Is there any chance that the Redskins will be able to beat the Saints on Sunday?Adam Schein, writing on NFL.com, makes a case that thatthere is no hope for the Redskins.I feel terrible for RobertGriffin III. He will never forget his NFL debut. The New Orleans Saints are going to crush Griffin and the Washington Redskins. This game was over months ago.. . .No team in the NFLneedsthe season to start as much as theSaints. They are hot. They are angry. Every single player, every single resident of the state believes they were wronged by Roger Goodell and the NFL with the "Bountygate" suspensions.. . .New Orleans is good and vastly superior to theRedskins.At the end, Schein says that Griffin is already 0-1.Before the game even starts? Really?I say, not so fast. Lets deal with this anger issue. Is the bounty punishment really going to make them play harder than they would otherwise in their season opener? And if it does, how far into the game can the anger motivation last? And will they get so mad that they will miss tackles trying to blow a runner up, jump offside because they are so keyed up, and make other errors of commission and omission because they want to stick it to Roger Goodell?It seems that the Vegas oddsmakers think that the Redskins have a chance. The Saints are favored by only seven points. If you count in three points for home field advantage that means that New Orleans would be favored by four points at a neutral site and by just one point in Washington. That hardly points to a vastly superior team.This doesnt mean Im going to go all crazy here and predict that the Redskins will win. But I do think that they have a chance to be competitive.The key will be their ability to survive the first quarter. If the Saints put up a couple of quick touchdowns and force the Redskins to become one-dimensionalin other words, if Griffin has to become a one-man showthe game could get ugly in the manner the Schein envisions. If they can come out and hang with the Saints for the first 20 to 30 minutes of play, the Superdome crowd will go from boisterous to nervous. Perhaps those silent counts wont be needed all game long.But even if everyone leaves the Superdome at halftime it is going to be tough for the Redskins to pull this one out. Maybe one day RG3 will be good enough to be mentioned alongside Drew Brees but that day wont be Sunday. At some point Griffin might communicate as well with his receivers as well as Brees does with his, but that will be some day months or a year or two from now.On Sunday, the Redskins will hang with the Saints for most of the game, Griffin will have his moments as the throws for 300 yards, and starting running back Alfred Morris will power his way for about 100 yards. But it wont be enough.Saints 31, Redskins 21
The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.
That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.
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Will the Redskins go with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 Draft?
Finlay: The Redskins haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round since 2011 when the franchise grabbed Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick. In fact, the team has only drafted five defensive players in the first round over the last 15 years.
History suggests Washington will stay away from a defensive player, but sources in Ashburn have suggested otherwise. Assuming the talent is there when the 'Skins pick at No. 17, Scot McCloughan would like to bolster the team's defensive line specifically.
Things will get complicated should Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook slide to 17. Rich Tandler certainly would like to see the Burgundy and Gold add a top-flight running back.
Tandler: Many fans believe that conducting a draft is like going into a grocery store with a list. Defensive lineman is at the top of the list so you go to aisle 12 and put a DL in the cart. Safety is next on the list so you push the cart over to that aisle and pick out one of those.
No, a draft is much more unpredictable. There might not be a defensive lineman who is close to worthy of the No. 17 pick when the Redskins are on the clock. Talk of taking the best available player is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some. But if you’re reaching for need in a draft, you’re losing that draft. Sure, if a player in a position of need is just a spot or two down from the best available you think about it. Still, staying true to your board is the way to build a team.
The other thing to consider here is that we haven’t gone through free agency yet. Needs will shift after that. Suppose the Redskins sign two starting-caliber D-linemen and lose both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson in free agency? Defensive line is no longer a five-alarm priority and receiver will be.
More offseason questions:
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!
Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.
Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field.
Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.
The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month.
Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery.
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!