I, Matt Horn, have the incredibly awesome task and great honor of previewing the Washington Redskins! I mean, it is my blog and all….
The Redskins have faced some lean years. Washington has only 2 playoff appearances to their credit since 2000. Those two seasons were the only two in that span where the Redskins were above .500. Why is that you ask? Because quarterbacks are the vehicle that drive NFL teams to sustain success and the Redskins were waiting for a ride.
The 2011 version of the Redskins compiled a 5-11 record. Which was enough to wrap up sole possession of last in the division, again. Washington finished the 2011 campaign ranked 16th in total offense, and 13th in overall defense.
GM Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan did what was necessary to land Griffin III. Most say it was too much to give up by trading away so many draft picks, and it may have been, but I still applaud them for making the move that HAD to be made.
Robert Griffin III will go through rookie trials and tribulations as a rookie QB in the NFL, that is a given. With Griffin under center, Washington will have something on the offensive side of the ball that has been lacking since 2005, and that is a big play threat. RG3 is a game breaker – a tremendous arm and speed to boot! With the addition of speedsters on the outside like Pierre Garcon (who will be the definition of a number 1 receiver), and a resurgence from Santana Moss (who lost 25 lbs). Speed will be a huge part of the Redskins attack this season. Fred Davis is an emerging player at TE and he will be a mismatch against all defenses. I expect him to have a big impact this year. Add in the depth at running back (Helu, and Royster) and any number of guys on this offense can hurt opposing defenses.
The talent on the defensive side of the of ball is young and that is a good thing! With Jarvis Jenkins back, after missing his rookie season last year due to injury, clogging up the middle, and stud linebackers Brian Orakpo/Ryan Kerrigan on the outside, I honestly believe this defense is a top 10 defense on the rise. More pressure on quarterbacks leads to more turnovers, something that ball-hawking CB DeAngelo Hall is very familiar with, and creating more turnovers will lead to more wins. This defense will be aggressive and imposing even without LaRon Landry. Letting Landry walk was addition by subtraction. He can been seen making one big tackle a game while missing 7 others in New York for the Jets.
Redskins Schedule Breakdown:
Last year the Redskins beat the eventual Super Bowl champs twice. That means either one of two things: The Giants lost twice in a trap game, or the Redskins match-up well against New York. Personally, I feel it’s a good match-up; we can at least split against the Giants this year. The Skins have the altheticism to match/split against Dallas and Philly too. Going 3-3 in the division would be a one-game improvement from last season’s 2-4. ***Notice -Thanksgiving day the Redskins will put a nationally televised smack down on the Cowboys!!! Final score 31-6. You heard it here first***
Washington also faces the NFC South, with the Redskins opening up the season against the Saints in New Orleans. Nothing like hitting the ground running. The Falcons are tough and the Panthers and Bucs could surprise. Again, a split in this division is totally possible.
Unfortunately, the NFC East has to play the AFC North this season. These two divisions are arguably the toughest two in the league. The Steelers and Ravens are especially tough. The Redskins will be looking good if they go 2-2 through these games.
Thanks to the Redskins being horrible last season, they landed two cupcake games, St. Louis and Minnesota, this year. There’s 2 for the win column! So according to my predictions, the Redskins will finish 9-7 this year. This would be a huge success with a rookie QB under center and a sure sign of good things to come. Hail to the Redskins!
My NFC East Prediction:
There is a ton of talent in the division, but that leads to teams beating up on each other. In this case, I only have the division winning Giants making the playoffs and the wild cards probably coming from the north. (Bears and Lions)
1- New York Giants 10-6, they have the defensive pieces to stop high caliber teams. I can see a 1 game improvement.
2- Philadelphia Eagles 9-7, all depends on the health of Mike Vick, and an upgraded linebacking corp.
3- Washington Redskins 9-7, see above
4- Dallas Cowboys 8-8, great November, sad December