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Bold Predictions, Part 1: It's a Joe Gibbs Team

Bold Predictions, Part 1: It's a Joe Gibbs Team

It’s a lock. The Redskins are not only going to beat the Bucs, but they are going to win their next two and advance to Super Bowl XL in Detroit. No other outcome is possible.

Why? Check out this factoid from the Newark Star-Ledger
Why do Redskins fans have reason to believe their sixth-seeded team will become the NFC representative in the Super Bowl?
Check this out: The team the Eagles faced in their final game of the previous six seasons appeared in the Super Bowl. Philly lost to the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl; lost out on a trip to the Super Bowl by dropping the NFC Championship games the previous three years to the Panthers, Buccaneers and Rams; lost a divisional playoff game to the Super Bowl-bound Giants in the 2000 season, and beat the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams in the regular-season finale in 1999.
The last opponent for the Eagles this season? The Redskins. How do you like them apples?
Of course, I kid. This is just one of those things, a trivial coincidence. The Redskins won’t win because of their January 1 game.

Some trends and numbers, however, are not trivial or coincidental and warrant some consideration when evaluating this game. I’m talking about numbers like 7-1.

That is Joe Gibbs’ record in his team’s opening playoff games each season. That’s preparation, that’s getting your team ready to make a run. The game location makes no difference; he’s 3-0 on the road in playoff openers.

When you point out records like this to Gibbs, he always says that he had some great players to get the job done. And then you look around Redskins Park you think, hey, there are some pretty good football players around here today, too. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss set team records for rushing and receiving yardage respectively. Marcus Washington is an extraordinary playmaker at linebacker and when Sean Taylor’s reputation catches up with his play on the field he’ll be the talk of the NFL.

The stars, however, weren’t the ones that made Gibbs’ teams what they were. It was the role players and special teams guys, something that this team doesn’t lack in either. You could take Mike Sellers, Rock Cartwright, Ade Jimoh, and Khary Campbell, put them into a time machine and drop them into RFK Stadium in the mid-eighties, introduce them to Otis Wonsley, Pete Cronan, Terry Orr, and Ken Jenkins and they would fit right in.

Obviously, this is a Joe Gibbs team and that means that they will be a very tough out on Saturday. How tough? Find out in Bold Predictions Part 2 on Friday.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?


Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.


Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.


I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.