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(Truly) Bold Predictions: Redskins Will Win Big

(Truly) Bold Predictions: Redskins Will Win Big

You can reach me by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

I have to apologize for I have misled you, the loyal readers here. Prior to each of the six Redskins games this year, I have written a prediction as to how I thought the upcoming game would go and give my thoughts on what the final score might be. I have labeled these pieces “Bold Predictions”.

Looking back, though, most of the predictions have been anything but bold. I’ve added qualifiers (if Jake Plummer turns it over), caveats (unless the Chiefs turn some big plays) and other rather wimpy elements. I wanted to pick the Redskins to hang a big number on the 49ers but I chickened out and went with a comfortable but not dominant victory. Far from bold, as advertised, my predictions have been lame, milquetoast, bland predictions, not even worthy of capitalizing.

It stops this week, here and now.

The Washington Redskins will beat the New York Giants on Sunday and they will beat them easily.

It’s not that the Giants aren’t a quality football team. They are. But the Redskins are better. Much better. Mark Brunell is playing better than any quarterback in the league right now. Much better than Eli Manning, which is enough for this Sunday.

In fact, of the 22 starting positions, based how they’re playing right now, most coaches in the NFL would pick many more Redskins than Giants to start for their teams. Three of the four DL positions and MLB would go to the Giants on defense and on the other side of the ball, Giants would start at one WR spot, TE, and that’s it. OK, I’ll take a push in Tiki vs. Portis but only a push. That makes the tally 15 Redskins, six Giants and one draw. That’s not a slight edge for the Redskins, it’s a landslide. Again, they’re just a better team.

Certainly the game is not about Barber vs. Portis or Eli vs. Brunell, it’s about matchups, offense vs. defense, blockers vs. the front four, receivers vs. cornerbacks. Did someone say Santana Moss against Will Allen or Curtis Deloatch? The East Rutherford fire department had better be on alert all day long as these guys are going to get torched repeatedly.

In fact, I’ve seen no rational explanation as to how anyone of the Giants defense is going to stop anyone on the Redskins offense. In terms of yards allowed, they’re last in the entire NFL. That doesn’t make them the worst necessarily, but they’re not very good.

The last time that they faced a QB-RB combo of the quality of Brunell and Portis was in San Diego in Week 3. Tomlinson ran over them for 192 yards and Drew Breese was 19-22-191, a quarterback rating of 133.1. San Diego drove 65, 85, and 82 yards to touchdowns the first three times it had the ball. They added TD drives of 70 and 77 yards later on.

To be sure, LT is a better back than Portis, who should hang up a mere buck fifty. As for Brunell, they may have to reinvent the QB rating scale.

On the other side of the ball, New York won’t be enjoying one of the advantages that they have over most of the teams that they play. Jeremy Shockey presents a matchup problem for a lot of secondaries. Not so against the Redskins as they have Sean Taylor, who possesses linebacker size and DB speed. Shockey will be neutralized.

Barber might pop a long run, the Washington defense’s bugaboo this year. Manning will make some plays, but not enough of them to overcome the hole that his team’s defense will leave them in.

Finally, let’s dispense with two of the supposed intangible advantages that the Giants. The first is that they want to win the game in honor of team patriarch Wellington Mara, giving them “extra” incentive as if first place in the division near the midway point of the season isn’t incentive enough. Two words—The Triplets. Remember how the induction of Smith, Aikman, and Irvin into the Dallas Hall of Rings, or whatever it is, was supposed to have the Cowboys so sky high that they were supposed to smash the Redskins. How did that work out, Roy Williams? In fact, the desire to win one for Mara may work against them. They may be too pumped up and play out of control and wear out by the third quarter.  

As far as Antonio Pierce knowing the Redskins defense, so what? Gregg Williams knows Pierce pretty well. You don’t think that he and Dale Lindsey spent a little time down the hall with the offensive coaches detailing to them Pierce’s weak points?

The Redskins are getting on a roll. You can say that putting up 52 points against an inferior opponent is just an isolated, one-week occurrence, but the record says otherwise. In Gibbs first run here, the Redskins put up 40 or more points 17 times. Their record after those games was a stellar 14-3. In fact, the last time they put up over 50 points, against Atlanta in 1991, they went on the road to Pittsburgh and scored 41 on the Steelers.

The Giants will come out playing hard, but by halftime the Redskins superiority will become apparent. It may not be over enough by the time the fourth quarter comes around to empty the bench like they did last week, but be assured that it will indeed be over.

Redskins 31, Giants 14

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

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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.

MORE REDSKINS: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

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.

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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 Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.