Washington Redskins: Road to 7 wins is easy money

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images /

The Washington Redskins’ road to at least seven wins in 2019 is easy money after all the moves they made this offseason to get better.

Vegas has the over/under for Washington Redskins victories in 2019 at six. The 2019 season will assuredly be full of close games, blown calls, and funny bounces. This may be the surest thing you’ll see all year.

I have come to believe that living in and around Washington D.C. makes people cynical and angry. I’ve ruled out the theory that there must be something in the water. The jury is still out on whether or not the insufferable traffic is to blame. My favorite explanation is that we have to breathe the same air as all the politicians. Of course listening to them drone on and on breaking promise after promise could play a role as well.

Nowhere is this cynicism more blatant than when listening to Redskins “fans” talk about their beloved football team.

Recently, I took a very informal poll of some lifelong Redskin fans at a local pub. These lifelong fans are all friends of mine and we’ve been rooting for our team for close to six decades. Of the six diehard ‘Skins fans in attendance, three of them predicted a four win season.

Two others settled on five wins but admitted they felt they were being overly optimistic. I was the sixth member of our group and emphatically took exception to their doom and gloom. I was quick to submit that the Redskins would win at least seven games.

I actually believe they’ll go 10-6 but, if you happened to be a gambling man, all you would need them to do for you to win your bet is to win seven measly games. That is the definition of easy money.

I won’t rehash the last three drafts. Suffice to say, they were phenomenal. This year the 10 rookies will probably be enormously helpful on special teams. As good as this draft was we might have but one day one starter. I’m guessing that will be Wes Martin. The 6’3″ 315 pound left guard out of Indiana is exactly what we need to replace Shawn Lauvao and whoever those guys were that started the last few games of the doomed 2018 season.

Martin gave up fewer sacks than any other offensive guard in the country over the past two years. Over the course of 1,469 snaps he allowed but two sacks. And pass blocking is not even his specialty. Martin is a big, immensely strong, mauling run blocker. He bench presses 525 pounds and put up 225 pounds 42 times.

I do think that four or five of our 10 2019 draft picks could be starting by year’s end and by year two or three, who knows, maybe all of them end up as starters. But, Wes Martin is the player I’m looking for to secure a starting role on the Redskins rather impressive offensive line.

If he can live up to the lofty expectation that he wins a starting job as a rookie the Redskins will be able to do what they need to do on offense, which is to hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice.

Running the ball is what this team needs to do well. If they can run the ball, Case Keenum will be able to replicate his performance of two years ago in Minnesota. An effective running game will prevent defenses from attacking Keenum on every play and he has proven that if the O-line can give him some time he can find the open receiver and get them the ball.

There is no need to go into great detail regarding our wide receiver group. People in general tire quickly when talking about potential. Redskin fans will have none of it. Never mind that it looks as though either Cam Sims or Robert Davis, both of whom were slated to play significant roles on the offense last year before injuries ended their seasons, might be relegated to the practice squad.

I won’t get bogged down with the contention that the offense has good running backs, some tantalizing if unproven wideouts, a formidable offensive line, some tight ends who have been to Pro Bowls, and a quarterback that has done it before.

I won’t even harp on a defense that has a front seven that has even the most sour and pessimistic fans ratcheting down their criticism. There won’t even be an argument that Washington’s defensive backs, when healthy, can play with most teams.

I won’t go there because I know that there is no convincing a Redskin fan who is determined to believe that this team is terrible that this Washington Redskins team actually has talent all across the depth chart. The argument I will make is that this team got better in the offseason and they won seven games last year.

I’m not suggesting Super Bowl or even playoffs but Vegas is willing to give you money if the Redskins win seven games. This is as close as you come to a lock. Not because of the established players on the roster or even the upgrades they made through the draft and free agency. This is a sure thing because of the Redskins schedule.

This season Washington plays the Jets, the Bills, the Dolphins, the Lions, and the 49ers. I’ve already heard all the talk about how all these teams got better in the offseason. Well, so did the Redskins. The fact that the 49ers, the Jets, and the Lions games are played at Fed Ex should help. Regardless, those are five teams the ‘Skins should beat.

I’ll even give you that Washington goes 1-5 in the NFC East. I don’t believe that but some people do. I’m hard pressed to think that the Redskins don’t at least split with the Giants. There’s your sixth game. We just need one more and Christmas comes early.

Sticking with worst case scenarios, I’ll give you that the Patriots come to Maryland and beat us. So do the Bears. Let’s go ahead and assume that both the Eagles and the Cowboys sweep us and we lose in Charlotte to the Panthers. Incidentally, I could argue against all of that but I won’t. Then of course we lose to Green Bay. Not because the Packers look like world beaters this year but because they have Aaron Rodgers and the game is at Lambeau Field.

So, we’re stuck at six wins. Where do we get win number seven that puts us in the money? The clincher comes in week eight at Minnesota.

I see a Redskins team coming off a momentum building win at home against San Francisco going up to Minneapolis to the play the Vikings who have just lost a tough game in Detroit against the Lions. At 3-4 the Viking fans are ready to run Kirk Cousins out of town and the ‘Skins roll into town with the quarterback who, just two short years ago, took them to the NFC Championship.

Case Keenum will be hailed as the conquering hero by Vikings fans who never wanted him to leave in the first place. Cousins on the other hand will be booed with every incomplete pass.

I smell a blowout here as Washington, sitting at 4-3, takes advantage of this opportunity to announce to the rest of the NFL that they are finally back. And even if the Vikings manage to keep this game close we all know what Cousins does in nationally televised games in the fourth quarter.

Will he fumble the game away, throw a pick six, or take a ridiculous sack? He might do all three. The one thing Redskins fans know for sure, having watched it happen so many times, is that Cousins struggles in big games. He is not a quarterback that seizes the moment.

When the game is on the line and all eyes are on him he doesn’t rise to the occasion. Rather time after time these kinds of moments always seem to big for him. He always found a way to lose the must-win games as a Redskin and he did it again last year as a Viking.

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I can hardly wait for this week eight match up. The Redskins continue to build momentum, Keenum exacts his revenge, and the victory tips the scales in favor of everyone that believed the Redskins were good enough to win more than six games.