The Redskins have, understandably, become a national punching bag in recent years. Just witness what’s Chris Wesseling wrote this week, in his “What They Need” review of the franchise:

An intervention? An exorcism? An excavator? Considering the bloated salaries attached to the veterans, this might just be the least attractive roster in the league….. As painful as it might seem to fans, this roster needs to be stripped, with most of the improvements coming via the draft.

So it’s open season on the burgundy and gold. Which is why I was not at all surprised to flip through ESPN the Magazine’s “Great Analytics Rankings” this week — which attempt to assess how every MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchise deals with advanced metrics — and find the Redskins near the very, very bottom.

The magazine has the Philadelphia Phillies ranked 122nd out of 122 teams, the New York Knicks ranked 121st, and your Redskins ranked 120th, meaning last in the NFL.

(Of course, you can’t apply analytics to intangibles, which is why this whole enterprise is not at all fair.)

Now, it’s not entirely clear how franchises are being ranked, at least in the paper copy of the magazine. The introduction explains that the magazine “unleashed our experts — ESPN reporter Kevin Seifert (NFL), ESPN Insiders Kevin Pelton (NBA) and Craig Custance (NHL), former Mets stats guru Ben Baumer (MLB) and an army of researchers — on all 122 teams in a quest to rank each on the strength of its analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data, and how much its approach is predicated on analytics.”

Each team was then slotted into one of five categories; the Redskins were one of four analytics “Nonbelievers” in the NFL, along with the Jets, Titans and Chargers. Which calls to mind an unforgettable passage in a 2012 New York Times story about analytics in the NFL:

Jeff Dominitz grew up rooting for the Washington Redskins during their glory years under Joe Gibbs. So when an N.F.L. team called him in 2006 about a job doing statistical research and analysis for the scouting department, he could not say no. He left his teaching position at Carnegie Mellon and, temporarily, his family and wound up living alone near the team’s headquarters.
The first sign that Dominitz’s work might not be fully embraced came when he reported to the team’s facility. According to Dominitz, who has a Ph.D. in economics, he was told that the head coach had been informed about Dominitz after he was already hired. The coach’s response, Dominitz was told, was, “We’re still about people here.” Dominitz then learned that he would be seated not with the scouting department, compiling detailed information about player prospects, but at a cubicle in a separate building, with the marketing department. Seven weeks later, Dominitz was gone.

(Dominitz’s biography says he was a “football research manager” for the Redskins, before spending several years as director of statistics for the Philadelphia Eagles.)

None of Washington’s other teams make the Magazine’s overall top 10 or bottom 10. The Nats are listed as MLB “Believers,” the second-highest category. The Caps are similarly listed as NHL “Believers.” And the Wizards are listed as NBA “Skeptics,” the second-lowest category.