BY RICH GOLDBERG
Here are 5 statistical reasons the Redskins emerged as NFC East champions:
Thank you, schedule: Give credit to the Redskins. They won the NFC East and it’s well deserved. But a look at the schedule and only three teams the Redskins faced—New England, Carolina and NY Jets had a winning record entering Week 16. The best Washington can finish is 9-7 and six of the eight division leaders have at least 10 wins.
Third down’s a charm: Washington’s offense had the third worst 3rd down conversion rate last year at 31.5 percent. This season it’s 43.1 percent. The Redskins scored three touchdowns off third downs last year—fewest in the NFL. This season, Washington has scored touchdowns on 10 third down plays.
Rising to the occasion: Kirk Cousins averaged one interception every 23.5 pass attempts in his first 20 career games. The past nine games, Cousins has six games of 300+ pass yards with just three interceptions in 300 passes. That’s one interception every 100 attempts.
Reed em, don’t weep: Jordan Reed missed 12 of a possible 32 games his first two NFL seasons and caught a combined 95 passes for 964 yards. This season alone, Reed has 83 passes for 907 yards with only two games out due to injury. Reed’s 11 touchdowns this season are the most by any Redskins receiver/tight end since Ricky Sanders with 12 TD in 1988.
Empty sack: The Redskins offensive line surrendered 36 sacks over a six-game stretch last season, the most by any team in a six-game span since 1997. Washington hasn’t allowed 36 sacks this entire 2015 season. In fact, Washington’s 26 sacks are tied for their fewest after 15 games since 2007.