The Washington Redskins had a pretty good season last year. In 2005, they won some games they shouldn’t have, but they made it to the playoffs. While their defense played above their talent level, the offense was a bit lacking at times. Will this year be any different? Let’s figure it out by breaking down the main units of the teams.
Who’s the quarterback? Mark Brunell is getting up there in years, and he is not consistent. He’s 36 years old, and he showed signs of wear last season. Expect him to play well in the first 5-8 games of the season and tail off. If he gets hurt or tires, who takes his place? The answer is Todd Collins—if you call that an answer. Collins is a decent backup, but that’s it. The Redskins are about average in this area.
The Redskins are above average in the running game thanks to Clinton Portis. I look for him to have a solid year running the ball. They have solid players in the fullback position. The running game could become the bright spot in the offense this year. Manuel White, fullback, broke his leg last year. He’s going to get a shot to produce this season. If he can stay healthy, White will be a great addition to the running game.
Is this receiving core worth anything? On the surface, it seems like the Redskins are just about average in the receiving game, but there lies more beneath. They acquired Antwaan Randle El from the Steelers. He might be just what they need to stretch the opposing defenses even further. Between Randle El and Santana Moss, opposing defenses could have their hands full. The downside is that Randle El also has the potential to be a big bust.
Defense and Special Teams
The defense is expected to perform well in 2006. The secondary is above average. Shawn Springs is 31 now, and he can still cover well. His main problem is staying healthy. Carlos Rogers showed the potential to justify his being picked number one in the 2005 draft. The rest of the defense is pretty average. They need to perform above their potential to give the Redskins a real shot to win important games.
I think last season was a fluke. The Redskins were the recipients of some lucky bounces. I count 5 games that they could have easily lost—a few of those they should have. The fact is; the 2005 Redskins could have been 7-11 or 6-12. Not much has changed for them this year and their schedule is much tougher. There are only four games against pretty weak opponents—New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams. Even those four games aren’t guaranteed. The Redskins should fight for the cellar in the NFC East this season. Getting to 8-8 will be a real accomplishment. The playoffs are going to have to wait until at least 2007 for this team.
Jason is a journalist for WiseBettorFootball.com. You can read more news and thoughts about the Washington Redskins at the site.
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