How McVay will apply 2015 lessons learned to the 2021 LA Rams

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The quagmire

When the Washington Football team took the field in 2014, there was plenty of optimism for the offense. The team had a solid hot quarterback who could threaten defenses with an arm and his legs in Robert Griffin III, the strong running of Alfred Morris, and a committee of wide receivers led by Pierre Garcon. It was the group that led Washington to the NFL playoffs in 2012 and was the ninth-ranked scoring offense in 2013.

But when the 2014 NFL season hit, the bottom fell out. Inconsistent play, toggling from mobile quarterback RGIII to Cousins and then to quarterback Colt McCoy due to injuries exposed the fragility of Washington’s offense. Without the threat of a running quarterback, the opposing defenses were able to focus upon the Washington rushing game.  And with inconsistent performances out of the quarterback play, namely 18 touchdown passes but 18 interceptions, the offense was on its heels most of the season.

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And the team had a rather effective passing game otherwise. The team had nearly two 1000 yard receivers in the form of DeSean Jackson paired with Pierre Garcon. In fact, that 2014 offense boasted six receivers – four wide receivers and two tight ends- at over 400 yards.  Washington could move the ball, yes. But the same offense shot itself in the foot with turnovers.

Washington’s offensive output was simply that the passing game struggled to score in the red zone, and the rushing game was effective enough, but the team simply played too many games from behind and emphasized the passing game more. In the offseason, many football analysts diagnosed Washington’s fix and emphasized the path to success lies with emphasizing the running game. After all, the running backs did not cough up the ball, and the passing game was far too predictable. so what did Washington do?