Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins have been in the news a lot in recent months because of off-the-field controversy, but they were also in the news near the beginning of the offseason for firing former head coach Mike Shanahan and replacing him with Jay Gruden. After a disappointing 3-13 season in 2013, the team hopes to get closer to the 10-6 record it had in 2012 in QB Robert Griffin III’s rookie season.
Griffin had injuries that kept him out of three games and limited him in other games last season, causing his rushing numbers to go down significantly from 2012 to 2013 — from 815 yards and seven touchdowns to 489 yards and no rushing touchdowns. Last year’s passing numbers were fairly consistent with 2012’s, other than a sharp increase in interceptions from five to 12. WR Pierre Garcon was trhe quarterbacks’ favorite target last year by far, catching 113 balls for 1346 yards and five touchdowns. RB Alfred Morris led the team in rushing in his sophomore season, but he ran for 338 fewer yards and six fewer touchdowns than in 2012.
If Griffin can stay healthy through the season he should have a better year than he did last year, especially since the signing of WR DeSean Jackson gives him another weapon in the passing game to go with Garcon and TE Jordan Reed. Morris likewise needs to have a bounce-back year to get the offense back to its division-winning ways of 2012. The tough spots on the Redskins’ schedule include games against Super Bowl champion Seahawks, 49ers and Colts. With a healthy season to the key guys on offense, the Redskins will improve upon last year’s record, but the Eagles still look to be the best team in the division.