Sep 12, 2015, 5:03 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 12, one day before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Miami Dolphins.
Five bold predictions about the 2015 Redskins
Note: These may contradict some other things I have predicted in other posts because I wasn’t in “bold” mode at the time. By the nature of “bold” the chances of these things happening are slim but I do see them as in the realm of possibility.
The Redskins will start the season 3-0—They will be underdogs against the Dolphins and Giants and perhaps a pick ‘em at home against the Rams. But while Miami and St. Louis have tough defenses neither has an offense that will scare you. The Giants are the other side of the coin, with a potentially powerful offense and a suspect defense. If the Redskins manage to play clean football and avoid dumb penalties and turnovers, they have a punchers chance in all three games.
Alfred Morris will rush for 700 yards—I’m not completely convinced that Morris will be nearly as effective behind power blocking as he was behind the zone-blocking scheme. He will still start all 16 games but if he is spinning his wheels, Gruden will start to sub in Matt Jones and maybe even Chris Thompson earlier and more often. The team is going to rely too much on the running game to keep giving the ball to an ineffective runner.
Kirk Cousins will start all 16 games—If he can beat the turnover problems that plagued him last year there could be no reason to turn to either Colt McCoy or Robert Griffin III. Outside of the interceptions his numbers projected over a 16-game season were very good, as in top 10 in many major stat categories good. He never missed a game due to injury and that combined with his ability to avoid getting hit in the pocket he should stay healthy enough to go the distance.
The Redskins special teams won’t improve much if at all—You don’t essentially rip special teams players and leaders like Niles Paul, Adam Hayward, and Logan Paulsen out of the lineup for the season and even break even in performance, much less improve. Maybe young players like Kyshoen Jarrett and Martrell Spaight can pick up the slack and I think Jamison Crowder could provide some long-missing excitement in the return game. But missing the veteran stalwarts they will be doing well to tread water from their poor performance in 2014.
Preston Smith will be the defensive rookie of the year—This is the longest shot on the board here but it could happen. For one thing, he plays a position that generates stats in the form of sacks so that gives him a chance. Assuming he starts and/or gets up to playing 70 percent or more of the snaps, he could benefit from the added attention that Ryan Kerrigan will get. If he can get up to 10 that might be enough to earn the rookie honors if nobody else blows up.
What are your bold 2015 predictions? Let me know in the comments!
—Today’s schedule: No availability
—It’s been 258 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 1 day until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Rams @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 12; Eagles @ Redskins 22
In case you missed it
- Griffin cleared
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- Facing Suh and Wake, young Skins’ O-line must grow up quickly
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- Redskins vs. Dolphins: Pros, cons, and a prediction
- Gruden says Griffin is ‘frustrated’ by demotion
- Fantasy Fix: DeSean is a go, but more value exists on Redskins
- Crowder, Grant could get extra opportunities vs. Dolphins
- Interceptions could derail Cousins’ comeback attempt
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