Will The Redskins Be A Better Than .500 Team in 2017?
Washington was just one game removed from the playoffs last year(which I had the pleasure of watching live) and at 8-7-1, they barely pushed past the .500 mark. As you've read here and other places, pundits have called for another mediocre(or worse) season for the Redskins.
Cousins is locked in for another season and hopes to improve upon a campaign that produced the #2 offense is Yards Per play (6.4), 6th(t) in Yards per Rush(4.5), 2nd(t) best in Yards Pass Attempt(7.8), and only 23 Sacks Allowed(3rd). These are the numbers of a playoff team … and all they had to do last season was beat the Giants in Week 17 and they were in.
Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson left in free agency, two proven and dependable receivers that are getting older and got paid well elsewhere. Is there now a lack of athletic targets for Kirk Cousins? No. Not at all. Terrelle Pryor had a breakout year in Cleveland and has been impressive this offseason. Jamison Crowder will fill the slot and see his role in the offense expanded this season. Josh Doctson looks like he is fully ready to make plays, and get a do over on his lost rookie season.
Kirk Cousins over the last 4 years is #4 in the NFL in QBR and #6 in Passer Rating. Pretty good, right? And this is not even mentioning the fact that these young receivers should have plenty of time out there to work their routes; the same experienced core of Pro-Bowl-bound Hogs are back on the starting O-Line. That low, 23 sacks allowed number could go even lower this year. Cousins should have all the time in the world to pass the ball effectively.
So what's the problem? The NFC East is a tough division now, but every team has their issues that the Redskins can exploit. Washington should be in playoff contention, right? Well … defense was the Skins' Achilles heel in 2016. 5.8 Yards Per Play is at the bottom quartile. 91.1 Opposing QB Rating Allowed is below NFL average. 25th in DVOA and 4.5 Rush Yards Allowed is also in the bottom quartile. However, there were some smart moves made by management to shore up the defense this offseason, especially up front. The 'new-look' D-line with the addition of Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee(the McDoubles) in free agency, Jonathan Allen in the draft, and a few returning players will be an improvement. DL coach Jim Tomsula is a maniac on the sidelines, and will find a combination of players to get lined up.
But really, all of this is more or less beside the point. How do you really project an NFL teams median performance for the near future? You follow the money. You can review top betting sites online and Vegas odds to see where a team is most likely to go in a season. Sure, every once in a while there is a shocking Cinderella team, but for the most part, Vegas is usually right.
The Washington Redskins season wins line has been set at OVER/UNDER 7.5 games, but let's go a bit deeper and look at the Skins game by game.
Unfortunately, Washington is only favored in six games and of those six, only one game is by more than a field goal –8-point favorites over the lowly 49ers in Washington. This is troubling because oddsmakers typically give 3 points for home field advantage. So what they are really saying is, all but one home game is essentially a coin toss or a loss.
Early Vegas Lines on Redskins Schedule
Week 1: 2.5-Point Favorites vs. Eagles
Week 2: 2-Point Favorites at Rams
Week 3: 1-Point Underdogs vs Raiders
Week 4: 5-Point Underdogs at Chiefs
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: 8-Point Favorites vs 49ers
Week 7: 2.5-Point Underdogs Monday Night Football at the Eagles
Week 8: 2.5-Point Underdogs vs. Cowboys
Week 9: 8-Point Underdogs at the Seahawks
Week 10: 1.5-Point Favorites vs. Vikings
Week 11: 2.5-Point Underdogs at Saints
Week 12: 1-Point Favorites Thanksgiving Day vs. Giants
Week 13: 7-Point Underdogs TNF at Cowboys
Week 14: 1.5-Point Underdogs at Chargers
Week 15: 2-Point Favorites vs. Cardinals
Week 16: 1-Point Underdogs vs Broncos
Week 17: No Line, But Game is at the Giants so we can assume 2-Point/2.5-point
So, the bookmakers in Las Vegas are most likely calling for a sub .500 squad in 2017. But given the fact that most of these games where the Skins come in as dogs are also by less than a field goal, there are a lot of coin flip games that could push the Redskins over .500 again and fighting for a playoff spot.
Will the Redskins have a winning record this year?
This poll is closed
Yes, playoffs baby!
8 wins max
It's gonna be a long year