I must say it is fun to parlay my love for NFL preview magazines into a Washington Redskins-centric breakdown. Even though I typically anticipate their projections won’t be very good, especially by national media, I never really know where they’ll end up. Feel free to enjoy my 2014 and 2015 breakdowns.
The Redskins surprised just about everyone by winning the NFC East in 2015 under Scot McCloughan’s first year as the team’s general manager with a record-breaking season by quarterback Kirk Cousins, an infusion of young talent and gritty, low-cost veteran additions over the course of the season.
The burgundy and gold’s first division title since 2012 was followed up by an offseason primarily spent acquiring top special teams contributors and reserve players. That was until cornerback Josh Norman became available in late April to the surprise of just about everyone throughout the league. Pairing Norman with third-year corner Bashaud Breeland should help cushion the loss of defensive tackle Terrance Knighton up front. The team also rid itself of 2012 stalwarts Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris.
Washington is looking to post its first string of consecutive winning seasons since 1996 (9-7) and 1997 (8-7-1) and its first run of back-to-back playoff appearances since going to the postseason from 1990 to 1992. The team also hasn’t won consecutive division titles since winning three straight from 1982 to 1984.
This breakdown was a hit with readers last year so I’ll continue it again this year.
The Washington Redskins are attempting to start fresh under new general manager Scot McCloughan, who has brought a different attitude and scouting perspective after stints with successful franchises like the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
The team isn’t expected to improve on it’s record from the last two seasons (3-13 in 2013 and 4-12 in 2014) much, if at all, but under McCloughan’s guidance, the quality of the roster appears to be on the upswing.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve obtained NFL preview magazines every year to break down rosters, analyze team pickups, look over league-wide predictions, and on top of it all, see how the Redskins stacked up against the rest of the league and the NFC East.
That obsession of buying these magazines continues to this day, with fewer to choose from than in years past but just enough to get me ready for training camp in the doldrums of the sports calendar.
The top paperbound prognosticators remaining are Lindy’s, Athlon and Sporting News.
Let’s take a look at how they predicted the Redskins to finish in the NFC East this season. Spoiler alert: It’s not first. Or second. Or third. (more…)