Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 1, the first day of 2013 and five days before the Redskins take on the Seahawks in the first round of the NFL playoffs.
You can debate whether the NFC East is still one of the NFL’s toughest divisions or if it’s just living on its past reputation. But you can’t argue that the Redskins’ sudden worst to first takeover of the division is stunning and, in many ways, unprecedented.
Since the merger and creation of the NFC East in 1970, only two other teams had gone from last place in the division to first. The Eagles did it from 2005 to 2006 as did the Giants from 1996 to 1997.
The 2011 Redskins were last in the division in yards gained, points scored, yards per play, yards per pass attempt, passing yards and rushing yards. The offensive woes were due in no small part to the fact that they had the worst quarterback situation in the division.
When the Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III most figured that there would be improvement in relation to the rest of the division. Still, the conventional wisdom was that it would take a while for them to catch up to the rest of the division with offenses being led by Eli Manning, Tony Romo, and Michael Vick.
It took just one year. RG3 doesn’t have the career resume of Manning, Vick, and Romo but he had a better 2012 than any of them and he has a brighter future.
The additions of Griffin, Alfred Morris, and Pierre Garçon helped boost the Redskins from last to first in the NFC East in all but one of the key offense stat categories. The Redskins were first in yards gained, points scored, yards per play, yards per pass attempt, and rushing yards. They were still last in passing yards but that is because they attempted almost 100 fewer passes than the Giants, about 150 fewer than the Eagles and over 200 fewer than the Cowboys.
As you’ve read here before, it’s an offensive league and if you can move the ball and score points, you can win games.
Off day, no availability
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Days until: NFL playoffs Seahawks vs. Redskins 5; NFC Divisional playoffs 11; NFC Championship game 19; Super Bowl XLVII 33