Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 10, three days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.
—The Redskins last played a game 121 days ago. It will be 125 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Rookie minicamp 3; OTAs start 14; Redskins training camp starts 80
The Redskins have most of their personnel in place. The schedule is set. All that stands between the team and the start of the regular season are some more sessions in shorts and helmets, a month of vacation, and training camp. It’s time to break out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and bet them on how many regular season games the Redskins will win in 2016.
0-6 wins, $10—I think they are out of this territory for now, with a strong enough base of talent to keep out of double-digit losses. Only a run of very bad luck would have them crash back into the top 10 in the draft.
7-8 wins, $35—Yes, this would represent a decrease from last year. But improvement in the NFL is rarely linear. There are ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, not just from game to game but also from season to season. They could hit a plateau in their development and slide back a bit because of bad luck and a tougher schedule. It wouldn’t be a disaster or mean they have to start again from the bottom, although many fans and some branches of the local media would treat it as such.
9-10 wins, $40—Perhaps this would be treading water but it depends on what it looks like. If they win a few games in blowouts and beat some winning teams, both at home and on the road, it would be seen as an improvement. If they struggle to beat bad teams and many of the issues on display in 2015 persist they would still have a long way to go before being considered true contenders.
11-12 wins, $10—This would almost assuredly result in a playoff spot, and probably a division title. This could happen if Kirk Cousins takes another big leap forward, the running game becomes at least competent, and the defense picks things up a few notches, especially against the run.
13+ wins, $5—I’ll throw five bucks on the chance that everything that would be needed to win in double digits happens along with the pass rush trio of Galette, Kerrigan, and Smith truly terrorizing opposing quarterbacks and a solid dose of good luck, like excellent health, facing some teams when they are suffering from key injuries, and a few fortuitous bounces of the ball.
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