Scoring 35 points on the Tampa Bay defense was supposed to provide much-needed offensive consistency, but after failing to score a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders, the Redskins' offensive numbers have dipped, particularly those of quarterback Mark Brunell.
Brunell's passer rating was 89.0 before playing the Raiders, but after his 14-for-32 performance, he dropped to 86.0, though he is 10th among NFL quarterbacks.
Where Brunell suffered the most statistically wasn't in the three-point drop in rating but in the differential between his overall rating and what he has accomplished in the fourth quarter.
Entering the Raiders game, Brunell ranked 16th in the league in fourth-quarter passing, solidly in the middle of the pack, and nearly identical -- at least in quarterback rating -- with Drew Brees, the San Diego quarterback who will face the Redskins on Sunday.
But after a fourth quarter in which he completed just 2 of 11 passes, including seven consecutive incompletions, Brunell's rank fell to 21st, his fourth-quarter ranking dropped from 81.3 to 74.2 and his differential between his overall and fourth-quarter ranking is almost 12 points.
Of the top 10-rated quarterbacks in the league, only Indianapolis' Peyton Manning maintains a higher fourth-quarter rating than his overall, and three -- Brees, Denver's Jake Plummer and Byron Leftwich of Jacksonville -- have a worse fourth-quarter differential than Brunell. Leftwich is the ninth-rated passer in the NFL, at 89.1, but in the fourth, his rating drops by nearly 30 points, to 60.5. Brees has an overall rating of 100.0, but only 83.0 in the fourth.
It is a particularly important statistic for the Redskins because they've played in so many close games. Eight of 10 have been decided by seven points or less, six by three points or less and eight of 10 have been decided in the final two minutes.
Arrington: The Right Stuff
A week after catapulting himself unsuccessfully toward a violent collision with Tampa Bay fullback Mike Alstott that capped a 36-35 loss to the Buccaneers, Lavar Arrington basked in a moment of redemption Sunday.
With the Raiders trailing 13-10 but driving toward a go-ahead touchdown, Arrington made what looked to be a momentum-changing stop. Oakland had taken its first possession of the fourth quarter at its 6-yard line, then marched to a first and 10 at the Redskins 12.
On third and one from the 2, Arrington anticipated the snap and rocketed through the line, stuffing LaMont Jordan for a four-yard loss. The Raiders settled for a game-tying field goal.
Despite ongoing tension between Arrington's ability to play within a scheme versus the value of his intuition, the play served as a reminder of how Arrington can affect a game. Not only did Arrington save a touchdown, he prevented Jordan from achieving a first down.
"You liked that one? I can't tell you what I saw," Arrington said. "I had a good jump on it. It was third and one. People who really pay attention to the way I play see I make a lot of plays in the second half. You see a lot from body movement, from tendencies. Sometimes you see more in the game than you would on film."
Lending Their Hands
Depleted at wide receiver, the Redskins worked out Antonio Brown, who made the team out of training camp but was released after fumbling against the Bears in the first game of the year. They also worked out wideouts Carl Kearney of Georgia Southern, Willie Quinnie of Alabama-Birmingham and Taco Wallace of Kansas State. As of last night, none was signed to a contract.