October 22, 2008

Jason Campbell: More than A Game Manager?

Jason Campbell came into the season with the entire Redskins Nation holding its collective breath, waiting to witness his performance. Would the young signalcaller step up his game to lead the Redskins offense to some much-needed success? Would he grasp a new offense with a new coach?

Seven games into the season, the answers are slowly coming. Campbell has experienced several great games, but is still in the process of becoming a great QB.

The game against the Saints in week two saw Campbell throw the game-winning 67-yard score to Santana Moss. He threw for over 300 yards in the game and then proceeded to throw a pair of touchdowns in the following week's win over Arizona.

Campbell completed over 73 percent of his passes against Arizona, but his best was yet to come. He led a balanced offense to a victory over the Cowboys in which he tossed two touchdowns and threw for 231 yards.

However, following the Dallas game, Campbell has only thrown one touchdown and the team has only scored 54 points in the past three games. That's an average of 18 points per game.

On the flip side, Campbell has attempted fewer passes the past three weeks (29 against the Eagles, 26 against the Rams, 23 against the Browns) than he had against Dallas, Arizona, and New Orleans. So the question is: does the offense need more of Campbell?

To me, the answer is simple. Campbell needs more involvement. The offense has put up an average of 26.3 points a game when he makes 30+ attempts. When he goes under that mark, the offense averages just 15.3 points per game.

Last time I checked points win games. The Skins are seventh in the NFL in yards per game, but only 24th in points per game. The offense scores more points when Campbell gets more opportunities to throw the ball to Moss and Cooley.

Clinton Portis is having a phenomenal season and the Skins offense has been moving the ball freely all year, but they have had trouble getting the ball in the endzone. Against the Eagles, they had to settle for three field goals in the first half; against the Rams they turned the ball over twice in St. Louis territory. That can't happen and the best way to keep drives from stalling is to get Campbell more involved. If Jim Zorn can bring this about, it will add extra dimensions to the offense.

So it's time to fully entrust the offense to Jason Campbell. He is more than a game manager this year. And it's time to let him prove it.

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