(SB Nation Photo)
Last weekend during the NFC Divisional Playoff Round, football fans across the nation witnessed the San Francisco 49ers and second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick run all over the Green Bay Packers. In the process, Kaepernick set the single-game record for rushing yards by a QB (181 yards).
That, you know.
Now here’s the twist. A lot of those yards came out of the reviled/revered Pistol formation. Couple that with an opportunistic defense and a plus-1 turnover margin and the Packers became a stepping stone on the 49ers’ route to the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta.
You may ask, ‘Who cares? It’s not the Redskins,’ and you’re right. But the Redskins’ may have the same formula for success that the 49ers have used to get to two consecutive NFC Championships.
Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the team found a recipe for success this year, boasting the league’s top rushing attack, consistent quarterback play, an opportunistic defense, and immediate contributions from the rookie class.
Taking a look at the four remaining playoff teams, we can consider four telling statistical categories that translate into winning football: 1) Strong running game 2) Positive turnover margin 3) Defensive touchdowns and 4) Points per game.
So here you are fans, a breakdown of how the Redskins stacked up against the Falcons, 49ers, Patriots, and Ravens during the 2012 regular season:
San Francisco: 4th in the NFL in rushing (2,491), T-8th in turnover margin (+9), T-8th in defensive touchdowns (4), 11th in points per game (24.8).
Atlanta: 29th in the NFL in rushing (1,397), 6th in turnover margin (+13), T-20th in defensive touchdowns (2), 7th in points per game (26.2).
New England: 7th in the NFL in rushing (2,184), 1st in turnover margin (+25), T-3rd in defensive touchdowns (6). 1st in points per game (34.8).
Baltimore: 11th in the NFL in rushing (1,901), T-8th in turnover margin (+9), T-20th in defensive touchdowns (2), 10th in points per game (24.9).
Washington: 1st in the NFL in rushing (2,709), 3rd in turnover margin (+17), T-3rd in defensive touchdowns (6), 4th in points per game (27.3).
As you can see from the key stats, the Redskins are on par with or better than each of the four teams remaining in contention.
Does that mean it should be the New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins to decide Super Bowl XLVII? Not exactly, but what these stats tell you is that over the course of a full 16-game season (17 including playoffs), the team has a long-term formula for success.
Sometime there’s no explanation for why certain teams advance and others go home; it’s just way the ball bounces that determines the outcome.
Although Redskins fans may be watching the postseason festivities in other cities, without a team to pull for, remember that the Redskin definitely made positive strides this season.
With the return of key players from injury and a year of development for the younger guys, 2013 should provide even more exciting football than 2012. Invite your friends on the Redskins bandwagon, because there’s a lot to look forward to in 2013!
Tags: defense, NFL, offense, Pistol Formation, Playoffs, Redskins Football, washington redskins
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