Sunday, July 26, 2009
2009 NFL PREVIEW- Washington Redskins
2008 RECORD: 8-8
(4th in NFC East)
HEAD COACH: Jim Zorn
Key Additions: DT Albert Haynesworth (FA/Titans) DE Renaldo Wynn (FA/Giants) WR Roydell Williams (FA)
Key Losses: DE Jason Taylor (FA/Dolphins) DE Ryan Boschetti (FA/Raiders) OL Justin Geisinger (FA/Panthers)
Offense: Quarterback Jason Campbell is an adequate fit for what the Redskins do. Campbell threw for 3,245 yards in 2008 and had 13 TD passes with just six interceptions, but the team needs the production to rise to compete in the NFC East.
Running back Clinton Portis is the mainstay on offense for Washington, evidenced by his numbers last year when he carried 342 times for 1,487 yards and nine TDs. Ladell Betts (206 yards rushing in limited playing time) is a decent backup and Campbell also ran for 258 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
Tight End Chris Cooley led the 'Skins in '08 with 83 catches for 849 yards, but had just one score. Santana Moss grabbed 79 passes for 1,044 yards and six TDs while Antwaan Randle-El had 53 catches and four touchdowns. The team needs a legitimate deep threat however, evidenced by the fact Moss led the team with a 13.2 yards per catch average.
The offensive line features center Casey Rabach, guards Derrick Dockery and Randy Thomas and tackles Chris Samuels and Stephon Heyer.
Defense: The team was fourth in total defense last season, allowing 289 yards per game with only 95 yards rushing per game allowed. The sack total was just 24 (which ranked 28th overall) and the Redskins compiled just 13 picks all season long as a result of the lack of pressure up front on opposing quarterbacks.
Enter Albert Haynesworth (free agent signee from Tennessee Titans) on the Defensive Line to help out in 2009.
The team can stop the run effectively, but they tend to get lit up through the air and that's where Haynesworth will help. Along with fellow DT Cornelius Griffith and defensive ends Phillip Daniels and Andre Carter, the Redskins should continue to shine up front against the run. Haynesworth had 8.5 sacks with Tennessee and that should help the pass rush in D.C. in '09.
The linebackers are London Fletcher, a cagey veteran who still has a lot of fire in him. Rocky McIntosh and Brian Orakpo also will start for the Redskins.
Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall are the cornerbacks and the safeites will be Chris Horton and LaRon Landry. Veteran Fred Smoot is always ready to step in should anyone falter.
OUTLOOK: The Redskins know they are in a strong division and to be competitive they must open the offense up and score more. Six of the teams eight wins in '08 saw them score 20 points or better. On the other hand, they had just one loss in eight total where they scored more than 20 points.
They also must improve in the "Red Zone" as they scored touchdowns just 48% of the time they were inside the opponents 20-yard line.
The defense is pretty solid against the run and Haynesworth (barring injury of course) will help bolster the defensive front four.
They need to shore up the secondary some as they allowed more than 200 yards per game last season and didn't get many takeaways either. Pressure on opposing quarterbacks in crucial in the NFL. If Washington can step it up in this area, they may surprise some people in '09.
Special teams are a concern as well for the team as kicker Shaun Suisham struggled last year with field goal accuracy, especially from beyond 40 yards. The Redskins also allowed two punt returns for touchdowns last year.
Look for the Redskins to take a step backwards and finish 6-10 in 2009.
Week 1- at NY Giants (Sept. 13)
Week 2- vs. St. Louis (Sept. 20)
Week 3- at Detroit (Sept. 27)
Week 4- vs. Tampa Bay (Oct. 4)
Week 5- at Carolina (Oct. 11)
Week 6- vs. Kansas City (Oct. 18)
Week 7- vs. Philadelphia (Oct.26)
Week 8- BYE WEEK
Week 9- at Atlanta (Nov. 8)
Week 10- vs. Denver (Nov. 15)
Week 11- at Dallas (Nov. 22)
Week 12- at Philadelphia (Nov. 29)
Week 13- vs. New Orleans (Dec. 6)
Week 14- at Oakland (Dec. 13)
Week 15- vs. NY Giants (Dec. 21)
Week 16- vs. Dallas (Dec. 27)
Week 17- at San Diego (Jan. 3)