SNIDER: Redskins should be better than projected: 'Take the over'

Rick Snider
July 22, 2019 - 9:13 pm
Redskins should be better than projected

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Redskins' over/under at 6.5 wins this season. One USA Today writer predicts 3-13 and he's hardly alone among the national media.

So the question begs: What are they seeing that locals expecting a decent year are missing? Or, what are they missing that locals see to inspire hope?

The Redskins are looking like a decent team if injuries don't dismantle them like the last two years. Maybe 8-8 or 9-7 is the high-water mark, but Washington hasn't been awful since 2013-14, when winning a combined seven games. The past four seasons were a combined 31-32-1.

It's largely the same team that started last season 6-3 before losing quarterback Alex Smith. The Redskins added free-agent safety Landon Collins, while drafting quarterback Dwayne Haskins and linebacker Montez Sweat.

On paper, this is a better team. In reality, opening with four 2018 playoff teams in the first five weeks lends fear of a 1-4 start and the wheels coming off.

The Redskins just seem to have bad karma over the years. They drafted Robert Griffin III in 2012 and the rookie delivered them to the playoffs, only to suffer a major injury that cost Washington the game and Griffin a good part of his capabilities that led to an early exit. Washington finally gained a solid veteran passer in Smith, and he suffered what's likely a career-ending injury after nine games. The list goes on and on.

Injuries are once more a problem even before the team opens training camp on Thursday. Linebacker Reuben Foster suffered a season-ending knee injury three snaps into the first offseason camp. How freaky was that? Running back Derrius Guice is once more injured, after missing his entire rookie year after getting hurt in the preseason opener.

But, the Redskins have a puncher's chance this season of making the postseason, if they stay healthy and the pending quarterback competition produces someone who plays well. The only way 3-13 comes is if they start 1-4 and injuries rip them apart again. Even then, coach Jay Gruden's strength is counter-punching bad times.

So find those Las Vegas linemakers and take the over 6½ wins. There's plenty of time for pessimism later.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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