When predicting the Redskins record this year, there are too many things to consider. In this case INJURIES will have to be the most prevalent. The preseason has already been taxing but it’s nothing the Redskins have not dealt with before..
Last year, the Redskins stunned the league AND the division with a top 5 offense, division title, near sweep of the division, and 14-0 lead over the Seahawks before RGIII injured himself, leaving may fans to wonder “What if?” The Redskins were able to keep every aspect of their top 5 offense and add depth to positions like Tight End and Running back. Also a few injured players from that offense will be returning like Fred Davis and Roy Helu jr, both were playmakers in 2011 and neither fully contributed in 2012.
On the other side of the ball, no one picked that Redskins D in fantasy football last year. Everyone returned except for Lorenzo Alexander, the lone cap casualty of the NFL’s scapegoat…..eeeerrrrrr cap sanctions against the Redskins. Even with that, the amount of players that were willing to restructure their contracts to stay with the team was encouraging. Players like Adam Carriker, Santana Moss, Josh Wilson, and D-Hall (sort of) stepped up and made it possible for the Redskins to sign and draft players to help fix the weakness of the team…. the secondary. With the signing of Biggers and the resigning of Hall (for cheaper), and the drafting of Rambo, Amerson, and Jenkins and the return of Carriker, Tanard Jackson, and Meriweather (at some point) SHOULD give the Defense the shot in the arm needed to take the team to the next level.
On the flip side of that, the Redskins now get to enjoy that schedule that the New York Giants have been stuck with for the last few years. Since they finished in first place in the NFC East, the get to play first place teams in the other NFC divisions. The Rams, Bucs, and Lions have been replaced by the 49er’s, Green Bay, and Atlanta. Also, teams have been working on defending the Read Option offense that the Redskins implemented last year and I do think it may hinder them from enjoying the same success they had last year.
These predictions are assuming 16 games of healthy RGIII which even the super homer fanboys like myself, know isn’t the most likely scenario. But I’m not going to assume an injury. So without further ado:
Game 1 vs Philadelphia
Mike Vick is the starter and The Redskins should worry a little about Chip Kelly’s offense catching the NFL off guard kind of in the way the zone read did last year. But through preseason Philly’s defense hasn’t been able to stop a nosebleed. On the flipside, The Redskins should worry about RGIII getting off to a slow start from not having worked with the offense. Look for a almost fully stocked Defense to bail him out.
Washington 24 Philly 17 (1-0)
Game 2 @ Green Bay
This is one of my 3 toggle games. I think it will also have HUGE wildcard implications down the line this season. The Redskins have played Green Bay well over the last few years. Green Bay has struggled against other 3-4 defenses. Expect a good old fashioned shootout with the more experienced quarterback winning and exploiting the youth in the secondary.
Green Bay 24 Washington 14 (1-1)
Game 3 vs Detroit
This is a team that Washington has struggled against in the last few years. Expect the trend to continue as I have detroit as one of my sleeper teams of the whole league. The combo of Johnson and Bush prove to be too much for the Skins as Detroit runs roughshod over them.
Detroit 35 Washington 17 (1-2)
Game 4 @ Oakland
After having his leadership tested, RGIII will respond with a dazzling display to head into the bye week at .500 at the Raiders continue to be the Raiders.
Washington 42 Oakland 14 (2-2)
An early bye week does NOT help a team that had the most starters injured in the whole league last year. It DOES give the defense time to get adjusted to their two players coming back from suspension Jarvis Jenkins, and Rob Jackson.
Game 5 @ Dallas
This is my second of 3 toggle games. Historically, the Redskins and Mike Shanahan in particular do very well coming off the bye week. BUT Dallas has been waiting for this game since Thanksgiving last year. This game goes win to dallas in a CLOSE GAME as Dez and Demarco give the defense fits in a low scoring physical contest.
Dallas 17 Washington 14 (2-3)
Game 6 vs Chicago
Little known fact…. Jay Cutler and Deangelo Hall dislike each other BIG TIME! When Hall played for Oakland and Cutler played for Denver, Cutler had a pretty good game against Hall in September of ’08, ran his mouth, and Hall responded with a 4 pick game including a pick 6 against Chicago 2 years ago. The 2 problems with that is, Cutler didn’t have Brandon Marshall on his team then, AND even with the 4 picks Washington still only won by 3. Look for Cutler to try Hall early, learn his lesson, and stay away.
Bears 20 Washington 14 (2-4)
Game 7 @ Denver
Peyton Manning….that is all
Denver 24 Washington 17
Game 8 vs San Diego (2-5)
This game will start the comeback for the Skins. Look for the coaching staff to tweak the offense and the defense after a team meeting, and buckle down. San Diego lacks the weapons to stop a PISSED Redskins offense.
Washington 28 Chargers 14 (3-5)
Game 9 @ Minnesota
The Redskins on the ropes still, load up the box on Adrian Peterson and force Christian Ponder to defeat them…. or at least try.
Washington 21 Vikings 13 (4-5)
Game 10 @ Philadelphia
No stopping the Redskins as they are in that mid to late season groove and defeat The Eagles to return to .500
Washington 24 Eagles 14 (5-5)
Game 11 vs San Francisco
San Fran, for my money, has been the best team in the league ever since they implemented the Redskins offense. Kap is nowhere near as accurate as RGIII but much more durable. The San Fran running game gets it done and the 49ers out read option the Redskins.
San Fran 17 Washington 10 (5-6)
Game 12 vs New York Giants
This is my third and last toggle game. It really could go either way as this feud has in the last few years. At this point in the season, the Redskins need it more than the Giants. History has also shown that the Redskins under Shanahan are MUCH better in the last 5 games of the season than the first. My Guess: Cobra Kai leads the Redskins to victory in OT.
Washington 20 NYG 17 (6-6)
Game 13 vs Kansas City
Not very big on Alex Smith, but I am on Andy Reid. But the Redskins are THIRSTY to get over .500 with the wildcard still very much in play.
Washington 31 Chiefs 14 (7-6)
Game 14 @ Atlanta
Atlanta was one of 2 teams last year that had their way with a healthy Robert Griffin. Even before he got hurt in that game, even on that scoring drive, Atlanta did everything they wanted to the Redskins. Expect this game to be more of a FIGHT than last year. But, the better team wins.
Atlanta 28 Washington 24 (7-7)
Game 15 vs Dallas
Dallas’ schedule has them as my pick to win the division. Two of their only 3 tough non division games are at home this year (Denver, Green Bay), they got the GIFT of Oakland for Thanksgiving, and with that mid season bye week AND the Thanksgiving game, they should be well rested for the final stretch of the season. If they aren’t in the drivers seat by now, we are talking MASSIVE turnover on the coaching staff in the offseason. But still, look for the Redskins taking it as they do in the later parts of the year.
Washington 17 Dallas 14 (8-7)
Game 16 @ New York Giants
For the final game of the season, Washington NEEDS this game and a Green Bay loss to get into the playoffs as a wildcard. The Giants need this game only. The Redskins will sneak into Met Life and defeat the Giants in Tom Coughlin’s LAST GAME as the Giants head coach.
Washington 28 Giants 21 (9-7)
These are the official picks, but there are also a few wildcard scenario that could send the Redskins 2 games north or south of these picks.
Path to 11-5: The first game on my list is Green Bay. The Redskins have always played Green Bay well and for some reason the 3-4 gives them problems. If the Redskins want 11-5 they need to defeat Green Bay or Detroit early to head into the bye week 3-1. The first Dallas game is also winnable. In fact, Shanahan is pretty damn good coming off of the bye week. On top of which, that will be the first game of the season where the defense will be at FULL STRENGTH with Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson both coming off suspension. As a bonus, I’m also hoping that Tanard Jackson will be in the mix by then.
Path to 7-9: It’s hard to imagine the Redskins going 7-9 with a healthy Robert Griffin III. This offense was humming last year and they only improved in the offseason. BUT if they were to go 7-9, it would start with being stunned by the Eagles new look offense in the first game much the way the Redskins stunned the Saints last year. It would also mean Mike Vick would have to look like Mike Vick. Also, even though I picked the Redskins to sweep the Giants, I feel less confident about that than I would the Redskins sweeping the Cowboys. So there is wiggle room either way there. But in the end, expect the Redskins to go NO LESS than 9-7 and to possibly sneak into the playoffs as the last wildcard with Seattle just ahead of New Orleans and Green Bay. Just for fun, here are some division winners.
NFC West – San Francisco
NFC North – Detroit* upset pick
NFC South – Atlanta
AFC West – Denver
AFC South – Texans
AFC East – New England
AFC North – Cincinnati.
There you have it. The Official Redskins picks for the year. So with that said…. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! Lets get it ON!