I end my NFL preview series with a look at the Washington Redskins, a team who is alphabetically last in NFL categorization, but could be anything but in division standings.
As soon as the lockout ended, current Redskins starting signal-caller Rex Grossman predicted Washington would win the NFC East and while this may appear far-fetched to the football novice, at least one expert is expecting big things.
On NFL Network's "No Huddle" program Wednesday evening, panelist and Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk suggested the Redskins could be the surprise team in the NFL.
While he did not cite Grossman or quality reserve John Beck as impetuses in Washington's potential success, he mentioned that Tim Hightower (a tailback I drafted in my Fantasy league) will be a one-cut back under head coach Mike Shanahan and perhaps perform the same way Terrell Davis did in Denver.
As a Broncos fan, I can say that if Hightower remotely resembles TD, Skins fans are in for a treat, but we'll see what comes of it.
Santana Moss and Chris Cooley return as solid targets for whoever will be the Skins' long-term quarterback while Ryan Torain can be a stalwart compliment to Hightower if he can somehow remain healthy, something he never seemed to be able to do in Denver.
Defensively, Brian Orakpo is a great anchor to build around and I fully expect him to wreak havoc on opposing signal-callers as he did in 2010.
The X factor for me is Graham Gano, as if he can somehow become more consistent on game-deciding kicks, Washington really can fulfill Grossman and Faulk's expectations.
I do think that Beck will prove to be the better option at quarterback overall and be assured, Skins fans, Shanny has played these types of mind games with his players before.
In Denver, the results were often propitious when Shanahan employed such tactics, so there is a precedent that exists for potential success.
In closing, I just like the numerous things Lorenzo Alexander does, I am a sucker for special teams studs so don't be surprised if he makes some game-changing plays in Washington's favor this season.
Thanks for reading and I will give Washington eight or nine wins, although if I have learned nothing else, the NFL is unpredictable and marvelous, just the way I like it.
The journey is over!