Not much went right for the Redskins last season. After a 10-6 season and a return to the playoffs in 2012 everything bottomed out in 2013. Robert Griffin III returned from a knee injury too early and struggled. Mike Shanahan lost control and eventually lost his job as the Redskins stumbled to a 3-13 record and the NFC East basement.
Can the Redskins climb back out this season with a new head coach, a now healthy RGIII, and what they hope is an improved defense?
Washington Redskins Odds to Win NFC East: +375 at Bovada
Washington Redskins Odds to Win Super Bowl: 50/1 at Bovada
Washington Redskins Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 at Bovada
Washington Redskins Betting Props: Robert Griffin III to Win NFL MVP 25/1 at Bovada
All the promise RGIII showed in his rookie season disappeared last season. That’s what happens when a QB so reliant on his legs comes back too soon from a major knee injury. Griffin put up similar passing stats in yardage, but his touchdowns were down, his interceptions were way up and his rushing numbers flat lined. With what we presume is now a healthy knee and a new head coach with previous experience molding young QBs in Jay Gruden, you’d be foolish to count out a big comeback from Griffin.
Griffin will have one new toy to play with in the passing game after Washington took a chance on Philadelphia reject DeSean Jackson. He’s coming off his best season and should make a solid trio with ball hawk Pierre Garcon and talented tight end Jordan Reed.
One area where the Redskins did excel again last year was the ground game. Alfred Morris was fourth in rushing with 1275 yards and seven touchdowns. He may see fewer carries under Gruden’s new system, but he’s still among the top backs in the league.
If Washington is going to put more notches in the win column this season their defense is going to have to surrender fewer points. Washington had the second-worst scoring defense in the league last season, giving up a horrendous 29.9 points per game. They snatched up a number of veterans in the offseason starting with DT Jason Hatcher to improve the pass rush. Coming off an 11-sack season in Dallas, Hatcher should fit in well with Barry Cofield on the other side and QB hungry linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.
In the secondary Washington added safety Ryan Clark and corner Tracy Porter. Both are on the downside of their careers, but should give the pass defense some added depth at the very least.
If you bet on the Redskins frequently last year you ended up much poorer. Washington was an awful 5-11 ATS, which included a 3-5 ATS mark at home and a money-losing 2-3 ATS record when favored.
NFC East Odds at Bovada as of August 5
Philadelphia Eagles +125
New York Giants +300
Washington Redskins +375
Dallas Cowboys +400
After four straight years of finishing in last place in the NFC East, the Washington Redskins won the division last season thanks in large part to the sensational play and leadership of rookie Robert Griffin III. Can Griffin III and company build on last year’s 10-6 SU and 11-5 ATS campaign with another strong one in 2013?
Odds to Win NFC East: +240 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 8.5 at Bovada
Betting Props: Robert Griffin III to win NFL MVP (18/1) at Bovada
After starting 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS last season, the Washington Redskins came out of their bye week with a renewed focus and determination. The Redskins finished the regular season 7-0 SU and ATS, including five games against division opponents. Washington was a perfect 6-0 ATS against NFC East foes in 2012, going 5-1 SU in those six games as well.
Washington’s offense was sensational, finishing fifth in total yards with 383.2 per game and fourth in scoring with 27.3 points per game. Griffin III had a great year passing the football with 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions, but the Redskins’ biggest strength was on the ground. Griffin III rushed for 815 yards and fellow rookie RB Alfred Morris rushed for 1,613, leading the Redskins to the best rushing attack in the league. Offseason additions of wideouts Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson should make the offense even more dangerous in 2013.
While the offense was among the league’s best last season, the defense was a liability. The Redskins finished 28th in total yards surrendered with 377.7 yards per game with one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL allowing 281.9 yards per game. Washington didn’t do much to address this issue over the offseason, so a trend towards the OVER shouldn’t surprise bettors this year.
All eyes are on the surgically repaired knee of Griffin III. Kirk Cousins is a great backup, but the team needs RGIII to be healthy to compete for another NFC East title. If Griffin III stays healthy and is as explosive as he was last year, the Redskins could be the team to beat in the NFC East.
NFC East Odds at Bovada as of August 2
New York Giants +200
Dallas Cowboys +240
Washington Redskins +240
Philadelphia Eagles +325