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Monday, June 30, 2014
What the Redskins' O must produce

By John Keim

This was going to be an answer in the mailbag section. Then it started getting too long. So, now, it’s a separate item.

Here’s a little backdrop: One of my twitter followers, @mcredskins, asked me last week about Joe Gibbs’ offense and how many points he wanted to average, if the Redskins were to be a playoff team. It wasn’t a high number (21) and he wanted to know if the NFL had changed that much or if defenses were that bad. So I did some research. Then came more research after @mcredskins asked about this for the mailbag, wondering what the Redskins under Jay Gruden needed to average to make the postseason.

Jay Gruden
What do Jay Gruden and the Redskins' offense need to accomplish to get to the postseason? A look at recent playoff teams could provide the answer.
First, the Gibbs era. During Gibbs 1.0, the Redskins averaged at least 21 points per game every season except 1985, when they averaged 18.6 and missed the postseason. Under Gibbs 1.0, the Redskins reached the playoffs in six of the eight years they finished in the top 10 offensively. Overall, since 1981, the Redskins have made the postseason eight of 12 times in which they finished among the top 10 in scoring.

The Redskins averaged at least 25 points per game four times under Gibbs; they reached the Super Bowl each season. They averaged between 21.1 and 24.1 seven times and reached the postseason twice. (The Redskins once averaged 24.1 points en route to 10 wins and failed to make the postseason. Another time they averaged 18.6, won 10 and missed the cut.)

Now for Gruden and the current group. A lot of this, of course, is dependent on the defense. A bad one, as you’ve seen, means they’ll obviously have to score more (the Redskins have finished 21st or worse in points allowed per game defensively each of the past four years and 30th last season). This is just a guideline of what playoff teams in the past three years have done.

So here goes: