The Washington Redskins' first NFC East title since 1999, the year current owner Dan Snyder purchased the team, could possibly be the result of the team leading the division in most NFL offensive categories.
Their worst-to-first finish in the NFC East in 2012 was the first time since the 2007 season that the Redskins did not finish in last place in the division. With an overall record of 10-6 (5-1 in the NFC East), the 'Skins even led the NFL in rushing yards.
Here is a breakdown of the NFC East teams and how they fared in the league's top NFL offensive categories within the division and overall last season.
TOTAL OFFENSE—net total yards
1. Washington: 6,131 yards (5th overall) 383.2 yards per game.
2. Dallas: 5,994 yards (6th overall) 374.6 yards per game.
3. New York: 5,687 yards (14th overall) 355.4 yards per game.
4. Philadelphia: 5,665 yards (15th overall) 354.1 yards per game.
NET PASSING YARDS
1. Dallas: 4,729 yards (3rd overall) 295.6 yards per game.
2. New York: 3,825 yards (12th overall) 239.1 yards per game.
3. Philadelphia: 3,791 yards (13th overall) 236.9 yards per game.
4. Washington: 3,422 yards (20th overall) 213.9 yards per game.
PASSING—40-PLUS YARD COMPLETIONS
1. New York: 10 (8th overall)
2. Dallas: 9 (12th overall)
3. Washington: 8 (14th overall)
4. Philadelphia: 6 (24th overall)
1. Washington: 2,709 yards (1st overall) 169.3 yards per game.
2. Philadelphia: 1,874 yards (13th overall) 117.1 yards per game.
3. New York: 1,862 yards (14th overall) 116.4 yards per game.
4. Dallas: 1,265 yards (31st overall) 79.1 yards per game
POINTS PER GAME
1.Washington: 27.2 (4th overall)
2. New York: 26.8 (6th overall)
3. Dallas: 23.5 (15th overall)
Which team will win the 2013 NFC East title?
4. Philadelphia: 17.5 (29th overall)
FIRST DOWNS PER GAME
1. Washington: 21.3 (7th overall)
2. Dallas: 21.1 (10th overall)
3. Philadelphia: 20.8 (11th overall)
4. New York: 20.4 (13th overall)
THIRD DOWN CONVERSION PERCENTAGE
1. Dallas: 44 (5th overall)
2. New York: 41 (11th overall)
3. Philadelphia: 37 (18th overall)
4. Washington: 36 (24th overall)
1. Washington 14 (Eight/six) Fewest overall
2. New York: 21 (15/six) 9th overall
3. Dallas: 29 (19/10) 25th overall
4. Philadelphia: 37 (15/22) Tied for most in NFL
I found the most interesting correlation based on these offensive categories with the overall NFC East records of the four teams was the turnover category. If you don't give the opponent the ball, they can't score. If you turn the ball over as many times as Philadelphia did in 2012, you're lucky to finish with four wins on the season.
The most obvious category as it pertains to win-loss record was points per game. When you score a lot of points, the opponent needs to do the same to beat you.
The biggest surprise category and one in which I had no idea they finished as low in the NFL as they did was the passing yardage category. Robert Griffin III threw for 3,200 yards in 15 games and the Redskins were more than 1,300 yards behind the Dallas Cowboys.
In a future article we will look at how the NFC East teams finished in defensive categories.
*Statistical data courtesy of ESPN.com*