As an admitted degenerate gambler, I don't know how I missed this Pro Football Weekly handicapper focus on the NFC East. Truth be told, there are some things that are worth missing about this article. Of note:
Key veteran additions: OT Jason Fabini, MLB London Fletcher, CB Jason Macklin, CB Fred Smoot, S Omar Stoutmire, OL Ross Tucker.
Key veteran losses: SS Adam Archuleta, OG Derrick Dockery, RB T.J. Duckett, TE Christian Fauria, PK John Hall, OT Jim Molinaro, WR David Patten, CB Troy Vincent, CB Kenny Wright.
I don't know if Ross Tucker and Fabini are "key". I do
know that the losses of Adam Archuleta and Kenny Wright are "key", though not in the sense that the author probably intended. Anyways, here's how we did against Vegas:
2006 Record (Straight-Up): 5-11
2006 Against the Spread: 5-9-2
2006 Over-Under: 7-8-1
Mike Wilkening suspects this team could be good if JC plays well and the defense rebounds around London Fletcher. Our puss rush and growing pains under The Mustache would be reasons against betting on your 'Skins. Nothing earth-shattering there. He does remind on one interesting point, that I hadn't commented on much:
Wilkening's opening line: Four of Washington's first six games are at home, and I won't at all be surprised if Redskins are one of the surprise hits of the first half of the season. Whether that momentum carries into the holiday season is another issue altogether.
Reader(s), is that a blessing or a burden? I say blessing, as those four home games are Miami, Giants, Detroit, and Arizona -- all very winnable. Our road game against the Eagles is tough, but @ Green Bay does not intimidate. Anytime you're developing a young quarterback, it's best to start the season soft says I, and ease him into the tough games with a bunch of confidence builders.
After that first 6 games things get brutal, with 4 of the next 5 on the road against the likes of New England, the Jets, and Dallas. Our schedule closes managably enough, with only Chicago at home a truly scary game. @ Giants, @ Minnesota, and @ Tampa Bay don't seem so tough, though it is still July.