Washington Redskins: By the Numbers for September 25, 2011

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Washington Redskins: By the Numbers for September 25, 2011
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins are 2-0 for the first time since 2007 and have done so with an explosive young team. Without a major focus on high-profile players, such as the disheveled QB Donovan McNabb, or the reprehensible Albert Haynesworth, Redskins head-coach Mike Shanahan has, by all indications, tamed a team that has been confused in recent years. Here is a quick look at the team’s early success:

2011 Season

Redskins

Opp.

TOTAL FIRST DOWNS

49

31

FIRST DOWNS (RUSHING-PASSING-BY-PENALTY)

13-30-6

11-20-0

THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS

11/32

4/19

FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS

2/2

0/1

TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS

787

639

OFFENSE (PLAYS-AVERAGE YARDS)

143-5.5

104-6.1

TOTAL RUSHING YARDS

246

168

RUSHING (PLAYS-AVERAGE YARDS)

61-4

35-4.8

TOTAL PASSING YARDS

541

471

PASSING (COMP-ATT-INT-AVG)

46-77-2-7.7

35-62-2-8.4

SACKS

7.0

5.0

FIELD GOALS

3/5

0/1

TOUCHDOWNS

6

5

TOUCHDOWNS (RUSHING-PASSING-RETURNS-DEFENSIVE)

1-4-0-1

3-2-0-0

TIME OF POSSESSION

35:33

24:27

TURNOVER RATIO

+0

Under the watchful care of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, this year's defense is possibly the most powerful in the last two decades. The combination of OLBs Brian Orakpo, and first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan, have solidified an imminent threat for the 3-4 defensive schema.

On the offense, Shanahan has at his disposal three young running backs, led by former Cardinal RB Tim Hightower, who has seen most of this year's action. The combination of a drive-stopping defensive front, and a solid ground game to move the ball on offensive, the shortcomings of an average quarterback have largely been mitigated.

The Redskins face some challenges ahead and it will be interesting to see how they operate later in the season.

One unknown remains: how will they handle injuries and setbacks? Either way, this NFC East team, which has been beleaguered for over a decade, seems to be on the right path. Still, fans remain optimistically cautious--a skill learned from years of mid-season disappointments.

Matt James is a Washington sports writer and a disabled combat veteran. Follow his sports insights on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MattJamesWSH

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