Over the past three seasons under Coach Joe Gibbs, the Washington Redskins improved their winning margin more than any other NFL team.

From a low of minus-2 points per game in 1980 to a league-leading high of 13.1 points, the Redskins improved 15.1 points per game.

Coach Don Shula's Dolphins are the most improved team in the AFC, up from minus-2.4 points in 1980 to 8.7 last season, second only to the Redskins in the NFL.

Over the years, championship teams usually score 10 points per game more than they allow. Last season the Redskins' power was reflected in their 13-plus winning margin.

In the main, running stats (rushes per game, rushing yards and first downs rushing) indicate power. The Redskins led the NFL in defense on all three and led the NFL on offense on two of three.

Computer analysis of the season's first game shows that first downs rushing are the most important stat. The Redskins and John Riggins lead the NFL with 10.3 first downs on the ground; the Dolphins' defense is average, allowing 7.6.

One first down rushing is worth two points in the winning margin. Expect more than 10 first downs on the ground in this opening game and ball control for the Redskins.