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Need to Know: What are the chances of a winning 2015 season for the Redskins?

Jun 8, 2015, 5:10 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 8, 8 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

I’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep them relatively brief, please. 

Today’s question is from Twitter:

I suppose I could give a yes or no answer here and take the rest of the morning off but the boss might catch on and get mad. So let’s take out the mythical $100 in casino chips here and bet them on various propositions for the Redskins this season. In case you need to be reminded, they had four wins in 2014.

—0-4 wins, $15—I think with the improved personnel, particularly on defense, it would take some awful luck and/or a rash of key injuries for the Redskins to win four or fewer games. Some changes could be made if they take a step back.

—5-6 wins, $45—One or two more wins might not seem like much improvement but note that the Redskins were outscored by 8.6 points per game last year. That put them 29th in scoring margin. They could play quite a bit better and not have it show up in the wins column.

—7-9 wins, $35—To get to this level, somewhere near a break-even or winning record, I think they would have to get competent play out of Robert Griffin III (or Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy) and get some surprise seasons out of a few players. I’m talking about events like Matt Jones chipping in 500 rushing yards and eight interceptions out of Dashon Goldson. Getting some surprise career years like that is the key to a winning season.

—10 or more wins, $5—Maybe after seeing them in training camp I might take five or ten bucks from the lower win totals and move it here. But right now, double digit wins seems to be a bridge too far.


—It’s been 162 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 97 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 8; Redskins training camp starts 52; Preseason opener @ Browns 67

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. sidepull - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:43 AM

    To me, it depends on the play at QB. Even if you total the wins from the past two seasons we are at a deficit. Its a big hole to climb out of yet in todays NFL who knows. Generally the odds makers that set the lines are who knows. I am going to be conservative and take what the current line of thinking is, growing pains in store, but they will get there, just not this year. Be nice to see them prove otherwise.HTTR

    • Stephfan - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:49 AM

      It’s not only the qb because it isn’t going to help if say rg puts up 21 points but the defense can’t stop the other team from scoring. The whole team has to play better, everyone not just the quarterback

      • renhoekk2 - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:34 AM

        Yes the QB can play well and the team can still lose. Even Rodgers and Brady lose games. But it’s virtually impossible for the QB to play poorly and have the team still win. If Griffin is playing poorly the team has no chance.

        • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:51 AM

          Really? Totally not true. Teams have won super bowls and gotten to Super Bowls with average or bad qbs. It’s totally possible for the QB to be just ok – which is how Griffin & Cousins have been the past two years – and get far in the playoffs if the defense is great and the running game is great.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    Thanks Rich! Slightly different take here. Last year had our defense prevented 7 points from being scored per game we would have picked up 3 Ws last year to make a 7-9 season.

    So with no improvement on offense, and tightening defense to prevent less, we are close to a winning season.

    With the complete rebuild of our defense I think we have accomplished that.

    Then throw in the offensive line enhancements and the dual headed running minster we created – I give offense another win or 2 maybe.

    That puts us at 8-8 or 9-7 for the season.

    Even with our inconsistent QB play I see a winning season possible with all of the other offseason enhancements.

    If we have radical improvement out of QB… Sky’s the limit.

    • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:42 AM

      I agree. I’ll add running the ball also. If we play better defense, better special teams and commit more to the running game, the Redskins will win 7 to 9 games. We can’t have Gruden going pass happy and thinking any of the three qbs he has is going to lead the team to a winning season just through passing alone. The Redskins have to run the ball more and more effectively. If they do that, they can effectively use the play action pass, it will keep the defense fresh and the entire team will play better.

    • Skulb - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:07 AM

      Agreed. But you don`t know that the offensive line has been upgraded. That still remains to be seen. I agree that the defensive line has been upgraded. But then the line wasn`t really the main problem last year. The secondary was, and that still looks wobbly to me. I know the NFL ranked the Redskins secondary as league bottom 5 level, as the only team part. Not even QBs ranked as low as that even with all the nonsense last year.
      For some reason people seem to forget that the secondary exists though.

      • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:17 AM

        Scherff is an upgrade over Polumbus,
        Compton and Moses, so yes, the OL has been improved.

        Maybe the OL isn’t improved to the point where it’s the Cowboys OL with 4 pro bowl caliber players but, the OL will be a lot better than it was the past two years, even if it’s only at the RT position.

        • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:23 AM

          Spencer Long is also bigger and stronger than Chester. So, that should be an improvement in both the running game and as a wall at the line of scrimmage in pass protection.

          The secondary was a large problem last year but so was the pass rush. The redskins defensive line in 2012-2014 got no pressure or push up front.

          The new DL should get more of a push and pressure, which will in turn help the secondary.

          Chris Culiver will be an upgrade over what Amerson gave up. Amerson and Breeland should be improved in their 2nd & 3rd years.

          Then, Goldson, Ihenacho, Johnson won’t blow anyone away but they are a far better top 3 safety group than what the Redskins have had since 2011.

        • Skulb - Jun 8, 2015 at 10:03 AM

          But Scherff hasn`t played a snap yet!

        • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 10:15 AM

          Yes, but do you honesty not believe that he won’t be better than the RTs we’ve have the past 4 years on day 1?

          I mean come on. I understand being skeptical, and the wait and see approach but let’s be realistic and honest here.

          Both Long and Scherff will be better than Chester, Compton, Moses and Polumbus day one.

          I don’t see how there is any debate on that other than we haven’t see it. Size wise, strength wise and talent wise both Long & Scherff will better.

        • Skulb - Jun 8, 2015 at 11:41 AM

          Yes but the argument was winning season because of Scherff when he hasn`t played a single pro snap. It`s premature. Best case he`s instant pro bowl. Worst case growing pains for a season even if not bust. There`s just no way of telling.

      • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:26 AM

        Hall will be back also, having Culiver, Hall, Breeland and Amerson as our top 4 corners is better than this team has had since I can remember.

        Seriously, I’d have to go back to the 91-92 super bowl team or the 87-88 Super Bowl team to find a Redskins corner group that was better.

        • Skulb - Jun 8, 2015 at 10:02 AM

          On paper maybe. But there are questions about all four of them. Culliver has been uneven, Hall has just torn his achilles twice, Breeland has a high ceiling but is uneven and Amerson was a paragon of mediocrity last season. Anyway NFL ranked them bottom 5, not me. It seems fairly obvious to me that a secondary ranked bottom 5 by the NFL is not the best secondary the Redskins has had since 87-88.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 9, 2015 at 7:17 AM

      That’s is a very, very optimistic way of looking at it. Yeah, our defense got better, but we’re not the only team in the league to get better. Plus it’s hard to look at a score and say, “if d could only hold back 7 more points,” because had last year’s D done that, we still may have lost. Our opponents would have been in different situations, and called different plays. They may have still ended up winning. You just never know

  3. Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    The NFL Washington football team had a great chance of winning. I won’t use the duragatory team name. I think rg3 is the man and has a great chance of winning. It’s good to see my people at qb! Black is back!

    • colorofmyskinz - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:01 AM

      Hey Black, you take Super Bowl just on starting RGIII?

      • Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:05 AM

        Washington football team headed to Super Bowl! Our improved line and dual backfield threat. Along with modified defensive line and worst back stabbing source leak defensive coach in history or our organizAtion finally canned. Thanks for calling him out brother fletcher. U saved the team with ur ESPN rant last year! Thanksy brother

        • Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:12 AM

          Snyder finally caught and fired the mole in the organization. I notice there isn’t “sources say” leaks every weak now he’s fired. The worm finally got caught. Thanks for standing up for the Washington football team brother fletcher. I bet haz getting fired out a lot of reporters out of biz not having a source anymore!!

        • colorofmyskinz - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:13 AM

          Let me guess… Just on name change alone we go 16-0? REDSKINS will never die!

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      You sure don’t sound like you are Color Blind. What kind of Fake Fan are you that think the Name is used in a derogatory way.

      • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:35 AM

        What weird comments, “black is back?” Who says that? Lol

      • Trey Gregory - Jun 9, 2015 at 7:20 AM

        Did you really have to bring this up?

        And real fans can think we should change the name. Everybody is allowed to have their own opinion, even if it doesn’t align to yours.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      color blind you are not! It’s clear based on historical fact that Redskins was a name created by Native Americans and most likely to provide a representation of all Native American tribes. While Indian was created by a white guy who mistreated many races thinking he landed in East Indies. So which reference to Native Americans is truly racist?

      • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:02 PM

        Yes, they used the term Red skin. They used it in a different context than what the white men who slaughtered them used it though.

        A Native American would say, I am of Red skin, you are white skin when talking to the Europeans who were fighting them for their land.

        The white man used the term redskin in a derogatory way. That’s a historical fact. It’s also a fact the term stopped being used in the early part of last century just as the N-word stopped being used because each race found them offensive.

        I mean, white men – such as myself – used to use the term to describe scalps of native Americans they had killed while the USA was a colony, and from 1776 until the 1930’s or so.

        The only way the term redskins is used in today’s society is for a football team and a potato.

        • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:25 PM

          “Redskin” is a slang term for Native Americans defined in current dictionaries of American English as offensive,[1] disparaging,[2][3] insulting,[4] and taboo.[5]

          The origin of the term however is debated, in particular whether the use of “red” referred to skin color or the use of pigments by certain tribes, and also whether the term was applied to natives by Europeans or came from language natives used to refer to themselves. Whatever its origins in the colonial period, many argue that “redskin” underwent a process of pejoration due to the increasingly disparaging use of the term though the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an association with the practice of paying bounties for killing Native Americans.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:47 PM

          “I mean, white men – such as myself – used to use the term to describe scalps of native Americans they had killed while the USA was a colony, and from 1776 until the 1930’s or so.”
          Actually when researched you can find little or no direct reference of scalped heads with the usage of Redskin. There are terms like “I scalped me a redskin” but the term redskin was in reference to the native american and not a scalped head. This is falsely exploited by a few activists today but again has little or no written evidence.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:32 PM

          That proves nothing about your suggestion it was used as a term for scalped head. You are just incorrect about that. You could also state the same thing about the term Indian.

          “A third controversial etymological claim is that the term emerged from the practice of paying a bounty for Indians, and that “redskin” refers to the bloody, red scalp of a Native American. “

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:48 PM

          abanig to clarify my last comment: Ones may Argue such a notion but historical writings just don’t support the association. There is scant if any historical writings that support any usage of the term redskins for scalping. I never was taught that nor was did I ever read a book suggesting this. Amanda Blackhorse drummed up this claim to her own activists desires. However, she has only been able to reference one derogatory article to support it and Ives Goddard easily debunked that charge. I don’t deny Redskins had taken on a more pejorative meaning for many. However, many claims about the term Redskins are about a factual as my Grandfather’s fish stories.

        • bangkokben - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:55 PM

          “They used it in a different context than what the white men who slaughtered them used it though.”

          The same could be said about any people (group) that was in enmity with any other people. The English, the Scottish, the Vietnamese, Chinese, etc. The term most used disparagingly was: savages. Therefore using Redskin which was originally how particular native tribes identified the collective of native tribes would be equivalent to the ‘bleeping’ English, French, etc. Any group that is opposition can be said with a sneer. Cowboys. I just said that disparagingly. You’ll have to take my word for it.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:00 PM

          That’s true Bank so let’s also ban the name Joe since the Koreans once used it in a controversial way to refer to Americans :)

      • bangkokben - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:04 PM

        Those are solid points that fall on the deaf ears of a society that thins history only consists of the last 50-75 years.

        • bangkokben - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:19 PM

          So what? I’m not claiming that the team name was claiming to be honoring to a coach. Give me evidence that in the 1930s the term was still used as a slur and was across the board a slur. The term was used as a slur but not as its original meaning – just as some have demeaned other words – and never was it even close to the N word. Revisionist history comparable to the mythical naming of the team.

        • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:22 PM

          It’s common knowledge if you read and know american history.

        • bangkokben - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:38 PM

          Words take on new meanings and lose meanings all the time. Look at the word gay and how it has changed in the last 100 years from merry, to homosexual, to a derogatory use for lame. (All still in use.) Insisting that Redskin must mean what it meant for a small percentage of the population over a hundred years ago for what only consists of a span of two generations is purely political. Until the majority of Native Americans have a problem with it, I don’t. So, now we have the educate the original Americans movement to demonize a word so that we can be enlightened.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:34 PM

          abanig, the word Redskin did not become defined as a slang in Webster Dictionary until 1983.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:59 PM

        That’s true Bank so let’s also ban the name Joe since the Koreans used that is a controversial way to refer to Americans :)

      • Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:32 PM

        I really am. My doctor said. I only see in black and white

    • skinsgame - Jun 8, 2015 at 11:33 PM

      “…my people..” What does that mean?

    • Skulb - Jun 9, 2015 at 2:29 AM

      You shouldn`t be so obsessed with words and who gets offended by them. In the USA you might get thrown in a dungeon for using the word “negro” which is just the Latin word for “black”, an everyday word in several languages including Spanish. Only in the USA could this even be considered offensive to anyone. If people just spent half the time they spend being offended actually finding out what words actually mean and where they come from we could save ourselves a lot of hassle. As for the American Indians I`m pretty sure most of them care significantly less about being called a “redskin”, even if it is derogatory, than being nearly exterminated by European settlers. Just like I`m sure most black people are less concerned about being called “negroes” than about their ancestors being crammed on boats and sold as slaves in Virginia. It`s just words. They only hurt you if you let them. So don`t let them.

      PS: “Native” means you`ve been born somewhere. Everyone in the USA who was born there is a native American. That`s why I don`t use this silly, PC term. Russell Means (RIP), the most notable American Indian leader over the last several decades, preferred ” American Indians”. If it`s good enough for him it`s good enough for me.

  4. abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    I say it’s s 50/50 proposition, but using Rich’s method I’ll go with the $35.

    I think they’ll end up in the 7 to 9 win range.

  5. mr.moneylover - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    They can have a winning season only if everybody gets on the same page….last year players was on the field that really didnt know what they was doing…I seen both LBs rush the QB when one was suppose to cover the tight end and a tight end scored a wide open touchdown….its all mental with these guys if you know what u supposed to do then your job becomes easy and you win games if you dont pick up your playbook and you don’t know what to do then its can be a long bad season…its more who gonna do they job or who is just here for the money

  6. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    I think it all comes down to the Offensive Line Play and Play Calling. When given time RG3 has shown he can put up points in Bunches, But if the Play Calling is Predictable like last year ( drop back after dropback after dropback ) then we won’t get far. The Coach needs to mic it up more and quit being predictable. Call some bootlegs, play action, shotgun, pistol, read option, AND RUN THE BALL!!!! If these things happen we could be looking at another Division Title. If not we will be in the Basement again and Gruden will be gone.

    • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      100% agree. It’s all about keeping the defense off balanced with good playcalling, running the ball more and more effectively and playing solid defense and special teams.

      If Gruden calls the plays like the bootlegs and gets Griffin on the move and throwing on the move more, and doing play action off of our successful running game, the offense will be great again.

      • bangkokben - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:11 PM

        Look. If the team executes what is called and it fails then we can gripe about the play calling. Until then, players need to do their job. Does anyone really think the coach is calling plays to deliberately show up the players on the team? Learn the playbook and do what the coach calls whether he be named Gruden, Shanahan, Zorn, or Gibbs.

        • skinsgame - Jun 8, 2015 at 11:34 PM


        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jun 9, 2015 at 12:00 AM

          Its a little predictable to call drop backs on damn near every play. Why do you think RG3 was blitzed so much. Because they knew most of the time Gruden will call a drop back and the Oline can’t pass block. Ranked 31st in pass blocking

        • bangkokben - Jun 9, 2015 at 4:48 PM

          Predictable or not, you still have to execute – which we didn’t. The ’82-’83 Redskins were very predictable but they executed.

  7. Stephfan - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    The whole team must improve

  8. renhoekk2 - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    I’m at 7-9. I figure the improved defense is worth 1-2 wins. The overall roster improvements maybe another W. And the fact that they can’t possibly roll out the 3QB clown show for another season. They need to limit it to 2 QB and hopefully just 1. That has to help the win column a little.

    • Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 8, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      It all seriousness I think 7 -9. To. 9 – 7. Will take time for chemistry to develope. That’s bases off rg3 being same as he had been last two years. Mediocre. If he actually plays good again with a better team behind him I think playoffs. Hail to the redskins!

      • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 10:42 AM

        If Griffin plays all of 2015 as he played against the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys in the last 3 games of 2015, or better – which should be expected in his second year in Gruden’s offense – the Redskins should challenge for the division.

        In those games his averages were: 67% comp., 264 yds, 8.8 ypc, 1 td, 1 int, 89 rtg

        • gonavybeatarmy - Jun 8, 2015 at 11:22 AM

          Interesting information on how Griffin played statistically in his final three division games. Thanks

  9. gonavybeatarmy - Jun 8, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    It’s very hard to see a scenario under which the Skins win 7 or more games. So, the under 6.5 would seem an appropriate wager, if you’re into that kind of thing.

    They have a few nice pieces and are beginning to add depth. Most importantly, they finally have a real personnel man pulling the trigger. But, this team’s QB situation seems to be a mess, and the head coach seems either lazy and/or over his head and not a great leader.

    We fans may have to endure a few more 2-5 win seasons before the team is consistently competitive. And that may mean a new QB and head coach are at the helm when that time arrives.

  10. veryoldschool - Jun 8, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    I think 4-5 wins are the most likely. I expect modest improvement on the OL and a slightly better running game and the defense will also be better with what I expect will be an improved secondary. I think improvements in these units will help the Redskins but Robert Griffin is still the weak link that will prevent a .500 season, I just don’t expect Griffin to progress much this season over the last couple because I don’t think he has enough spatial memory and reasoning to process fast enough to run a pro offense.

    I would love for Griffin to prove me wrong but after watching how clueless he is out there the last couple of years I just don’t see the Skins succeeding with him. Maybe they’ll run some RO option this season to try to steal a couple more wins with Griffin’s legs and that might help until Griffin gets laid out again. If Gruden was allowed to compete the job and start the season with McCoy or Cousins rather than Griffin than 7-8 wins might be possible but unfortunately Snyder is still trying to prove he wasn’t a putz for spending 3 first round and 1 second round pick for Griffin.

  11. redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Well the defense has received facelift during the off season while the offense should improve on the line. The biggest question about winning games is can we start a successful QB? I’m not sure any of our current Redskin QB can be successful under Gruden’s offense. As a matter of fact below are the numbers on Gruden’s offense since he was hired as OC at Cincinnati:

    2010 13th Passing – 27th rushing
    2011 20th Passing – 19th rushing
    2012 17th Passing – 18th rushing
    2013 8th Passing – 18th rushing
    2014 11th Passing – 19th rushing

    btw – Our Redskins were in 2013
    6th Passing – 5th Rushing*
    *This was during a chaotic season where the Shanahan’s knew would be their last as a Redskins.

    So I’m never understood why Gruden was ever selected as our head coach. I know statistics are tricky but those numbers as a OC running an offense don’t reflect one that would normally be hired to run a whole team.

    With all that said, I think the money on a winning season is closer to a single drachma.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 8, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      A few corrections:

      2014 11th Passing – 19th rushing*
      *Gruden as coach of the Redskins

      btw – Our Redskins were in 2013
      16th Passing – 5th Rushing*

    • abanig - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:07 PM

      Two reasons:

      1. He helped make Andy Dalton into an above average QB in the nfl

      2. Bruce Allen

  12. Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    I think a lot of future success has to do with rg2 and rg4. Does rg2 let the coach call plays that made him successful his whole life? Or does he have to be rg4. The converted running qb now dropback passer like Brady. And had he learned and adapted to that style. Does rg3 or rg4.0 come out of the gate on opening day?

  13. Tom - Jun 8, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    I’ll go with 5-6 wins. Cousins will be 2016 QB and Callahan the new head coach.

  14. Skulb - Jun 8, 2015 at 9:53 PM

    I`d give the Redskins a 25% chance of a winning season. Anything could happen. Indeed the roster last year had the talent and the physical attributes needed to do much better than they did. Similarly the current roster has the chance of doing much worse than people are hoping. Some things need to happen for a winning season:

    1: Offensive cohesion and consistency. From the QB certainly but also from blockers and tackles. I`d take fewer individualists and more team players on this offense any day.

    2: A tighter secondary and better run defense. As demonstrated in last year`s game at Philly, it doesn`t matter how well the offense does if the secondary gets burned constantly on long plays and you give up multiple 15+ yard runs in every quarter.

    3: Better coaching. On both sides of the ball people looked lost at times in 2014. I`m no expert but I`m gonna pin that on poor coaching and preparation. It`s the coaches` job to get the players ready for games and then to get the most out of them once it starts.

  15. hitmeimopen - Jun 9, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    I, like every other skins fan would love to jump carelessly onto this bandwagon that’s already rolling – but – does anyone even mention the fact that the teams we are projecting ourselves to beat this year haven’t just been sitting around waiting for the Skins to get better? Do you think that, say, the Eagles won’t have a rookie or free agent that won’t explode for 2 TDs against us? You can’t project the Skins in a vacuum – it never works that way. The league is fluid because all teams do what the Skins are doing – getting better. Yeah, I know – our D will stop teams and our O will only need to not turn the ball over. That is a good prognosis, but don’t think that our success will simply be measured that way. We will need some pure dumb luck and hope our rivals fall below expectations in order to make any kind of splash this year. But having said that, I hope the planets align. Archives

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