In the coming days, Redskins reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to have some fun with numbers—Las Vegas style. Each morning, we’ll pick a player or unit that’s expected to make a major impact for the Redskins in 2015, set an over/under and then make our predictions. We encourage you to play along in the comments section below.
What stats will the Redskins accomplish as a team?
350 points scored—After ranking 4th in the NFL in 2012 with 436 points scored, the Redskins’ point production declined to 334 (23rd) in 2013 and 301 (26th) last year.
Tandler—Over: The most important factor here may not be on offense. They will be able to score about an extra field goal per game on average if the defense and special teams can provide some improved field position. Oh, and improved quarterback play would help as well.
El-Bashir—Over: Field position and quarterback play are paramount to scoring more points. But so is avoiding drive-killing flags. The Redskins took 57 penalties on offense last season, which was the fifth most in the league. They simply aren’t good enough to give yards away. Discipline was a major emphasis this offseason, and I think it’s going to improve.
450 rushing attempts—The Redskins want to run more than they did last year when they had 401 attempts (21st in NFL). The top rushing teams had around 500 attempts.
Tandler—Over: Again, the defense is part of the puzzle here; if they constantly find themselves behind by 14 in the third quarter they aren’t going to be able to run much. But it also will take a change of Jay Gruden’s mindset. I think he intended to run more last year but didn’t follow through when it came time to relay the play to the quarterback. Having Bill Callahan in his headset every week will help.
El-Bashir—Over: GM Scot McCloughan didn’t throw all that money at run game guru Bill Callahan for nothing. I expect the Redskins to run the ball—a lot—with a combination of Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Robert Griffin III pushing the team’s attempts into the 450-460 range. Last year, that would have put them 10th in the NFL.
390 points allowed—They did improve last year, giving up 438 points after getting lit up for 478, almost 30 per game, in 2013.
Tandler—Under: The under here is good for the Redskins, so nobody is confused. Even though it will take some time for the new players on defense to gel, 390 is a pretty modest goal.
El-Bashir—Under: Even with an infusion of new talent, I don’t expect the defense to make an enormous leap in Joe Barry’s first year. But I do expect the unit to be better. Getting into the top-20 last year required keeping opponents under 375. That’s doable.
6.5 wins—This is the line most often seen for the Redskins when perusing Vegas and offshore betting sites so we’ll use it here for entertainment purposes only.
Tandler—Under: I have them at six wins right on the nose. As I noted a couple of weeks ago, they have a major hole to climb out of after being outscored by 137 points last year. They could play a lot better and still show only incremental improvement in their record.
El-Bashir—Over: Improvements on defense and along the offensive line + second year under Jay Gruden + the NFC South = 7 wins. I’ve been saying that for months. No reason to revise it—yet. But I reserve the right to make an adjustment after the Redskins host the Dolphins and Rams to open the season.
Previous Redskins over/under posts: