Washington Redskins: Stats That Matter 3 Weeks into the NFL Season

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 26, 2012

Sept 23, 2012; Landover,MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) during the second quarter at FedEx Field.  Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE
Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE

About 75 percent of people know that you can use stats to skew perspectives. The reality is that they rarely tell the whole story, but I also find that they almost always tell part of the story.

Let's attempt to complete the story by tossing out a few of the key stats regarding the Washington Redskins three weeks into the season.



That's Washington's net yards per passing attempt total, which ranks tied in 10th with four other teams and is 0.4 yards higher than the league average. But believe it or not, it's a number that isn't substantially higher than last year's mark of 6.0.

In 2011, the difference between the Redskins' yards per attempt average and their net yards per attempt average was 0.9 (6.9 to 6.0), but this year, that gap is 1.6 (8.4 to 6.8). Only one NFL team (Cincinnati) has a wider margin.

Pro Football Reference arrives at the nets yards per attempt number by docking teams for sacks as well as the yardage lost on said sacks. As a percentage of their pass attempts, only five teams have been sacked as often as the 'Skins (9.2 percent). 

Among the 14 teams that have been sacked more than the league average of 6.8 times this season, Washington has surrendered the most yards lost on a per-sack basis (8.4). And when you combine that sack percentage and that average, you get the significant dropoff in net yards per attempt.

I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The Redskins lead the league with 33.3 points per game on offense in spite of this, which has to have fans drooling at the thought of what could happen if the offensive line can get things straightened out and Griffin can gain some more discipline in the pocket. 

But if that doesn't happen, we'll all be left wondering how much better this offense could have been in 2012. 



That's the number of hurries Ryan Kerrigan has recorded this season, according to Pro Football Focus. It's the highest number among 3-4 outside linebackers, beating even Clay Matthews, and is tied for sixth in football. 

He's also hit opposing quarterbacks eight times this season, which ranks behind only Matthews and Cincinnati's Michael Johnson. 

In his second season, Kerrigan's on pace to increase his hurry total from 35 to 59, his hit total from 22 to 43 and his sack total from 7.5 to 13. 

And for those who expect his play will drop off without Brian Orakpo, PFF deemed that his effort in Week 3 against the Bengals (sans Orakpo) was the second-best of his career thus far.

Might Kerrigan already be good enough to mask the loss of Orakpo?



That's the number of hits (two sacks, three hits) that backup offensive tackle Jordan Black surrendered while filling in for Trent Williams Sunday against Cincinnati, according to Pro Football Focus. To put that into perspective, only four offensive linemen have been responsible for more total hits than that all season. And I don't mean within isolated games, I mean season totals. 

Black is the only offensive lineman in football who has taken fewer than 100 snaps yet has given up more than two total hits. And yet his hit total is more than twice that number. It's embarrassing and unsustainable, and it indicates that a) the Redskins really need Williams back ASAP, and b) Griffin has to do a better job at avoiding hits. 

But it's more A than B. In more than twice as many snaps, only one hit has been pinned in Williams thus far. He hasn't been great, but Black's been a disaster. 



That's the percentage of third downs the 'Skins have converted on offense this season, which is the second-lowest number in the league, according to NFL.com.

Despite that, Washington has controlled the ball for 33 minutes and 25 seconds per game, which ranks fifth in football. That makes you realize how crucial their plus-six turnover ratio has been. 

What's strange, though, is that Football Outsiders reports that the Redskins' average drive starting spot has been on the 25-yard line, which is the eighth-worst starting spot in football. It helps that only four teams have run as many offensive drives as they have, but what this number really indicates is the Redskins are moving the chains more often on early downs.

As a percentage of the total plays they've run from scrimmage, only six teams have run fewer third-down plays than Washington, and the 'Skins have more first downs (71) than all but three other teams.