The Redskins Thoughts and Predictions 2010 Blog

I just thought I'd offer my thoughts about the team before the big game kicks off tonight. I'm also currently watching the other games that are on in my area, and since I am not playing fantasy football again this year, nor have the NFL RedZone channel (which Comcast only offers with their Sports and Entertainment package), to me, it's not as easy to get in the games because of I have limited to no rooting interest. Therefore, I figured I should offer some of my thoughts.

As far as the Redskins go this year, as a fan, I'm cautiously optimistic. There are many fans around here who are always blindly optimistic, and always expects the Redskins to go to the Superbowl every year come opening kickoff, but as one of the ones who look more towards history and reason, the only way to be optimistic with this team is to be "cautiously optimistic".

They have done a lot of great things during the offseason. The organization got rid of a lot of the deadweight (with the exception Albert Haynesworth... but I'll get to that later), they fired their main personnel player, their fired their coach, and they found reasonable and competent replacements. As much as I liked Jason Campbell when he was here, Donovan McNabb is also a great upgrade. And as it looks like now, the owner has kind of fired himself from personnel decisions. Just based from that, they looked like they immediately addressed some of the biggest problems that's been holding back this team for years.

Next up, they had to address a huge weakness... their offensive lines. The offensive line they had last year had issues with injuries, and the guys who had to step up wouldn't start in any team in the league. They were responsible for Jason Campbell getting beat up last year. Therefore, they addressed it by drafting an O-lineman with their 1st pick, Trent Williams, whom they feel can be the cornerstone they can build their line around long-term. They've gotten some solid veteran guys for the line through free agency and trade (Hicks and Brown). So now, their O-line, though still not elite (as compared to teams like the Vikings and Packers), is much improved!!!

This year, they've also switched their defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Many say that this switch may hinder the team, but I feel it will help them more. With the exception of Andre Carter (who is still a good player), this scheme is probably tailored more towards the strengths of the personnel, most especially Orakpo, the young linebacker who is more of a hybrid linebacker-lineman type.

As far as everything else goes, the running game I think will be solid and well-improved. By bringing in competition in the off-season, I think coach Shanahan knocked a lot of the diva out of Clinton Portis, and made him hungrier overall. The wide receiving core still offers some concern (as the young wideouts are still unproven, and Santana Moss possibly facing a suspension for his illegal substance issue), but I think their tight ends are skillful enough to pick up a lot of the slack. 

The huge problem (and I mean that literally) that I see can be haunting them in the long term if it's not addressed, is Albert Haynesworth. They paid this guy a lot of money, doesn't cooperate, still isn't in the best shape for a person with his contract, and continues to clash with the coach. And, because of this, he could be a "cancer" in the locker room. It's hard to get rid of him outright, considering of how much the owner and the previous regime invested in him. So in that case, the organization is handcuffed. If they let him go, they want to get a fair price for him (such as a 2nd round draft pick), but as of now, no other teams seem to bite. So as of now, they have to deal with it, or just wait it out.

As far as predictions go, they obviously can't be as bad as last year. If I was overly optimistic, I would pick them to go 10-6 or 11-5. However, as more of a realist, I think it's more than fair to pick them to go 8-8, or if they're lucky, 9-7. Even though I like McNabb and think of him as an upgrade compared to Campbell when it comes to leadership, and track record, I'm still not sold that he will stay healthy for the whole year. Not to mention, you still have the Haynesworth situation, and the non-proven receiving core. So I think around the .500 mark will be good. But, if they surpass those expectations, I would be ecstatic, but not too overly surprised.

But as for the game tonight... I do think the Redskins will do better than most are expecting, and possibly even pull an upset. The Cowboys have some issues of their own too, and it was evident during the pre-season. They will not blow out the Skins, and I don't think they will be as dominant as many people say they are and win the NFC. I do think, that this game will be a close one, and as a Redskins fan, I'm inclined to pick an upset...

Redskins 20, Cowboys 17

The Redskins fans have been waiting for this for months. They have been pumped up for weeks, and I think they will be the X-factor to this game. Therefore, I'm picking the upset.

So those are my thoughts. Hope everyone enjoys Week 1!


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