Cantor Gaming, arguably one of the most respected sportsbooks in Las Vegas, has released its highly anticipated NFL season win totals. The Washington Redskins are are expected to have a mediocre year as they have been slated for 8 wins (Even). Washington is at +1800 Odds to win the NFC Championship and +4000 Odds to win Super Bowl XLVIII.
Following an ugly 21-13 loss to the one-win Panthers in Week 9, the record fell to 3-6 and head coach Mike Shanahan believed the season to be a lost cause. He put his players on notice, announcing in his postgame press conference, "Now you're playing to see who, obviously, is going to be on your team for years to come." Coming off their bye, the Redskins responded by going on a seven-game winning streak to capture their first division crown since 1999; it was also the first time since 2005 that Washington finished with at least 10 wins and the first time since '07 that it had qualified for the postseason.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III, the second overall pick out of Baylor and a former Heisman Trophy winner, was largely responsible for Washington's worst-to-first turnaround. He finished his rookie season with a 65.6 percent completion rate, throwing for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns, with just five interceptions. He also set the single-season rushing record for a rookie quarterback with 815 yards.
Under normal circumstances, Alfred Morris likely would have been the NFL's offensive rookie of the year in 2012. Named the Redskins' starting running back after preseason injuries sidelined Tim Hightower, Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr., the sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic finished second in the league with 1,613 rushing yards. The award, however, went to Robert Griffin III, the most dynamic threat in the Redskins' read-option attack. With RGIII now recovering from surgery on his right knee, and with no clear timetable for his return, the question must be asked of Morris: Is he a legit star, or did he merely benefit from being the quarterback's sidekick?
The Redskins are going to have a tough time making an impact on free agency, simply because of their cap problems. But the Redskins highest priority has to be the secondary -- at cornerback and safety. They can't afford free agents like Sean Smith or Aqib Tailb, so they'll have to make the right choices in the draft room. Find those guys -- perhaps Oregon's Jordan Poyer or Southeastern Louisiana's Robert Alford at cornerback, and LSU's Eric Reid or Fresno State's Phillip Thomas at safety -- and maybe Washington can make a deeper run in the postseason in 2013.
A new era has begun for the Redskins, and anything less than making the playoffs will be viewed as an unacceptable failure -- even if backup Kirk Cousins is the quarterback when the season begins. From the moment training camp opens, every step Robert Griffin III takes will be scrutinized with eagle eyes. This team is now expected to win after years of futility, but no one knows if the franchise quarterback will ever be the same player again. His health will be breathlessly debated until he proves himself on Sundays.
Sept. 9 Philadelphia Eagles, (Mon) 7:10 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 22 Detroit Lions, 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Oakland Raiders, 4:25 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m
Nov. 3 San Diego Chargers, 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 7 at Minnesota Vikings, (Thurs) 8:25 p.m.
Nov. 17 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 25 San Francisco 49ers, (Mon) 8:40 p.m.
Dec. 1 New York Giants, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 22 Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 29 at New York Giants, 1:00 p.m.
Pick: I feel that the Over 8 is a possibility here as long as RG3 comes back healthy. Should he struggle in his return then it will be hard for the Redskins to top 8 wins. This is a tough one so I will pass, but gun to head I would take the Over.
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