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Redskins Doomed: Offensive Misery a Certainty

Following last year's preseason, I proved without a shadow of a doubt that Washington's football team was doomed to failure, based on a variety of preseason statistical measures. As I worked on that item, Don Graham, the really really head boss of the newspaper, walked by my desk and asked about the team's fortunes. I explained that all was hopeless. He seemed unconvinced. Then a copy editing co-worker laid into me about how the preseason was meaningless and how I was being ridiculous.

Well, a year later, I haven't heard back from Don Graham, that copy editor is no longer employed at this newspaper, and the offense is yet again doomed to misery. Sorry.

I'll keep it simple and focus on preseason scoring.

In the 24 seasons since 1983, the Skins have averaged fewer than 16 points in the preseason just four times. In 1992 (15.2 pppg), they went on to a 9-7 record and Joe Gibbs retired. In 2001 (11.5 pppg), they went on to an 8-8 record and Marty Schottenheimer took off. In 2003 (13.0 pppg), they went on to a 5-11 record and Steve Spurrier, um, took off. In 2006 (6.75 ppg) they went on to a 5-11 record and the world very nearly ended.

The lowest scoring teams in the 2005 NFL preseason were the Green Bay Packers (8.2 pppg), the Detroit Lions (12.5 pppg) and the Houston Texans (14 pppg). Those teams finished with a composite regular season record of 11-37. Those teams also finished the regular season ranked 18th, 27th and 30th in total offense. The 2006 numbers don't back up my argument, so I'll omit them, except to note that two of the three lowest scoring teams in the NFL regular season last year (the Bucs and the Browns) averaged less than 15 pppg in the 2006 preseason. The point: you might prefer if your team scored occasionally in the preseason.

Now, I know Washington is at a disadvantage in this year's numbers because of a storm-shortened game, but still, the team is averaging 12.3 pppg, well below that magic 16-point threshold and the third-worst total in the league. Seriously, it's all over.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 27, 2007; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Dan, how could you?

Posted by: DC Optimist | August 27, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Tell us how you really feel.

Posted by: losers | August 27, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I average the scores and divded by quarters, giving the third game a complete 3rd quarter. The average is 13.45 points per game when you compensate for a lack of a 4th quarter in the third game. If we manage...big score 24 points or more in the final we will average 16 points per game.

Posted by: Compensate | August 27, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna go ahead and kill myself right now. Exhibition or not. Seriously.

Posted by: whoa nelly | August 27, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Well unfortunately we don't get to play the lions, browns, texans in the preseason like other teams, we have to play the steelers, ravens and jaguars...that may have something to do with us not scoring so much...oh yeah, we also didn't have JC, Ports, Samuels for most of the games, we should wait until we get those guys back week 1 to start worrying.

Posted by: Sean | August 27, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

You dick!


Posted by: Unsilent Majority | August 27, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that a person so close to the Redskins could really know so little about them. Anybody who knows Gibb's knows that he doesn't show his cards until the regular season. That being said the Redskins did move the ball offensively on 3 really good defenses. I think the Redskins defense is back to it's shut down form. I really believe they will be a team to beat this year when they get there starters back and in a rhythm. How can you judge an offense that is so complicated by 3rd and 4th string players? The preseason is in place to get your team established. To know who the club is going to keep and who they are cutting loose. The skins have some very talented players hurt right now and you can see that they are dearly missed. Please don't be so critical, jump off the bandwagon and show the Skins some support instead of writing them off for the year.

Posted by: Skins | August 28, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

thats all good, but we were 5-11 last year cause our defense dropped to 31st in the league. if our offense does nothing but stays the same and the defense returns to form (which it appears to have already done so) than we will be a playoff calibur team

Posted by: sirhogsalot | August 28, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Redskins Suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonmous | August 30, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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