Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 6, 22 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.
—The Redskins last played a game 178 days ago. It will be 68 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 9; Preseason opener @ Falcons 36; Final roster cut 59
The Redskins by the numbers
Minus-6—The Redskins’ turnover margin in the third quarter
During the season there was plenty of talk about the Redskins’ problems in the third quarter. When the season ended it turned out to be their worst quarter as far as scoring margin. They were outscored by 39 points in the third quarter and were up by a combined 48 points in the other three quarters and overtime.
There was plenty of talk about halftime adjustments (which are a myth since teams make adjustments all the time, quarter to quarter, series to series, play to play). But you don’t have to get into the coaches’ heads to see what the problem was.
Their turnover margin in the third quarter was minus-6. That is a sure fire way to create a deficit that quarter. In the rest of the game the margin was plus-11. The Redskins committed 10 giveaways in the third quarter and 12 during the rest of the game. I would point to that as the reason why they were outscored in the third quarter. Not that they shouldn't look at what they may or may not have adjusted during the five minutes or so they get in the locker room at halftime but the plans are meaningless if they don't hold on to the ball.
23—The number of years it has been since the Redskins made the playoffs in consecutive seasons
How relevant is this to 2016, as the Redskins have a chance to stop that skid? On the one hand, it’s in the past and it has no actual bearing on what is taking place today. But it’s also an indicator that the franchise, under the ownership of Jack Kent Cooke, John Kent Cooke, and Dan Snyder has been able to assemble an organization that is capable of piecing together a playoff run here and there but incapable of building anything that lasts more than a season.
Will the presence of Scot McCloughan for two offseasons be enough to change all of that? It could and we’re about to find out.
7.0—The Redskins’ average net gain per pass play
This takes into account yardage lost due to sacks. Only five other teams had a better number in this category. Of the top eight teams in this stat, six made the playoffs and all but the Redskins and Bengals were in the top 10 in total offense.
This will be an interesting stat to watch as the season goes on. If they improve, that likely means that the pass blocking, which was solid last year (sack percentage 4.5, 5th in the NFL), is maintaining and that the coaches are continuing to encourage Kirk Cousins to be more aggressive in the depth of his throws. Those factors will lead to good things for the overall effectiveness of the Washington offense.
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