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Can the Skins do this (improve by 12 points/game) in 2010? (MET)


Tomel

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I just took a look at the team stats for last year, separating out the playoff teams and comparing them to the our Skins. Based on last years number's, to make the playoffs we would have to do better by 12 points per game on average (score 12 more points, give up 12 fewer points, or some combo thereof). That's a touchdown and two field goals. Can we do it? Although I'd like to say we could, it seems like it's a pretty significant hill to climb.

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Can we?

Many teams went from terrible records to the playoffs the next year. Atlanta drafted 3rd in 2008 draft with it's 4-12 record in some argue a tougher division then we have and went to the playoffs the next season. They got a new coach, new QB, new RB, and rebuilt their line too, sound familiar?

The answer is yes we can do that.

The question is will we do that and that is unclear but I bet the fans of the Falcons didn't think they would do it in one year either. Stats don't mean anything.

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So the playoff's teams' averages were...

Offense: 25.8 pts/game. Defense 18.6 pts/game. That's a 7.2 differential.

The Redskins...

Offense: 16.6. Defense: 21. That's a -4.4 differential.

So the differential difference (with me?) we gotta overcome is 11.6 (about 12, as the OP says).

Houston's offense under Kyle Shanahan: 24.3, 22.9

McNabb's offense over the last two years: 26.8, 26

Obviously, we can't expect our offense to perform at either of those levels in its first year, but toss in a highly upgraded OL and a revamped RB corps and I don't see why we can't expect around 21 pts/game. That gets back 4.4 pts/game from last season.

Will the defense generate less pts/game? While our defense was top 10 in overall defense (yardage) last season, we were 18th in pts/game at 21.

Haslett's defenses (as DC, not HC)...

1996 New Orleans: 21.1 pts/game.

1997 Steelers: 19.2

1998 Steelers: 18.9

1999 Steelers: 20

2006 Rams: 23.8

2007 Rams: 27.4

I'm not going to include those Rams' teams' numbers in this analysis because, well, they're the Rams and I don't think many DC's could have done much better.

In overall D those first 4 units ranked 20th 11th, 7th, and 12th, respectively. It's really hard to say how our D will perform this year. There's a lot of young talent on that side of the ball, and we have the right roleplayers to generate turnovers (Orakpo, Hall, Landry, etc) if they're utilized well.

The average pts/game of Haslett's first 4 units was 19.8. That's a 1.2 improvement from our unit this season.

4.4 + 1.2 = 5.6. That's a 5.6 improvement in differential from last season. Our differential was -4.4, so this would put us at a 1.2 differential (We're going with 21 pts/game on offense and 19.8 on defense).

That's 6 points shy of the 11.6 average differential of playoff teams.

Obviously this is a VERY loose, shallow analysis, but I think it should give us a rough idea of what we can expect. There are so many factors that weigh in. For example, New Orleans only averaged 21.3 pts/game on D last season, but, as we all know, their D generated enough turnovers that their high-powered O dominated other teams. If our D can generate turnovers and O looks anything like Kyle Shanahan's O's in Houston, we'll be fine. Plus, any positive scoring differential should, in theory, even out to .500+ season, and if we can get to .500 or better, that's a huge improvement over last season and could put us in the wildcard hunt.

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From what I remember over the last couple of season we have a handful of games that we were beaten by an inferior team and I want to take this time to blame Zorn and his staff.

The Lions game was ridiculous. even as mediocre as the Skins were, we weren't as bad as that Lions team. I don't think a Shanahan coached team would have lost.

The Cowboys game where Suisham missed a gimme FG and the Cowboys end up winning late in a game they did virtually nothing for 55 minutes of.

So hindsight is 20/20. As awful as our offense looked, the defense got the job most of the time in games for the first three quarters until they were so spent physically from being on the field the entire game, that they could barely stand in the fourth quarter.

We had a very misleading defense. They were prone to giving up these highlight-reel long bombs for TDs, but then almost nothing else. So you look at those type of plays by opposing teams, they were good for maybe about 1-2 TDs a game on those haily mary type plays.

I think the biggest glaring need of improvement on our team is RED ZONE offense, and with Shanahan calling the shots, I have a feeling we are going to need a nickname for the Chris Cooley/Fred Davis TD machine combination.

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our average will go up once we prove we are capable of dominance. we havent scored 40 points in a game since 2005. weve done it twice in the last decade. once we start being able to drop 30 points in a game and not have it be a miracle we'll be fighting for a playoff spot. hopefully this offense gels and shows that it can score a good amount of points, which i also think will make our defense look even better.

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I dunno about averages, I just figure with McNabb we could have won at least 7 more games last season:

WK DATE OPPONENT RESULT W-L

1 Sun, Sep 13 @ NY Giants L 17-23 0-1

2 Sun, Sep 20 St. Louis W 9-7 1-1

3 Sun, Sep 27 @ Detroit L 14-19 1-2

4 Sun, Oct 4 Tampa Bay W 16-13 2-2

5 Sun, Oct 11 @ Carolina L 17-20 2-3

6 Sun, Oct 18 Kansas City L 6-14 2-4

7 Mon, Oct 26 Philadelphia L 17-27 2-5

8 BYE WEEK

9 Sun, Nov 8 @ Atlanta L 17-31 2-6

10 Sun, Nov 15 Denver W 27-17 3-6

11 Sun, Nov 22 @ Dallas L 6-7 3-7

12 Sun, Nov 29 @ Philadelphia L 24-27 3-8

13 Sun, Dec 6 New Orleans L 30-33 3-9

14 Sun, Dec 13 @ Oakland W 34-13 4-9

15 Mon, Dec 21 NY Giants L 12-45 4-10

16 Sun, Dec 27 Dallas L 0-17 4-11

17 Sun, Jan 3 @ San Diego L 20-23 4-12

won't count the Philly games....

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All we have to do is win one game at a time. However that specific game calls for it whether it be more offense or stronger defense makes no difference and at the end of each 4th quarter last years point differentials mean nothing.

WIN, that is the real goal. Scoring/stopping the other team is part of how you get there. However, how many times have we scored when we needed to and still lost in recent years? The rest is the mentality of winning, refusing to lose. In the past when we had the lead that seemed good enough only to have the other team make a miracle comeback because we got happy/soft or found a way to beat ourselves.

We don't need to worry about improving any point totals other than having more than our respective opponent when each game ends.

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It sounds sobering, but it isn't as bad as it seems.

The team sucked. It needs to improve in many areas, but teams go from bad to good very quickly in today's NFL. I'm not thinking paloffs at all, but I am looking for the team to be much more competitive.

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I just took a look at the team stats for last year, separating out the playoff teams and comparing them to the our Skins. Based on last years number's, to make the playoffs we would have to do better by 12 points per game on average (score 12 more points, give up 12 fewer points, or some combo thereof). That's a touchdown and two field goals. Can we do it? Although I'd like to say we could, it seems like it's a pretty significant hill to climb.

Quality post my friend.

Scoring more points will be more then a function of the offense alone, although i'm confident that the offense will in fact score more points then last year the burden of increased scoring also falls on the defense and special teams units.

Defense and field position are a huge factors in the league.

All things being equal the more you actual posses the ball and the better field position you have leads to more points.

And then of course there's the defense/special teams units outright scoring on their own, which we haven't seen in a long time.

-

Having a more productive offense in turn helps the defense.

Playing with a lead makes often limits opposing offenses playcalling.

When a defense plays with a lead it usually makes it a lot easier to get pressure/sacks and force defense mistakes (interceptions).

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The stats don't lie and evaluating stats is a part of the game.

The part of the stat line that doesn't play is the 'On Any Sunday' philosophy...

-On any Sunday, any team can beat any team. A good team can have a bad day and a bad team can have a great game. Some games you win will be blowouts and some will be close to shutouts. The point differentials and averages can't be the tell of the tape.

The bottom line is consistency and bringing the A game for 4 quarters. That starts with a motivated attitude and commitment. I think we have that much now.

HAIL!!!!

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Great feedback so far. I'm feeling a little better about the possibilities.

IMHO, the two factors that have been mentioned so far that give me the most hope are:

1. There were a lot of winnable games that we lost and we lost to a couple of teams that were probably inferior to the Skins (of course, not on that day). A Shanahan (Mike and Kyle) coached team with McNabb as QB probably would have put those games in the win column.

2. Last year our defense was on the field for a lot of the game and, understandably, were worn out by the 4th quarter. With the 3-4 we should have more turnovers and with McNabb we should have fewer 3 and outs.

I guess, maybe, a 12 point differential is not beyond reason. But we'll still need to have a little luck thrown in to be in the hunt at year-end.

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Yeah, when you say 12 point differential, I think what we really need to look at is 5-6 more points a game, which means two field goals or another TD per game.

12 points per game differential, doesn't necessarily mean that is all on the offense. Split it 50/50 and it means the Defense keeps more points off the board, which they should be able to do if our offense is constantly getting 3 & Outs like in 2009.

I think people forget just how bad our red zone offense was last season. It's not like we scored 24 points a game and someone is saying we need to score 31 points to win in 2010. Our offense produced about 14-17 points a game, I think a 16.6 average. If we could have scored 21 points a game last season I think we would have been at least 9-7.

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Yeah, when you say 12 point differential, I think what we really need to look at is 5-6 more points a game, which means two field goals or another TD per game.

We hear this every year, if we can score 21 or more points a game we will win....same old song and dance.

I actually think it gets done this year. I don't give a damn if the number had to be increased by 20. That's not going to change my opinion that this team will be much better then the last few years.

It's a QB league and for the first time in forever we have a Franchise QB.

The offensive line was just retooled with two bad ass studs on the ends. We are much better there

Our best player (imo) is more motivated today then he's been since he first joined the team. Don't agree search out my Clinton Portis bet

For the first time since Marty was here we actually have coaches that know how to win, and are current with today's game. We could have won at least two more games last year with competent coaching.

The mood and attitude are that of a winner. And for once it's not just nostalgia. These guys actually believe they can win. How longs it been since the heart of the players thought they could do that?

We've not fixed every problem the team has but we have addressed most and identified the most important ones.

The unknowns are still there of course....who will get hurt, who won't play well, etc. but bottom line if you think this years going to be as bad as last year your nuts.

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We DO NOT have to improve by 12 points a game...here's why...

We lost 8 games by a touchdown or less. If we can turn those 8 losses into 6 wins, that would have given us 10 wins last year and a wild card berth.

This is where Jason Campbell failed miserable...he'd get the ball with 3 minutes left and fumble or throw a pick, etc.

Enter Donovan McNabb...tbc---->

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