Thursday, September 10, 2009

'Experts' 2009 Redskins predictions (updated)

This post is more or less something to return to at the end of the season to see which NFL writers got things right and which ones didn't. But it's also intriguing just to see how many really do think the Redskins are going to have a pretty bad season. But let's get to it.

SI's Don Banks:

Last place: Washington (5-11) -- With a tenacious defense that will keep them in most games, the Redskins won't look like a last-place team for much of the season. But that's where they'll end up because offensively they scare almost no one. Even winless Detroit scored more than Washington's 265 points last season, and only a quantum leap from fifth-year quarterback Jason Campbell changes that dynamic. And that's if a shaky Redskins offensive line can give him enough time to survive in the pocket.

SI's Peter King: 6-10 (team scouting report by Adam Duerson here)

Fox Sports's Peter Schrager: No record prediction, but he doesn't have them in the playoffs or above 9-7.

ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski: Last in the NFC East:

If 2009 Albert Haynesworth plays as hard as 2008 Albert Haynesworth, then the Redskins will cause problems for lots of teams. Causing problems doesn't necessarily translate into wins, though. Six of their final seven games are toughies: at Dallas, at Philly, New Orleans, New York Giants, Dallas, at San Diego.

ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic: Both have Washington finishing at 8-8.

Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver: No record given, but he does predict a playoff berth:

Last year, they were 6-2 at midseason and looked like a legitimate contender. Though that record was reversed in the second half, they did beat the NFC championship game-bound Eagles in their second-to-last game when it meant possible playoff elimination for Philly. These guys have a postseason push in them, and with Jason Campbell giving off that you-shouldn’t-have-underestimated-me vibe, I’m sensing another fast start and a second-place finish behind the 'Boys.

FanHouse's Matt Snyder uses a strange 50-point scale (where "intagibles" rates just as important as offense, defense, special teams, and coaching) to rate the Redskins:

Total Heat Index: 32/50
Using our scale, 27.5 would be exactly right in the middle of the scale, so I feel like this is an accurate rating. This is an above average team, but not a great one -- at least not yet. Campbell has potential, but we need to see it on a consistent basis, and he hasn't yet shown the ability to do so. I expect them to remain very competitive in arguably the toughest division in football and challenge for a playoff berth. A lot hinges on Campbell, thus, it's fitting it is his make-or-break year.

ESPN's Colin Cowherd: 8-8

PFT's Gregg Rosenthal places the Redskins at No. 22 in their preseason power rankings:

Even if Campbell takes a big step forward, would we really be able to tell? Campbell will be under constant pressure and his wide receiver group is below average, as youngsters Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly have yet to show consistency. Running backs Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts form a solid duo, but the offense as a whole is lacking explosive playmakers.

Put it all together, and you have a blah offense paired with a slightly better than average starting defense that is more vulnerable to injuries than most because the bottom third of their roster is sub-par.

This type of team could possibly make the playoffs out West, but they are stuck in a division with the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys.

And if Washington finishes in the cellar again, we suspect the Redskins will go right back to making headlines again on the coaching front.

Sporting News's staff predictions:

Washington Redskins: 5-11

SN's bottom line: Jason Campbell might not be the answer at QB, and the big spending on Albert Haynesworth won't be enough to allow the Redskins to jump over anyone in the division standings.

That's all I can find for now. I'm probably leaving some out, but as more 2009 season predictions pop up, I'll add them to this list.

It's worth nothing that out of these 11 predictions, only one (Silver) predicts the Redskins to finish above .500 and get into the playoffs, and only one more (Snyder) believes that they'll challenge for a playoff spot.


Update: Found a few more predictions:

PFT's Mike Florio:

Our best guess as of right now is that the Redskins and the Steelers will face off in February, and that the Steelers will win their third title in five years.

A lot of careful thought went into that. Specifically, the guys at WSSP in Milwaukee put me on the spot Wednesday morning, and so I blurted out the picks my cousin Josh had e-mailed to me the day before.

But I'll go with that. I've been saying for months that the Redskins could be the surprise team of the NFC, and the Steelers are bringing back too much talent and have too good of a coach to not be considered the favorites to return to the championship game.

Can't say I saw that coming. Not only does Florio have the Redskins winning the NFC East, but he has them in the Super Bowl. Wow.

ESPN's Bill Simmons predicts a 10-6 season for the Redskins and has them earning the second wild card spot in the NFC. He also thinks Washington's defense will have a breakout year.

ESPN's panel of experts: 16 NFL analysts/writers give their playoff predictions, and no one thinks the Redskins will make the playoffs.

Shutdown Corner's MJD has the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles all in the playoffs.

Seven more SI predictions: I've already listed the picks by Peter King and Don Banks, but seven more writers give their playoff brackets -- no one has the Redskins in the postseason.

Updated tally: Out of 37 predictions, exactly three pick the Redskins to make the playoffs.

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