Redskins Quarter Season Review – Five hard truths

5 of 7

5. Penalties, penalties, penalties

Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; A view of a yellow flag during the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Field. The Panthers defeat the Jaguars 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins are currently tied for 5th worst in the NFL in penalties called against them. On top of this, they’ve had 8 penalties called against them that have been declined or were offset.

This is worse than they were in 2014, when they have 144 penalties called against them(24 declined or offset). They’re currently clocking in with an average of over 10 penalties a game called against them.

This is not sustainable for the Redskins to continue. They’re going to run up against teams that won’t equal them in mistakes/penalties(like the Rams and Eagles). And smartly coached teams are going to exploit this by gaming the officials pre-game and during the game about their rep for penalties.

Players get lazy and get flagged when they don’t concentrate and they don’t concentrate when they’re not afraid for their jobs. Ultimately this is an issue of coaching. And while Jay Gruden can’t fine players for penalties, he can discipline them in other ways(extra practice work, public shaming in front of the team during practice or benching a player to send a message).

Gruden, for now, is playing the “Refs are making bad calls” card. This will mute the criticism for a time, but at some point the players will tune him out further.

Next: Four questions for the rest of the season