In 1999, the Redskins were second in the NFL in both points scored with 443 and yards gained with 5965. They have not come close to matching that offensive performance since then.
The points soared in ’99 because the Redskins had a quartet of offensive skill players who were very productive. Brad Johnson passed for 4,005 yards, Stephen Davis rushed for 1,405 yards, Michael Westbrook had 1,191 yards receiving and Albert Connell had 1,132 yards receiving.
Since then the Redskins have not been able to come close to getting productivity like that from their quarterback, running back, and two wide receivers in the same season. In fact, they have struggled to get even one offensive skill position player to put up numbers like the four that they fielded in 1999.
Here are the players who have started the most games at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver since that season. The players’ production when they exceeded 3,500 yards passing, 1,200 yards rushing, or 1,000 yards receiving for the season is noted:
Year, QB, RB, WR, WR
2000: Johnson, Davis (1318), Connell, James Thrash
2001: Tony Banks, Davis (1432), Westbrook, Rod Gardner
2002: Shane Matthews, Davis, Gardner (1006), Derrius Thompson
2003: Patrick Ramsey, Trung Candidate, Laveranues Coles (1204), Gardner
2004: Mark Brunell, Clinton Portis (1315), Coles, Gardner
2005: Brunell, Portis (1516), Santana Moss (1483), David Patten
2006: Brunell, Ladell Betts, Moss, Antwaan Randle El
2007: Jason Campbell, Portis (1262), Moss, Randle El
2008: Campbell, Portis (1487), Moss (1044), Randle El
2009: Campbell, Portis, Moss, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly
2010: Donovan McNabb, Ryan Torain, Moss (1115), Anthony Armstrong
2011: Rex Grossman, Roy Helu, Moss, Jabar Gaffney
So after having four noteworthy offensive skill performances in one season, the Redskins have had 11 in the ensuing 12 seasons. They had as many as two in one year just twice, in 2005 and 2008. They finished 13th in points scored in 2005 and 11th in yards gained. That is the only season since 1999 when they finished in the top half of the NFL in both points and yards. The Redskins have yet to place in the top 10 in either category since ’99.
Mike Shanahan, considered to be one of the best offensive minds in the business, has been unable to shake the Redskins out of their offensive malaise. His two Redskins teams have averaged 25th in points scored and 17th in yards gained. He now has his handpicked quarterback and some expensive new receivers at his command to try to fix the problem.