2009-10 Washington Redskins Predictions
by Jay Horne - 8/15/2009
2008 Record: 8-8 (4-4 home, 4-4 away)
2008 Against the Spread: 6-8 (3-5 home, 3-3-2 away)
2008 Rankings: Offense 19th Overall (23rd pass, 8th rush) Defense 4th Overall (7th pass, 8th rush)
2009 Odds: 34-1 Super Bowl Odds, 13-1 NFC Championship Odds, 23-4 NFC East Odds, 8 Wins (O/U)
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The Washington Redskins got off to a solid start in 2008, holding a 6-2 record after the halfway point. The majority of NFL predictions forecasted the Redskins to contend in the NFC East and that appeared to be the case as they trailed the Giants by one game in the division. However, Jim Zorn's new offense was stopped in its tracks and the Redskins dropped six of their last eight games, falling out of playoff contention in the second half of the season.
The Washington offense scored just 13.8 points during the latter part of the season and that low output led to their demise. Jason Campbell appeared to lose confidence in the new West Coast Offense while Clinton Portis' rushing performance also experienced dramatic drops in the final weeks of the season. Despite a very stout defense all season, the Redskins failed to produce points, ranking in the bottom five scoring offenses in the league. However, there is hope that Zorn's second year implementing the new offense can provide more consistent results.
Despite having only a single 100-yard performance in the last nine games of the season, Portis still racked up 1,487 yards on the year, ranking fourth in the NFL. Portis' success will be an important factor to the Redskins offense this season. The offensive line has had its struggles and allowed 38 sacks in 2008 - this unit needs to improve to allow Portis to be more consistent. Santana Moss caught 79 passes for 1,044 yards and will again be a focal point of the air assault. However, it will be interesting to see how Jason Campbell can perform in the West Coast Offense. Campbell is not the ideal quarterback for that type of offense, but he has some talented wideouts to target down field. Again, if Portis can be successful on the ground, it will make it much easier on the passing game.
The Redskins defense was possibly the best in the league out of the teams that failed to make the playoffs in 2008. Washington ranked fourth in overall defense and they will likely be even better this season. The big reason is the $100 million deal that landed DT Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth has dominated the NFL up the middle over the past few years, including 8.5 sacks in 2008. The addition of the NFL's best defensive tackle should give defensive ends Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels the opportunity to have big seasons. The entire Redskins defensive front should be able to get to the quarterback more often after just 24 sacks last season. Washington also landed one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL Draft in rookie Brian Orakpo out of Texas. How quick Orakpo is able to contribute is unknown, but along with Haynesworth the Redskins may one of the brightest futures of any team among the defensive line.
Washington will face very similar issues to those that they did from last season. The Redskins defense will remain a big strength of the team and give them the ability to contend with anyone. Although when you play in the best division in the NFC, you must be more consistent on the offensive side of the ball. The Redskins could easily be one of the breakout teams in the conference if they can iron out some of the problems from last year. The offensive line could be the biggest tangible holding the team back. The offensive front is the key to their success this year. If they can protect Campbell and allow Portis room to run, this can be a very scary football team.
2009-10 Washington Redskins Predictions: The Redskins were just too inconsistent last year to expect any major changes to their record. Campbell is playing in the wrong offense and the offensive line will provide challenges. The defense should be very good, but again that can only do so much if the Redskins can not score points. Expect more of the same as Washington finishes around the equilibrium mark of 8-8, good enough for last place in the NFC East.
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