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

Jul 19, 2015, 5:36 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 19, 11 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Tarik El-Bashir and I did an over/under series last week. After looking at possibilities for Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, and other individuals, we looked at team success and, specifically, wins. The format didn’t allow us to go into much detail about the reasoning behind our picks so I want to expand on my thinking a little bit.

The line for wins was 6.5 and I took the under. As of right now I have them at six wins on the nose. But there are other possibilities, of course. I’m going to take the mythical $100 in casino chips and place them on the possible win totals for the 2015 Redskins.

0-3 wins, $15—I don’t see them sliding back in the wins column but with the organization’s recent track record it would be foolish to completely dismiss the possibility. If they don’t play well in home games against the Rams and Bucs in the first half of the season, this scenario could be in play.

4-5 wins, $30—This team was outscored by 137 points in 2014. They could show some very real improvement and not have it show up much in the wins column. If the Redskins are better but suffer from some bad breaks they could spin their wheels in terms of wins.

6-8 wins, $45—This just seems to be their zone this year. It will take some time for upgrade in talent on defense and revamped offensive line to gel but they should be able to pick up some wins against a fairly soft schedule early and score an upset or two in the tougher November and December portion of the schedule.

9+ wins, $10—I spent a while with the last $5 chip in my hand, deciding whether I should put it on the most pessimistic end or here. The team’s track record over the last six seasons was the deciding factor in putting the other fiver on 0-3 wins. But if the defense can get it together sooner rather than later and if Robert Griffin III can stay upright and perform competently, things could be looking up. But I think that a winning record is unlikely before 2016.


—Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was born on this day in 1988 (27 years old).

—It’s been 203 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 56 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 11; Preseason opener @ Browns 25; final cuts 48

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  1. james witherspoon - Jul 19, 2015 at 5:56 AM

    The skins need 50 days a camp darby fort benning georgia ranger training

    • Aguilar12BRAVO - Jul 20, 2015 at 12:07 AM

      Haha roger that!! Hooah

  2. sidepull - Jul 19, 2015 at 6:49 AM


  3. gonavybeatarmy - Jul 19, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    As one of those idiotic fools who still goes to Landover eight Sundays in September through December, I’d love to be wrong. But it’s very hard to objectively predict a winning season for the Skins- defined as nine+ wins- without first smoking some of Marion Barry’s (God rest his soul) drug of choice. Over the long haul Las Vegas is right a lot more than it is wrong, and so to get to a winning season the Las Vegas oddsmakers would have to be way off (2.5 wins). McCloughan has had a fine offseason doing what he does- methodically, dispassionately upgrading talent. But he is not Jesus of Nazareth and Mcloughan’s way will take time. But his track record and reputation are so solid that he’ll eventually get the Skins back to consistent respectability if the majority owner gives him full autonomy over a number of years. But the Skins have been really bad- historically bad, in fact- over the last couple of seasons.

    -The Skins’ defense has given up more TDs the last two seasons combined (59) than any other NFL team.
    -In 2014, the Skins lost the majority of their games by double digits, and lost five games by 20+ points.
    -From 2008 to 2014, the Skins’ special teams has been awful, with the best ranking during that period of time according to Football Outsiders 21st overall. All other seasons during those seven years the team’s special teams were ranked in the bottom quartile.

    Here’s hoping they do the impossible and have a winning season. But it would probably take an extraordinary start to the season, something like winning the first three games.

    • hitmeimopen - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:57 AM

      Did Marion Barry pass away?

      • gonavybeatarmy - Jul 19, 2015 at 11:12 AM

        Just his earthly body. His spirit remains among us and hovers above RFK.

    • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:50 PM

      I couldn`t have said it better. I still feel somewhat optimistic with my 6-10 prediction here. And to be perfectly honest I`d even take another 4-12 as long as there`s improved play and cohesion on the field. The last two seasons have been really miserable. Still, hopefully they can surprise us in 2015. Maybe not winning season surprise us, but 8-8 would be kinda nice.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      Actually, Vegas needs to be right only about 51% of the time to make a ton of money.

    • berniebernard666 - Jul 20, 2015 at 12:47 AM

      although Scott M is not the Nazarene like you said, he may be closer to Vince Lombardi. This new offensive line on the Right side, along with Bill Callahan being brought in, really smacks of those old power sweeps in the Green Bay days. If we are to believe Scott M, no team will be tougher or more physical than the 2015 Redskins.

      And the good news on the Defensive side of the ball is that you can throw last years stats out the window. There really was no need to even bring it up. You just caused me painful memories. OUCH!! Jim Haslett is gone and Joe Barry will be much better. Its a fact, simply because nobody could be worse than Haslett. With 5-6 new starters and all of them are BETTER players than we had last season, coupled with a more aggressive scheme, in my opinion we are going to have a top 10 rushing defense and maybe even!! tops 5.

      And the special teams will be better. Well…actually they better be better or Ben Kotwika should be fired after the team has spent TWO offseasons making special teams players a priority. Time to produce for Mr. Ben or he can get outta town. I take the OVER on that 6.5 odds projections. 7-9 WITH A MEDIOCRE GRIFFIN but if RG3 is better than expected this team could blindside everybody and finish 11-5. (not putting money on it though)

  4. warpath1 - Jul 19, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Right now their chances are the same as all of the other teams. 100 percent. The first few games will determine weather the team will play with a positive mentality or implode like recent years. Attitude and determination and cohesiveness will compensate for our talent deficiencies. HTTR

  5. mr.moneylover - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:08 AM

    Right now ill say its 50/50 right now but if they come out that first week playing the way they did on week 1 against the texans last year then it will be another miserable season…who couldn’t tell we would have a bad season after that game…I guess we just gotta wait and see how they come out against the dolphins week 1 ….will they look unprepared??? Will they make plays and feed off one another??? Will jay gruden play calling be better ??? Will we see rg3 run more play action ??? Will we see more read option this year ???We all just dont know its alot of questions to be answered

  6. mr.moneylover - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    Ill go 8-8 if some of the problems fixed….ill go 10-6 if all the problems fix and if they stay hungary

  7. Chris Robinson - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    10-1 this season

  8. bangkokben - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Seven or higher. Soft as tissue schedule gives us a chance at respectability. Once again it will come down to the division games. Could be 7-9 and still 4th place in NFC East. I got us finishing 3rd and wishing this was the year they expanded the playoffs..

  9. colorofmyskinz - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    If we have QB controversy I say 6 wins. I give us more wins than last year, with the last years QB controversy, because of defense improvement.

    If we have special teams improvement with someone new kicking off that adds 1-2 more games.

    If offensive line is upgraded as we hope with Callahan and new talent with a true gel, that is worth 1-2 more, so 8-10.

    If RGIII shows up with these other improvements, we are 10+ easy.

    • colorofmyskinz - Jul 19, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      So improvements over last years 4 wins: defense worth 2, special teams 1-2, Oline 1-2, QB 2+.

      Of all of these I am confident defense is a 2 game improvement, if we stick with Kai kickoffs, little improvement, oline for sure worth 1, QB who knows. So I see 6-7 wins in the bag just on defense and Oline improvement where I am confident in those. Others are up in the air.

      • colorofmyskinz - Jul 19, 2015 at 10:01 AM

        For the record, I am not impressed with Kotwica at all. I saw zero improvement with him last year.

        • Jimmy kubas - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:39 PM

          I agree .. i think our record will improve at least 4-5 games with the additions on defense.AND if RG3 Gets his swag back.coming in as a rookie he had the whole city saying he’s the skins savior…talk about pressure …but he was not phased..had one of the best seasons in nfl history as a rookie.but he’s lost dat…idk if it was the injuries or if he actually lost d swag…but if he’s got his swag back…i think were in for a big turnaround in 15. Imo… HTTR!!!

    • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Btw 8-10 is two more games than they are scheduled to play. I take it you meant 8-8.

      • bangkokben - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:08 PM

        I’m thinking that is a range of wins. For someone who likes to post a lot, I think color only reads his own comments.

      • Darren - Jul 19, 2015 at 4:56 PM

        He ment wins

  10. hk2000 - Jul 19, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    If the coach gets it, 8+ wins, if he is stubborn or just incapable of better game planning, then 4 wins is a reach. So with the same $100 chips, I’d go 40 on 0-3, 35 on 10+, 10 on 4-5, 10 on 6-7 and 5 on 7-9

  11. shermanp79 - Jul 19, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    The only way they fall into that 0-3 range is if the RG3 saga begins and things go really bad. The D will be better, if we could just get decent play from a QB, our win total should jump a couple of games, closer to 500. The OL should improve with the running game. I think $15 is too high. I believe Gruden will be better and with Scott we take steps in the right direction. It may be Cousins at QB if RG3 doesn’t show improvement. No way can Gruden be pushed to start someone who doesn’t win the job. That is how a mess will begin. The players will see it, guys need to earn positions. Obviously if they aren’t the right guys then we need to make changes for next year. This team still needs plenty more talent.
    One thing Gruden needs to do is keep the distraction to a min but we know the media will stir things up if any rumblings start. We need guys to focus on themselves getting better and learning the system. This coaching staff has some really good people with experience, putting good or even great units together. I know many get on Gruden but I feel he WILL turn this team around. It’s just not going to happen overnight with all that needs to be fixed. We need one message and the organization focused in the same direction. That incudes stability, give a HC 3 years, then see were we are. We don’t need a new guy, different ideas, starting over right now. If we can win a few more games, be better in DEC than SEPT, that is progress and I would be happy.

    • mr.moneylover - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:03 PM

      It wont be just rg3 fault if the offense fail again wide receivers struggle to get open at times we had a bad O-line alfred Morris could nt run block to save his life and our tight ends couldnt block either….rg3 just gotta trust his O-line to block and he will make the plays the only O-linemen he trust since coming into the NFL is trent Williams last year he was scared to step up in the pocket because he was scared he was gonna get sack this off-season I hear hes better at steppin up in the pocket while keeping his eyes down field….we cant judge rg3 the pass two season really because there was BIG problems around him and they still is a problem until we see if spencer long Brandon S. Can fix that side of the O-line…then you play a WR like andre roberts who drop wide open passes because he scared to get hit that will not help your QB confidents…its up to the ppl around rg3 to help him get his confidence back

      • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:58 PM

        If it was any other QB people would be saying that the reverse is true and that the QB needs to help the people around him play better. You know, like RGIII did in 2012. We`re not talking about everybody else. We`re talking about RGIII. he needs to do his job adequately given the circumstances he finds himself in, and not whine and moan that things aren`t perfect. Things are never going to be perfect and he needs to deal with that and make the best of things. He has to play better. other people also have to play better but that has nothing to do with RGIII. Last season he wasn`t able to do his job. And that needs to change this year, cruel or not. If it doesn`t he might have trouble finding a QB job next season.

        • bangkokben - Jul 19, 2015 at 2:46 PM

          I can’t argue with much of what you said. Where I disagree is Griffin having trouble finding a job next year. Chip Kelly or Jerry Jones would snatch him up before you can say: “Robert Griffin The Third.” Jones would convince Griffin to ‘wait and learn’ from Romo and Kelly would take him if Bradford fails. There may be other teams that would build a Griffin style offense around him and if he fails it would be a heck of a lot cheaper than $16M.

        • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM

          Well that`s true I guess. I`m just a little tired of the trend here to judge everyone based on their individual performances except RGIII who needs to be judged based solely on other people`s performances. It seems neither fair or reasonable to me.

        • bangkokben - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:19 PM

          I hear you. I’m a Griffin supporter but I find it intellectually dishonest when it’s the o-line or the coaching or the receiving or the defense or the special teams. Sure all of these are issues and they have given Griffin less margin for error but it doesn’t mean he didn’t struggle from both within and outside of the pocket last year. This is why I scoff at the notion that team goes as the QB goes. Sure I’d agree with that for the last three years but not this year. It might even be true next year if all of the other areas of the team are indeed improved. Griffin was able to carry the offense in 2012 but the defense created turnovers, if they didn’t the team doesn’t go 10-6 but more like 8-8. Minimize turnovers on offense and generate turnovers on defense. Simply stratagem; difficult to execute.

        • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:42 PM

          Oh boy the turnovers. It was just so bad last year I try not to think about it. It`s a slight simplification but you can almost rank all the NFL teams without seeing team names just by sorting them after TO ratio.
          But it`s also sack ratio and TTP from snap on passing plays. Griffin might not be able to do anything about defensive TOs but he can cut down on sacks and improve his TTP. Or rather cut down on sacks by improving his TTP . That`s all I`m asking here. And that`s not the o-line`s job. It`s not even Alfred Morris` job.

        • abanig - Jul 19, 2015 at 6:36 PM

          Yeah, I don’t see Griffin being unemployed if this is last year in DC.

          Someone will run an offense with more bootlegs and more movement of the pocket that Griffin will excel at somewhere.

        • bangkokben - Jul 19, 2015 at 7:03 PM

          As horrible as the Tampa game was, many seem to think that that game shows his ceiling rather than his floor. He was dynamic against Jacksonville before getting hurt (on a bootleg, btw) and look how long Michael Vick has lasted. He’s got talent. Either someone has to invest time in that talent – where he doesn’t has to be the savior of the franchise – or like you said design a Robert system. It’s not like 2012 was the only system that would work for Griffin. Baylor uses a lot of spread. You don’t think Belicheck couldn’t find a use for him as the heir to Brady? As much as Kevin Sheehan and folks like him wonder if this is Griffin’s last year, there is way too much ego in the coaching community that thinks they can get the talent out of Griffin.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 19, 2015 at 4:22 PM

          First Off Bang is not a RG3 supporter. All I ever hear him saying is how bad RG3 is and how much better Cousins is. He is a Cousins supporter. Makes all kinds of excuses for Cousins and dismisses any stat that points to the Oline and play calling being bad regardless of how black and white they are. I would have more respect for him if he just came out and said he preferred Cousins and doesn’t like RG3. Because saying you are a supporter and the trashing and pining it mostly on him when there is all kinds of stats and film out there proving how bad the Oline is sounds like you just want to trash the guy without taking any of the criticism from your stance.

        • Skulb - Jul 20, 2015 at 1:53 AM

          Not at all. But you on the other hand insist that we judge RGIII only based on other people`s performances, as the exclusive member of the team due this extraordinary lenience. Everyone else you headline by throwing under the bus. But no St Robert.
          Frankly it`s pathetic. And As I`ve informed you time an again, the o-line was average, not bad. That`s what the statistics you are ignoring show.

        • abanig - Jul 20, 2015 at 12:16 PM

          The truth is hard for many redskins fans to accept.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 19, 2015 at 4:28 PM

          Truth be Told RG3 has the Most upside and talent but McCoy is the Most well rounded and with a supporting cast be pretty good. All The people That Support our QB are saying is that RG3 needs a better supporting Cast because the Oline is Horrible. NOBODY CAN SUCCEED WITH AN OLINE RANKED 31St IN PASS BLOCKING AND GETS YOUR RB HIT IN THE BACKFIELD TWICE AS MUCH AS THE NEXT GUY.

        • bangkokben - Jul 19, 2015 at 5:10 PM

          Tim once again you are a turkey. I hold Rg3 responsible for more of the TEAM’s sacks because he took most of them and at a higher rate than any other QB. I agree with you that Griffin has the most talent and am therefore his supporter but I call it how I see it. Unlike Skulb, I do not want Cousins starting a football game. I think like Abanig that he is much like Grossman however with one critical difference. He can’t get past his mistakes. Rex as bad as he was could go out there and take the next play like he didn’t make a mistake. As bad as Griffin was against Tampa – and he was historically bad – it was ONE game. It represents all his weaknesses and how Griffin looks without confidence but NOT how he is as a QB. Griffin has plenty of other tape out there that show some of the positive things he does. Cousin’s last half of a football game against Tennessee showed what Cousins looks like without confidence. Also NOT GOOD. It was the worst performance I had seen from a Redskin QB since John Beck – until Tampa. As for McCoy, NO! He simply doesn’t have an NFL arm. He’s fine as a back up but he cannot be your starter.

          I can speak for myself. Just because, I don’t see the o-line like you or your ilk doesn’t mean i don’t prefer Griffin. Have a nice day.

        • Skulb - Jul 20, 2015 at 5:59 PM

          To be pedantic what I have said is that I think Cousins should start if he`s the best QB. I thought, perhaps mistakenly, that he was when 2014 started. I still think his approach to the position is very good and I was disappointed both by him and for him when he failed so badly last year. If he had a starting job perhaps some of his issues could be worked through, He is far from the first noob QB to have an interception problem. But he never gets that chance in Washington so perhaps we`ll never know. At least not unless someone else takes an interest.

        • bangkokben - Jul 26, 2015 at 3:04 PM

          Apologies. Thanks for explaining. Fair position as well. As for his interception issue, I think that is far less a problem than his response to his interceptions. Tennessee was horrible. He had completely lost his confidence and was trying so hard not to turn the ball over he was taking zero chances. I’m sure he could work it out if given the chance but it will have to be somewhere else likely due to his contract. If Atlanta bounces back and Kyle gets a shot at a head coaching gig…

    • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      Gruden`s personnel changes certainly seem promising over the offseason. If it was too much for him last year he has some competent people to delegate to this year. Should help.

      • abanig - Jul 19, 2015 at 1:45 PM

        You mean Scott McCloughan’s offseason personnel right?

        • Skulb - Jul 19, 2015 at 1:59 PM

          Well yes but it`s still Gruden`s team right? That`s what I meant. He has more people to help him with the details this year and we should see some results from that. Just having a QB coach could be a game changer.

        • abanig - Jul 19, 2015 at 2:12 PM

          Oh yes, coaching additions. For sure Gruden tried to control the offense and qbs too much last season and that was an issue with the offense.

  12. abanig - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    I say $45, I give the redskins a 50/50 chance of having a winning record. None of the other teams in the division appear to be any better than they were last year and the redskins should have won a few more games – including the first eagles game if not for the returned kick off for a Td.

    The redskins have improved their team, particularly on defense, that should count for a few wins at the least.

  13. mr.moneylover - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    Alfred Morris just admitted to john keim espn writer hes not a elit running back he just a average Joe who work hard…I dont like what alfred Morris said…you should always try to become an elit running back….but I think even he know he couldn’t argue on the points john keim was making…his poor running average on third down , his poor run blocking skills and his poor catching skills…cant get mad at the truth when your numbers been going down year by year since 2012

    • hk2000 - Jul 19, 2015 at 7:51 PM

      Get over your hate for the guy- he’s the best we’ve had since John Riggins- especially considering what he is costing the team. And BTW, Alfred can have several 2000 yard seasons and still say he’s not elite- that’s his modesty and down to earth nature that you just don’t get!

    • dkat44 - Jul 23, 2015 at 4:54 PM

      I don’t understand why you continuously choose to bash Morris as if he is our biggest problem. I understand his decline in yardage but he still puts up 1000 yards. He needs to improve on blocking and receiving but he seems to be your biggest issue with this team. And now you criticize him on simply being humble in an interview?? Yet you continuously defend Griffin?? You choose to forget what he has and still does for this team but yet you choose to ignore Griffin’s poor extremely poor performances and lack of leadership. Ima say that is ridiculous!

  14. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 19, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    The Defense is much improved Talent wise. It still remains to be seen if the play calling on Defense is better. Special Teams is also improved talent wise. The real issue here is the Oline. This Oline got Morris Hit in the Backfield 77 times compared to the next highest RB 44 times hit in the backfield. Even though he was able to overcome the bad Blocking. That’s pretty significant . That and the Horrible PassBlocking (31st) A Lot is dependent on if their Oline is improved. There will be no Improvement in our record without better Oline Play.As They Say IT ALL STARTS UP FRONT.

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:21 PM

      If the Oline is improved and the play calling is a little better and get back to what we do best ( Run The Ball, Play Action, Bootlegs, Read Option, and some Pistol Formations) We will win the Division

  15. voice4thefans - Jul 19, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Chances of A winning season is Very GOOD

  16. sidepull - Jul 19, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    What are they going to do to keep Suh of RG3 right outta the gate? You are going to see Rg3 confident or brutally afraid of getting hit. It will be very apparent either way it goes. So goes three so goes the team. It is gong to be a huge year for him upside or down and out.

    • kenlinkins - Jul 19, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      Not just Suh! Every NFL team will be coming after RG3 again (just like last year) until the Redskins can prove it doesn’t pay. In 2014, it was money in the bank to for teams target RG3 on any kind of passing down.

      • hk2000 - Jul 19, 2015 at 7:55 PM

        And with Gruden, it was SO EASY to tell when these plays are coming!!!! Gruden was as transparent on the field as he was on the podium.

  17. kenlinkins - Jul 19, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    I see a ton of “If’s” in the remarks section (if the O-Line, If the QB, If the defense, If the DC, If the Special teams etc. etc.) so I would like to add another. If you think that the Redskins should have been 5-5 ( or even 6-4) after 10 games in 2014, then thinking that the Redskins could pull off 8 or 9 wins is not out of the question in 2015. IMO the new GM addressed the major problem from 2014 (i.e. no pass rush and very poor DB play) with Free Agents and used the draft to start to a rebuild of the over all talent in the pipe line. The problem I have to with calling for more than 6 wins in 2015 is how many things must come together for that outcome. At this point there is still way to many open questions that I can not get a good read on yet. Watching the preseason games will clear up just where the steak has been placed into the ground and just how much production should be gained by a normal rebuilding NFL team. But, we Redskins fan understand that NORMAL is not something we have seem a lot of lately. If forced to place a bet today I would say 6 wins knowing it wasn’t really based on anything I could prove at this point. I am really looking forward to this preseason as there is some much that could shock me (both good and bad).

  18. goback2rfk - Jul 19, 2015 at 11:14 PM

    5 – 11

  19. kevingreenway - Jul 20, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Slim and none. Archives

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