In 2013 and 2014 the Redskins suffered through two of the worst back-to-back seasons in team history. They won a combined seven games (3-13 followed up by 4-12) and it wasn’t bad luck. The Redskins were outscored by 144 points in 2013, their worst point differential since 1961. The improvement was marginal in 2014 as they were only a touchdown better with a point differential of minus-137. That was the second-worst since the merger. (stats via the indispensable Pro Football Reference)
The 2015 Redskins outscored the opposition 388 points to 379. The net differential of plus-9 points wasn’t anything to write home about. But compared to the previous season it was a substantial improvement. Only twice since the merger have the Redskins had a larger year-to-year improvement in their point differential.
The Redskins did improve their point differential this past season although the increase was minimal. They scored 396 points and gave up 383, a difference of 13 points.
However, having positive point differentials two straight seasons is something that the Redskins have not done in a while. Yes, it’s a low bar and it doesn’t warrant a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, or even one down Loudoun County Parkway. But they haven’t been on the plus side of the points ledger in two straight seasons since 1999-2000.
That seems incredible but it shows the inconsistency that the franchise and its fans have suffered through since the team last won the Super Bowl in 1991. They haven’t had three straight seasons with a positive point differential since that era; Washington had four straight plus-points seasons from 1989-1992. Since then they were on the plus side in points in 1996-1997, the last time the team had back-to-back winning seasons, and in the aforementioned 99-00 seasons.
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins opponents had the green light in the red zone
You would like to see the team make more than baby steps. But the current situation is better than what the team experienced after the 2005 and 2012 seasons. Those teams went from having winning records and playoff spots to double-digit losses and negatives on the points ledger. Their ability to tread water won’t mean much unless they advance in 2017 but the state of the franchise has been such that what the Redskins have done these past two years represents progress.