The Washington Redskins went 7-9 last year and then promptly lost there QB. If there start to the season hadn’t been so much of a tire fire on offense they probably would have made the playoffs. Alas they did not. Then Kirk Cousins left in free agency and the Redskins looked forward to the next chapter and built a pretty formidable offense. This team may not win a lot of games but they will be fun to watch in 2018.
So what did the Redskins do knowing they would lose Cousins? They reacted early, a move that you would not necessarily expect them to make and traded for Alex Smith. Say what you will about him, Smith is one of the winningest QB’s in recent history. He had his best year ever last year and though he may revert a bit in a new system he seems to be more ok with taking risks down the field now. Andy Reid turned him into a top ten QB and he still is, if not he’s just outside that top ten.
Smith will have a pretty decent receiving core to throw to. Adding Paul Richardson gives the Redskins a reliable target on the outside with a big frame. Josh Doctson broke out at the end of last year and if he continues to develop should be a major contributor in this offense. Not to mention you have one of the best receiving tight ends in Jordan Reed. Reed will be one of Smith’s favorite targets as all of his tight ends have always been. That duo could do serious damage up the middle of the field. Throw in Jamison Crowder and you can very quickly see how this Redskins team could legitimately be one of the best offenses in the NFC outside of the juggernauts. The receiving core doesn’t have household names but everyone on it is extremely dangerous.
Then you pair that passing game with an O line who when healthy is one of the best in the leauge and behind that you put Darius Guice. Guice was one of the most intriguing backs in the draft. A potential locker room weirdo but one of the most talented backs in the draft. Some had him as the number two in the draft behind Giants number two overall pick Saqoun Barkley. Rob Kelley is still also in the backfield along with Chris Thompson who was having his best year ever before breaking his leg in week 11. The backfield will be massively intriguing to figure out in the backfield but each one of these backs has their strengths. If Jay Gruden can maximize them it could be one of the most versatile backfields in the leauge. The Redskins offense is fascinating. On one hand it could be a complete disaster. On the other hand if Smith preforms and Guice pans out it could be one of the most fun to watch in the leauge.
The defense is surprisingly average though. Johnathan Allen who missed 11 games last year and is in his second year may be there best player on the line. However if fellow Crimson Tide teammate Da’Ron Payne pans out it could be one of the best run stopping lines in the NFC. Ryan Kerrigan is the most polished linebacker of the Redskins core which is also filled with un polished talent. If Ryan Anderson makes a jump in his third year that would help a seemingly average linebacking group. At the back DJ Swearinger emerged as a fantastic safety last year and will need to continue his growth. Also a point on Josh Norman, I get it he took a step back last year but don’t push your hot takes that he suddenly isn’t a good starting corner. Norman will bounce back in 2018 making this secondary potentially one of the best in the division.
The Redskins are an interesting case study. A team of no names who could very easily be an explosive offense paired with an average defense that could be very good. A lot will depend on coaching and how Alex smith plays, I’m counting on those things to happen. I am very excited to see this team in 2018.
Record Prediction: 9-7