I will once again be covering the NFC East for Doc's Sports this NFL season, and the team that is projected to bring up the rear in this division is the Washington Redskins. Bovada has set their odds to win the NFC East at +1400, and their projected win total is set at 6.5 and trending downward with a -150 moneyline on the "under" against a +120 line on the "over"
The Redskins appeared to have turned the corner in 2012 when rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III led the team to a NFC East title with a record of 10-6, but a knee injury to the second overall pick of that draft in the playoffs that year may have changed the course of history for both the team and RG III's NFL career.
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Washington stumbled to 3-13 straight up the following season, and it only notched one extra victory last season at 4-12 SU. Betting on this team last season was almost as bad as its play on the field with a 5-11 record against the spread. The Redskins went 1-3 ATS in four games as favorites and 4-8 ATS in 12 games where they closed as underdogs.
2015 Overall Team Outlook
The Redskins' success (or continued failure) this season still hinges on the play of RG III. Much has been written about his future as the team's starting quarterback, but you do not take a player with the second overall pick of the draft and then walk away from the plan in just his fourth season in the league.
The fact that the team just picked up his $16 million option for the fifth year of his rookie contract pretty much confirms that he is still looked upon as the team's starter, so the big question is what to expect in 2015. Perhaps the addition of Jay Gruden as the team's head coach before the start of last season can actually work in RGIII's favor despite the rocky start between the two. Gruden is an offensive-minded coach that is not yet set in his ways, which was a major problem when Mike Shanahan was still at the helm.
The Redskins also added some depth to the offense through the draft with guards' Brandon Scherff and Arie Kouandjio, running back Matt Jones and wide receiver Jamison Crowder all being selected in the first four rounds. They used free agency to help bolster a defense that was ranked 30th in the NFL in points allowed (27.4). At the top of the list was the addition of defensive lineman Terrance Knighton from Denver. Washington also signed cornerback Chris Culliver from San Francisco.
The bottom line is that while the Redskins' overall roster may be somewhat improved from the last two seasons, there are still a number of holes that have yet to be filled. They lost linebacker Brain Orakpo and running back Roy Helu via free agency, which does not help the cause. Too much would have to go right for Washington for any kind of dramatic turnaround in 2015.
Along with the six games against the NFC East, Washington will be playing the entire AFC East and the NFC South. They will also have a home game against St. Louis and a road game against Chicago.
Looking at their SU 2-10 record the past two seasons in division play, I cannot see all that much improvement in 2015. I will give them three wins at the most, but realistically 2-4 would be a good effort. The Redskins could have their hands full against the improved AFC East, so a 0-4 run through that division is entirely possible. The NFC South is softer than most divisions out there, and they will play host to Tampa Bay, but it would be hard to expect anything better than a 2-2 mark against in this stretch of the schedule. Add in a win against the Rams and a loss to the Bears to round out the 16 games.
2015 Win Total Prediction
I would have to agree with the betting public when it comes to Washington's projected win total trending "under" 6.5 wins. Even if RG III does regain the form he showed as a rookie, there is not enough supporting talent on either side of the ball to take this total over six wins.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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