Pretty much every number but one says Washington isn’t close to a playoff team

Almost every number but one says Washington isn’t playoff-worthy originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Only one number right now really suggests that Washington is a playoff-caliber club, but even that one would argue the opposite in almost any other division, or any other past season, in the NFL.

At 1-4, Washington is just one game out of the NFC East lead. So, their record indicates that they’re a borderline postseason team.

But again, that’s essentially the only stat that does so, and if 2020 weren’t so bizarre, they wouldn’t have that single item their side, either.

Need evidence that Washington isn’t actually in the postseason mix? Well, you just have to look really anywhere else besides their putrid section of the standings.

The Burgundy and Gold’s offense is last in yards per game, as they’re currently averaging 263 each time out. They’re third-to-last in passing yards per game with 181 and second-to-last in rushing yards per game with 81. 

Overall, only the two New York organizations are averaging fewer points per contest than Washington, who’s putting up 17.8 through five weeks. 

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However, they’re back to the bottom in third down conversion percentage, as they’re the lone offense in the sport to be converting less than 30 percent of the time. Giving up the second-to-most sacks in the league (21) isn’t bettering that cause.

Ron Rivera’s group does lead in some categories, though — like punts per week (6.2) and punts per offensive score (1.9). Just to illustrate the difference, the Packers (1.8 and 0.3) are at the opposite ends of those areas, respectively. At least that’s helping Tress Way set new franchise marks. 

Washington’s defense, on the other hand, has superior rankings when compared to the offense, yet they’re still far from what was expected of them.

The unit, for instance, is 22nd in points allowed per matchup (28.4), 28th in first quarter points allowed per matchup (7.4), 15th in yards allowed per matchup (356.4), 23rd in rushing yards allowed per matchup (129.6) and last when it comes to total 40- and 50-yard plays allowed.

Now, despite all of those flaws and all of those weaknesses, Rivera will keep referring to Washington’s upcoming meetings with the Giants, Cowboys, Giants, Lions and Bengals as an “interesting stretch.” To him — and in the NFC East’s hierarchy — capturing two or three victories could elevate his club from a “contender” to truly in a playoff position.

That, in part, is the beauty of football; the stats can fall wherever they fall, but come January, records are really the only thing needed to advance. Problem is, almost nothing else about Washington is beautiful, which could eventually force even their record to drop below their division’s already floor-height standards.  

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