The Washington Redskins have reason to smile with the improvements made on offense in free agency. But do they have real powerhouse potential in the upcoming NFL season? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part one of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
The NFC East is shaping up for a rebound season in 2014. The Philadelphia Eagles are everyone’s trendy pick to run away with the division. The New York Giants plugged so many holes this offseason, they should improve on last year’s record almost by default. The Dallas Cowboys…well the Dallas Cowboys might suck, considering they released their best player and all.
And then there’s the Washington Redskins. I have to admit, I was set to disparage the Redskins, but honestly, they are going to be a scary offensive team this coming season.
It starts with the quarterback position. Analysts and fans alike felt like Robert Griffin III had a bad season last year, but that was simply not the case. His 2013 year was comparable to his “breakout” rookie year except for two specific categories that tend to get overblown. The first was interceptions. Griffin threw an uncanny five picks his entire rookie year and followed that up with 12 picks a season ago. The real accuracy falls somewhere in the middle. His interception percentage doubled between offseasons. That just doesn’t happen.
The other stat that will regress towards the mean are his rushing touchdowns. Seven as a rookie was followed up by zero last season. Again, the truth is in the middle. He still averaged close to six yards per carry in his “down” year.
Considering that Griffin’s sophomore slump wasn’t even all that terrible, he should be continually improving the rest of his game entering his third year. Especially since he will have a couple new weapons at his disposal.
The additions of the explosive DeSean Jackson and the underrated Andre Roberts at wide out to go along with returning 100-catch man Pierre Garcon and matchup-nightmare Jordan Reed at tight end, will make this Washington offense as prolific as any in the league if all the pieces stay on the field.
And that doesn’t even take into account Alfred Morris out of the backfield to balance the attack. We might even see more of Roy Helu since he is the superior pass catcher between the two running backs.
I wouldn’t rule out the Redskins having the best offense in this division in 2014. Of course, while the O will be scary for opponents, the D may be scary for Washington fans. I feel like that may be what you’re going to be hanging on if you aren’t as rosy about Wash’s outlook as I am.
You make the Redskins’ offense sound like a powerhouse, but don’t forget they have a new rookie head coach in Jay Gruden. I realize he’s led teams before, but not in the NFL, and none as polarizing as the Washington Redskins. I think he’ll succeed, but don’t expect instant gratification with this team.
The Redskins have a lot of glam going for them on offense and none more than their starting quarterback. RGIII had a solid sophomore season, considering he was coming off an injury and his team wasn’t very good. That doesn’t change the expectations lumped on his shoulders, however. And it doesn’t alter the fact that the same average football team from last year is now supposed to be a lot better with a rookie coach and one new, ultra fast wide receiver in DeSean Jackson. The team has done a good job of adding players on both offense (WR Andre Roberts) and defense (Corners Tracy Porter and DeAngelo Hall), but this does not make them a playoff team.
Washington fans have reason to be optimistic, but let me put things in perspective for the 2014 season. Which playoff teams in the NFC got worse? The 49ers, Saints, Eagles, and Seahawks definitely did not. One could argue that the Packers and Panthers have taken a step back, or at least stood still, but I’m here to tell you that as we all know, this a quarterback driven league and both Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton are better than RGIII. And neither the Panthers or Packers are in the NFC East, a division that always seems to produce parity from top to bottom. Can the Redskins finish better than both the Giants and Cowboys? Sure, by looking solely at the offense they may appear better. Now lets flip sides and address the major weakness in Washington. The part of the game that their star quarterback has no control over. Defense will keep Washington average this coming season.