By Rich Tandler
Most of the buzz around the Redskins lately has been around the improvement on the offense. And it does seem like the team has moved the ball better in the past five games. But have they improved from awful to merely bad? Or are they performing like a competent NFL offense?
Let’s take a look at the Redskins’ performance per game in the last five weeks to the NFL’s per-game averages in the major statistical categories.
So the Redskins are slightly above average in scoring, a little below average in rushing, and significantly above average in total yards and passing yardage. If they had performed the whole year like they have in the last five games, they would be 15th in scoring, 14th in total yardage, 17th in rushing yardage and 11th in passing yardage.
That hardly adds up to an offensive juggernaut but it does represent an improvement for a team that finished 2010 25th in scoring, 18th in total yardage, and 30th in rushing yards. With Donovan McNabb at quarterback the Redskins did rank 8th in passing yardage last year.
With a small sample size you have to examine the quality of the defenses they have played against to see if that could skew the stats. As it turns out, the Redskins have played two fairly good defenses in the Jets (ranked 7th) and Seahawks (8th), one in the middle of the pack in Dallas (13th), and two bottom feeders, the Giants (29th) and Patriots (32nd). The average ranking of the defenses is 17.8, so the Redskins have faced defenses just slightly softer than average.