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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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Final Redskins seven-round mock draft: Defense first, a surprise in the third

Final Redskins seven-round mock draft: Defense first, a surprise in the third

We’re a day away from the start of the NFL draft and all the questions surrounding the Redskins’ intentions will start to get answered when they go on the clock at about 10 p.m. on Thursday.

[More Redskins: Full Redskins Seven-Round Mock Draft]

Speaking at the team’s annual pre-draft news conference, Scott Campbell, the team’s director of college scouting, stuck with the company line when he was asked about making picks based on team needs.

“I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said. “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.”

It would be a big “bonus” for the Redskins if a defensive lineman who can rush the passer and stuff the run was the best player on the board when their first-round pick comes up at No. 17. But it doesn’t look like the board will play out that way. That’s OK because the Redskins have plenty of needs.

In fact, it’s not hard to do a mock draft for the Redskins because they have needs at virtually every position. Certainly, some needs are more urgent than others. But once you get past the first couple of rounds there is enough doubt at each position, whether it’s immediate depth or possible free agency holes in 2018, to get that need “bonus” with every pick.

Campbell said that this is a strong defensive draft and this is reflected in these mock selections, with six of the 10 picks going to defense including the top two. The first offensive pick may surprise some but the talent was just too good at that point in the draft.

Go here to see the full seven-round mock draft.

Your comments are welcome, as always. Make them here in the comments or hit me up on Twitter and Facebook.  

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

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QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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