Last season, the Washington Redskins took the division with a record of 9-7. In considering the development of our Washington Redskins 2016 NFL preview, we’re struck by the potential and challenges that define QB Kirk Cousins. Head coach Jay Gruden (13-20) starts his third season with the Skins in need of numerous defensive upgrades. Still, this team could be competitive.
Redskins Offense: B
Cousins led the league in pass completions (68.9%) and broke the club’s record for passing yards (4,166 YDs). He tossed 29 touchdown passes, and threw just 11 INTs. That was a huge improvement over his prior 24 TDs/27 INT rate. The Skins franchise player has some good targets, including tight end Jordan Reed (87 REC, 10.9 AVG, 11 TD) and WR Pierre Garcon (72 REC, 10.8 AVG, 6 TD). The addition of TCU wide out Josh Doctson was a good draft move. It’s hoped DeSean Jackson, who missed six games last season, is healthy. The O-line is good, but there’s not a lot of depth. The running game is almost nonexistent. That will hurt this club.
Redskins Defense: B
The D-unit is weak upfront due to having lost some quality guys. But DE Kedric Goldson (139 Tackles) is back as is DL Chris Baker (6 Sacks) The LB-group looks promising. If Junior Galette has recovered from his Achilles injury, he can notch 10 sacks, and Ryan Kerrigan (9.5 Sacks) is capable of the same. Preston Smith can also get to the QB. Will Compton was second in tackles with 122. The secondary welcomes CB Josh Norman, who was a star in the Panthers’ secondary last season.
Redskins Special Teams: B
Special teams long snapper Nick Sundberg is one of the best. Dustin Hopkins (39/40 XP, 25/28 FG) did well last season, proving to be dependable, while punter Kal Forbath was also a positive force. Kick returns were sound, as the Skins ranked 9th, but they were dismal in punt returns (31st ).
Bills Coaching and Management: B+
Jay Gruden did a fine job in year-two and looks to do even better in his third season. GM Scot McCloughan managed to make some good deals in keeping important talent and bringing in new guys too.
Last Word: Washington Redskins 2016 NFL Preview
In concluding our Washington Redskins 2016 NFL preview, we note that this team has the toughest schedule in the division with the second half being daunting. They need some quick wins in the first eight weeks. The offense was ranked fourth in the league in third down situations and eighth in red zone TDs. If Cousins can continue to improve, the Redskins will be competitive.
For our overview of the NFC and to link to other NFC teams, please click here.