Sometime in the first half on Sunday the Redskins will break a team record that has stood for 28 years. When they gain their 84th offensive yard of the game the 2016 Redskins will hold the team record for most yards gained in the season.
The 1989 Redskins gained 6,253 yards. That broke the record that had stood since just 1983 (6,193). The current team has already surpassed the ’83 unit with 6,170 yards through 15 games. They need 84 yards against the Giants on Sunday to break the record.
Is the current offense really better than the 1989 group that featured Mark Rypien throwing to Art Monk, Gary Clark, and Ricky Sanders and handing off to Earnest Byner and Gerald Riggs? That’s always a matter of opinion of course. But a case can be made that the old-school unit was better if you compare their accomplishments to the NFL average in their respective seasons.
For one thing, the 1989 team was better at scoring. They averaged 24.1 points per game, fifth in the NFL. This year’s team has a better scoring averaged a 25.7 ppg. But scoring the in NFL is up; these Redskins rank ninth.
Yards gained are up, too. The league average in 1989 was 326 yards per game. Those Redskins bested that by 21.7 percent. This year the league averages 351 yards per game; the Redskins are beating that by 17 percent.
This is not intended to denigrate the current team, just to point out that offensive inflation in the NFL makes records like this one easier to break.
For the record, that 1989 team finished 10-6 but they did not make the playoffs. This team would gladly trade the record for another shot at the postseason.