For fans of the greater DMV, last week signified the end of yet another football season as the players packed their lockers and headed their separate ways for the offseason. But for the players, it signified the start of a new beginning, a time to bring the winning tradition back to Redskins Nation.
There seemed to be a more optimistic feel last Monday among the players and staff, a hungrier attitude around Redskins Park. It was a feeling of momentum, as players said they sensed consistency in greatness, just over the horizon of the offseason.
There was a look of determination, a swagger that, as Robert Griffin III phrased it, “this year was a taste at the dinner table and we all want to be back for dessert.”
There were a lot of great individual performances this year, but perhaps even more impressive was the cohesiveness that developed between the guys in the locker room, everyone buying in to one common goal. How else could a 3-6 team destined for an early vacation rattle off seven straight victories? The answer is belief, and sheer, unadulterated focus.
Following the bye week players returned with an underdog mentality. It was a focus-forward approach that would accept nothing less than a postseason berth.
So here you are Redskins Nation, seven facts that will leave you longing for the start of the 2013 season:
1) The Redskins are the fourth team since 1990 to earn a playoff berth after opening the season 3-6 and the first 3-6 team to do so since the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Next level stat: The Jaguars carried momentum into the next season posting an 11-5 record and clinching a playoff berth only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champion, and Mike Shanahan/John Elway-led Denver Broncos.
2) The Redskins set a team record for fewest turnovers in a season (14), surpassing the team record of 16 set in a nine-game season in 1982.
Next level stat: Since 1983, only four other teams, all playoff bound, have had fewer giveaways. They are the New York Giants (2008), San Francisco 49ers (2010), Miami Dolphins (2008), and New England Patriots (2010).
3) The Redskins posted a seven-game winning streak and 5-1 division record.
Next level stat: The last time the team won at least seven-straight games and five or more division games in the same year was in 1983 (9 game winning streak and 7-1 in the division vs. Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia and New York). The team followed up the 1983 season with an 11-5 record and playoff berth (1984).
4) Quarterback Robert Griffin III set NFL rookie records for passer rating (102.4, surpassing Russell Wilson’s 100.0 passer rating this season and Ben Roethlisberger’s 98.1 from the 2004 season) and bested Hall Of Fame quarterback Dan Marino’s rookie TD/INT ratio of +14.
Next level stat: Griffin III joined QB Randall Cunningham as the only other quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for more than 800 yards in the same season in NFL History. Not bad for No. 10’s first year in the NFL.
5) RB Alfred Morris is the fourth rookie in NFL history to reach the 1,600-yard mark rushing, joining Eric Dickerson (1,808 in 1983), George Rogers (1,674 in 1981) and Ottis Anderson (1,605 in 1979).
Next level stat: The three other running backs to reach the 1,600-yard mark in their rookie campaign responded with strong second year performances, proving that it was not just a mirage.
- Eric Dickerson (1984) – 379 attempts for 2,105 yards and 14 TDs
- George Rogers (1983) –256 attempts for 1,144 yards and 5 TDs (*Note: Rogers was limited to six games in 1982 due to injury)
- Ottis Anderson (1979) – 301 attempts for 1,352 yards and 9 TDs
6) The Redskins became the first team in NFL history to have two different rookie quarterbacks post 300-yard passing games in the same season.
Enough said. Depth is crucial for a team primed to take the next step, and the Redskins brass made a great move trading up for Robert Griffin III and having the confidence to take Kirk Cousins 100 picks later.
7) The team was 9-1 when WR Pierre Garçon suited up for action.
This is just the type of impact you’re looking for from a No. 1 receiver. A full season with a healthy Garçon should only make the offense that much more potent.
What do YOU think was the most telling stat from the 2012 season? Comment and debate below, or tweet your answer @Redskins, #HTTR!
Tags: RG3, Robert Griffin III, washington redskins
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