sunday's win at Philadelphia, it marked the eighth consecutive season that a non-quarterback has thrown a touchdown pass for the Redskins. Randle El, who starred as a dual-threat QB during his college career at Indiana, has thrown two touchdowns with Washington, while Clinton Portis leads all current Redskins non-QBs in career touchdown passes with three.

For comparison's sake, I looked at the non-QB passing statistics for the entire NFC East going back to the 2000 season, the last year a non-QB failed to throw a TD pass for the Redskins. The numbers, which include the first five weeks of 2008, may surprise you:

14-for-25, 9 TD5-for-17, 3 TD5-for-13, TD0-for-3

Given Steve Spurrier's penchant for trickery, I fully expected the Redskins to lead the division in most attempts by a non-QB, but I had no idea that their unconventional playcalls had produced such positive results. The Cowboys and Giants' numbers are somewhat skewed, as Ryan Leaf and Jared Lorenzen both technically qualify as quarterbacks and their stats are not included. Two of the Giants' paltry three attempts were by punter Jeff Feagles, so Tom Coughlin is apparently a conservative play-caller. Who knew? One of the Eagles' three TD passes was by Brian Mitchell, who was 5-for-13 passing during his Redskins career, on a fake punt.

With two touchdown passes apiece, Rod Gardner and Kevin Lockett accounted for the other four Redskins passing touchdowns by non-QBs since 2000. Gardner threw two TDs in 2003, including one to Trung Canidate to beat Seattle in one of the few feel-good moments of the Spurrier Era. Surprisingly, that play only qualifies as the second most unlikely scoring combination in recent Redskins history. Lockett, who retired with 1/4 as many TD passess as TD receptions, and Derrius Thompson earned that distinction when they hooked up for a 14-yard score in 2001.

If you're scoring at home, ARE has a career 154.8 QB rating; Clinton Portis' is only 130.8. It's time to step up your game, CP.

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