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How good have the Redskins really been?

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Let's talk about that.

Your host is a big fan of the stat gurus over at Football Outsiders. Partially because I'm also a bit of a stat nerd, but primarily because they continue to give the Redskins more credit than anyone else.

Case in point, this week's DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) ranking has Washington 7th overall. The Redskins are currently 4th in offense and 18th on defense. Lest you think this is all because of the Texans game, Week 5 marks the introduction of the "Defense-adjusted" part of the ranking, which means schedule is factored in to the results.

As if I haven't already explained the DVOA rating system, it measures each individual play in a game against the average performance of other teams in similar situations and then adjusts for the strength of the defense. In simpler terms, it adjusts for all those things that general NFL.com stats cannot.

Amazingly the NFC East currently holds four of the top five spots on offense: Philadelphia is first, Dallas is third, Washington is fourth, and the New York is fifth (though they rank 27th on defense).

Some other interesting jewels? Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts rank 1st and 3rd respectively according to the DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement explained here). We've managed to run the ball extremely effectively this season, which is important because that's the one area where the Giants are actually decent on defense (10th rushing according to DVOA, though they allow just 2.9 yards per carry, good for 2nd in the league behind Baltimore). Against the pass they are a horrid 29th, in front of Tennessee, Houston, and Detroit only.

What does it all mean? Despite being 2-2, the Washington Redskins have played pretty decent Football, especially the past two games. Looking forward, we'll continue to improve defensively when Springs returns and we won't face a defense tougher than Jacksonville's for some time (perhaps Dallas on Nov. 5th). We've really lost two games in spite of ourselves and, statistically, have outplayed one team that is 4-0 (Indy) and six teams that are 3-1 (St. Louis, New Orleans, New England, Cincinnatti, Atlanta, and Seattle). Your Washington Redskins currently look very sharp on the field, and wins are sure to follow.

Post all thoughts and criticisms below.