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Bold Predictions, Part 1: It's a Joe Gibbs Team

Bold Predictions, Part 1: It's a Joe Gibbs Team

It’s a lock. The Redskins are not only going to beat the Bucs, but they are going to win their next two and advance to Super Bowl XL in Detroit. No other outcome is possible.

Why? Check out this factoid from the Newark Star-Ledger
Why do Redskins fans have reason to believe their sixth-seeded team will become the NFC representative in the Super Bowl?
Check this out: The team the Eagles faced in their final game of the previous six seasons appeared in the Super Bowl. Philly lost to the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl; lost out on a trip to the Super Bowl by dropping the NFC Championship games the previous three years to the Panthers, Buccaneers and Rams; lost a divisional playoff game to the Super Bowl-bound Giants in the 2000 season, and beat the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams in the regular-season finale in 1999.
The last opponent for the Eagles this season? The Redskins. How do you like them apples?

Of course, I kid. This is just one of those things, a trivial coincidence. The Redskins won’t win because of their January 1 game.

Some trends and numbers, however, are not trivial or coincidental and warrant some consideration when evaluating this game. I’m talking about numbers like 7-1.

That is Joe Gibbs’ record in his team’s opening playoff games each season. That’s preparation, that’s getting your team ready to make a run. The game location makes no difference; he’s 3-0 on the road in playoff openers.

When you point out records like this to Gibbs, he always says that he had some great players to get the job done. And then you look around Redskins Park you think, hey, there are some pretty good football players around here today, too. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss set team records for rushing and receiving yardage respectively. Marcus Washington is an extraordinary playmaker at linebacker and when Sean Taylor’s reputation catches up with his play on the field he’ll be the talk of the NFL.

The stars, however, weren’t the ones that made Gibbs’ teams what they were. It was the role players and special teams guys, something that this team doesn’t lack in either. You could take Mike Sellers, Rock Cartwright, Ade Jimoh, and Khary Campbell, put them into a time machine and drop them into RFK Stadium in the mid-eighties, introduce them to Otis Wonsley, Pete Cronan, Terry Orr, and Ken Jenkins and they would fit right in.

Obviously, this is a Joe Gibbs team and that means that they will be a very tough out on Saturday. How tough? Find out in Bold Predictions Part 2 on Friday.

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Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

MOBILE – Jay Gruden provided a glimmer of optimism for Redskins fans freaked out about Kirk Cousins' contract situation. 

"I totally anticipate him coming back to the Washington Redskins," Gruden said. 

The Redskins coach talked from the sidelines of the Senior Bowl where he and much of the team's staff were scouting college seniors. 

Gruden explained he had texted back and forth with Cousins a few times this offseason and looked forward to watching him play in the Pro Bowl. 

Since Gruden named Cousins starter in 2015, the quarterback had passed for more than 9,000 yards and twice broken Skins franchise passing records. 

Some indications of a long term deal for Cousins land in the $120 million range, but the Washington organization also has the flexibility to use the franchise tag this season at a cost of nearly $24 million. 

MORE REDSKINS: Who else might want to trade for Cousins?

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The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 5 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Lions Week 7

0:22 left in Q4, Lions ball at the Redskins 18, 3rd and 10, Redskins leading 17-13

Matthew Stafford pass short left to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

More Redskins: Podcast--All eyes now on Cousins

Tandler: The Redskins had just taken the lead on a nifty 19-yard option run by Kirk Cousins with 1:05 left to play. All they had to do was keep the Lions out of the end zone but the defense was not up to the task. In fact, it was laughably easy for Stafford. The first three times he dropped back he completed passes for 23, 14, and 20 yards and just like that the Lions were in the red zone. It looked for a minute like the Redskins might hang on as two passes went incomplete. But on third down Stafford found Boldin open inside the five and the defense couldn’t get there quickly enough to keep him out of the end zone.

Related: Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky

Finlay: 65 seconds was all the 'Skins defense needed to preserve a win by holding the Lions without a touchdown. 65 seconds away from a five-game win streak, and knowing what we do now, a playoff berth. The Redskins defense couldn't stop Stafford, or Boldin, and lost in Detroit. A gut wrenching loss as the momentum on the Washington sideline seemed incredibly high just minutes before when Cousins ran in what looked like the game-winning score. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!