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Predicting the Redskins' 2014 games

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Predicting the Redskins' 2014 games

It’s difficult to try to predict the outcome of an NFL game 10 minutes before kickoff. It’s sheer folly  to do it about four and a half months before game time. But that’s never stopped me before. Here are my way, way, way too early 2014 predictions game by game.

(Home teams in bold)

Sept. 7 Texans 21, Redskins 17 The Redskins and Texans had remarkably similar falls last year, going from division champs in 2012 to the cellar of the NFL. Both teams are somewhere in between worst and first and the home team takes this one. (Redskins record: 0-1)

Sept. 14 Redskins 31, Jaguars 24 There aren’t many four- or five-year rebuilding programs in the NFL these days but the Jags are into the second year of theirs. They’re not there yet but the Redskins are probably glad they won’t have to face them again until 2018. (1-1)

Sept. 21 Eagles 30, Redskins 21 Yes, Donovan was triumphant in his return to Philly but Jackson won’t be quite as fortunate as the Redskins still will be struggling with tackling Shady McCoy. (1-2)

Sept. 25 (Thur.) Redskins 24, Giants 20 It’s a short week going in but they have the short trip to Philly the week before then they are at home. The Redskins didn’t play New York last year when Eli was throwing picks by the bushel. They’ll make up for it in this game with a few interceptions of Manning. (2-2)

Oct. 6 (Mon.)Seahawks 28, Redskins 24 Jay Gruden will need to have his team ready for prime time in a hurry with his fourth and fifth games both coming under the lights. Will this be the Redskins team that was in display in January of 2013 when Griffin and the offense were doing the hot knife through butter routine on the Seattle D during the first two drives? It could be but the Seahawks will find a way to win anyway. (2-3)

Oct 12 Cardinals 21, Redskins 14 A bit of a tough trip here with the Redskins traveling out west on a short week. The Redskins do have a shot here if Haslett’s attacking defense takes shape and Carson Palmer can be forced to throw a few passes up for grabs. But the Cardinals are a team on the rise and will be tough at home. (2-4)

Oct. 19 Titans 24, Redskins 10 At some point the Redskins will lay an egg at home and send the fans home cursing and scratching their heads. This is that point. (2-5)

Oct 27 (Mon.) Redskins 42, Cowboys 20 It’s hard to see how the Dallas defense is going to be much better this year than it was last year. In 2013 the Redskins didn’t have the weapons to exploit it; now they do. (3-5)

Nov 2 Redskins 28, Vikings 24 The franchise lost a lot of character when it moved from playing outdoors at The Met in Boomington into the Metrodome. But two months isn’t going to be enough to regain the edge they had. (4-5)

Week 19 (Nov. 9) BYE

Nov. 16 Redskins 17, Bucs 14 I’m not buying in to Lovie Smith doing a quick turnaround job in Tampa Bay. (5-5)

Nov. 23 49ers 24, Redskins 20 The Redskins were non-competitive against the 49ers in a Monday night game at FedEx last year. Washington will be improved but the 49ers are still much better. (5-6)

Nov. 30 Colts 35, Redskins 28 It’s somewhat surprsising that this one doesn’t get the prime time treatment with the marquee young QB’s involved. RG3 beat out Andrew Luck for the Heisman Trophy. Luck got drafted first overall, Griffin second. At home, Luck wins it on the scoreboard in the first of what will be infrequent meetings on the field. (5-7)

Dec. 7 Redskins 21, Rams 14 We won’t know who “won” the RG3 trade for a few more years but the Redskins should handle Sam Bradford and win this particular game. (6-7)

Dec. 14 Redskins 24, Giants 23 Remember the 2012 game at MetLife when Victor Cruz caught the bomb from Eli to win the game in the last two minutes? Think that game but with the outcome reversed with Griffin going to Jackson. (7-7)

Dec. 21 (Sat.) Redskins 38, Eagles 24 This is non-prime time but nationally televised. I think the Eagles will have something to play for here so a Redskins win will hurt them. Unlike the earlier meeting, DeSean gets his revenge in this one. (8-7)

Dec. 28 Cowboys 24, Redskins 21 I know that every Redskins fan out there loves to jump on the “Tony Romo is a choker” bandwagon. Fact is, he has many more successful comeback attempts than he has ones that end in interceptions. Like the one he engineered last December with the sprained back. And this one. (8-8)

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.