To paraphrase a question that is making the rounds in political circles these daysare the Redskins better off today than they were one year ago?Its easy to go overboard with the Redskins 40-32 win over the Saints in New Orleans. After all, you dont have to go back more than one year to find the Redskins with a big opening day win over a quality opponent. They created all sorts of buzz a year ago when they beat the Giants 28-14 in last years season opener. Players talked about there being a new attitude in the locker room, that things would be different in 2011.And the good feelings lasted a while as they moved to 2-0 and later to 3-1. But things came crashing down after that and they won just two of the their final 12 games.But at least right now, this one feels different. The main reason, of course, is the play of Robert Griffin III. It could be argued that he hadthe best debut any rookie quarterback has ever had.Rex Grossman had a pretty good day against the Giants, completing 21 of 34 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns. But nobody walked away from that game thinking that a star was born and maybe the Redskins had their long-term solution at the most important position on the field.But there was more than that. An offensive line that was thought to be a weakness was very much a strength, as Griffin was sacked just once and the Redskins rushed for 153 yards.Against the Giants, Grossman was sacked four times and the Redskins rushed just 75 yards.Tim Hightower was the main runner against the Giants and he picked up 72 yards on 25 carries. At 2.9 yards a carry his performance was passable but not spectacular. Today Alfred Morris picked up 96 yards on 28 carries, a 3.7 average. Morris was not spectacular but he did become one of just five players to rush for at least 90 yards and score two or more touchdowns in his NFL debut. Advantage: MorrisA year ago against the Giants, the defense put up better numbers than they did yesterday. But, with all due respect to Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, and company, the Saints are a much better offense. And against New Orleans they came up big on a couple of occasions.Late in the third quarter the Saints were threatening to halve the Redskins lead. Trailing 30-14, Brees drove the Saints to a third and goal at the three. His pass to Darren Sproles was on the money but London Fletcher came up and knocked the ball loose.Then, the only time after the first quarter that the Saints had the ball with a chance to tie the game, their drive lasted just one play. DeJon Gomes, filling in at safety for the injured Brandon Meriweather, picked off Brees deep pass and returned it 49 yards to the three. One play later Morris put the game out of reach with a touchdown run.There were some down moments. Mike Shanahan may have been able to pull Griffin in the fourth quarter and let Kirk Cousins have some fun if not for a blocked punt late in the first half that turned a 20-7 laugher into a one-score game. Later in the game the prevent defense didnt prevent much of anything. And rookie safety Jordan Bernstine suffered a knee injury that might cost him the rest of the season.Despite that, the Redskins have plenty of reasons to feel good about themselves today and their fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.Should they feel better than they did a year ago? It seems that they should, but time will tell.
Once upon a time, one Redskins quarterback infamously announced that he was all in for Week 1. The Redskins' current QB, however, is most certainly not.
While talking to the media on Wednesday at his team's OTAs, Kirk Cousins said that the baby he and his wife, Julie, are expecting is projected to come earlier than the couple originally thought. That's, of course, tremendous news for the two, but it could also present a large issue due to what Cousins does for a living.
"Yeah, the baby's due in mid-September," he said. "Was supposed to be Week 2, but we got the 20-week ultrasound and they moved it up a week. So, we're looking for around Week 1, between Week 1 and Week 2. We're praying that it'll come on a day where it doesn't conflict with any important football matters."
MORE REDSKINS: A FULL SCOUTING REPORT ON EACH OF WASHINGTON'S OPPONENTS
Again — congratulations to Kirk and Julie. Babies are fun and cute and they're worth a ton of Instagram likes and, overall, they're something worth celebrating. But when Cousins says he's hoping that the baby arrives on a non-gameday, he's not alone; the Redskins will have a much better shot of beating the Eagles on September 10 if he's under center and not Colt McCoy, after all.
Fortunately, any day that isn't a Sunday during that month should mean that the 28-year-old can enjoy the birth of his first child and Washington can enjoy having their franchise passer take the field in crucial early matchups. And whenever the next member of the Cousins clan finally does show up, Julie is prepared to run the show so her husband can run the offense.
"We're excited, and Julie's been great," Kirk said. "She's just been outstanding the whole time and she's already told me that she's going to carry the weight the first few months so I can focus on football, and she's gonna be a big help. We're looking forward to that. Lots to look forward to right now, I'm in a good place."
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You already know the Redskins' 2017 schedule. But do you know what makes each opponent on that schedule a threat, or what pressing question each of those teams needs to answer?
With free agency and the draft in the past, and OTAs now picking up, it's finally time to really start previewing the upcoming NFL season. With that in mind, CSNmidatlantic.com has created a gallery that does just that.
Look no further than the link above or below to find out the new faces the Redskins will be dealing with starting this fall, as well as where their foes are strongest. Plus, you'll get a look at a to-do item the 13 franchises that Washington's slated to play must address out in order for their own campaigns to be successful.
As a Redskins fan, you're familiar with all things Burgundy and Gold. Allow this gallery to update you on everyone else.