I will be watching to see whether the offense alters its basic strategies in the running game.
In the last few weeks, it seems like Garrett has finally made a concerted effort to use his undersized, but athletic and agile, OL to attack the edges of the defense using pitches, sweeps, traps, pulls, stretches,and screens etc. Garrett’s running attack has not been one dimensional; they run between the tackles as well. In one game, all of Murray’s longest runs were up the middle.
Will Garrett continue to try to get Murray (and Jones?) out on the edges? I am a huge fan of stretching the field laterally in the running game, if you have the OL to do it. The Cowboys do. The beauty of the sideline to sideline running game is that it tires out the defense, the entire DL in particular, because the defense is chasing down the ball carrier rather than tackling him as he goes by.
I will be watching to see who deserves the credit for the running game, is it Murray or the O-Line, or both? I think seeing Felix in there will give us an idea of how much of the credit is owed to Murray. So far this season, I think the credit should be equally shared: Murray has made big runs when the OL gave him nothing, and he has picked up tons of yards after first contact, but he has also run through some big holes the OL created and the Lineman have gotten good blocks at the second level on occasions.
I will be watching to see how often Murray tries to bounce outside when there is no hole in the line, and whether he will be successful bouncing it out wide against the Redskins talented OLB’s.
I read somewhere this week that Murray is leading the league in average yards per attempt after contact. Apparently he averages an extra 3 yards a carry AFTER first contact. I will be watching to see if he can continue running with such power.
I will be watching to see how often they run outside, and whether they start running inside more in the second half when the defense is tired.
Click on the link to read about Felix Jones’s return.