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.
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