2007 Washington RedskinsPreview

2007 Washington Redskins preview from MadduxSports.com. Once this years football season kicks off don't miss Maddux's NFL Picks. as well as our NFL odds page so all visitors can line shop the weekly point spreads.

Its Just Not Coming Together In The Nation's Capitol
By Adam Barone

Since Daniel Snyder bought the Washington Redskins, he's been trying to personally mold them into Super Bowl champions. Bringing back Joe Gibbs seemed like a great idea on paper, but Gibbs seems old and out of touch. What has in the past few seasons looked like quite a solid roster, has somehow sputtered and barely gotten off the ground. Two years ago the Skins had a roster that appeared as though it could be extremely competitive, but they let LaVar Arrington leave and have gotten long in the tooth at so many positions that they play BINGO in the locker room before games. In 2006 they had less of a chance of making the playoffs, but certainly appeared to be better than their future eventual 5-11 record would suggest.

Some of that poor performance can be attribute to the loss of Clinton Portis to a hand injury in November. Although Ladell Betts filled in more than capably, still they were unsuccessful. Betts surprised even the Skins with his 1154 yards, though he had just 4 TDs and 53 receptions for 445 yards, adding another score. Until Portis went down, Betts was averaging just 7 carries per game, but because of his success last year and his between-the-tackles style, he'll almost certainly get a much larger portion of the load - even when Portis is healthy. The offense is better suited for a power runner and Joe Gibbs has always favored a between-the-tackles back, indicating that the team is certainly excited about their newfound sidekick to their big play man, however he'll remain just that: Portis's sidekick. Portis went down at what was basically the halfway point for all of his numbers in 2006: 8 games of 16, 127 of what would likely have been about 250 carries (possibly more), and 523 yards of the benchmark 1000. When healthy, Clinton Portis is one of the league's most dynamic playmakers, so he'll be the man despite his outside, turn-the-corner style.

Jason Campbell has been declared the starting quarterback simply because Mark Brunell has found it difficult to play using a walker. Campbell has 7 career starts, all in 2006, only completing 53% of his passes. That's a pretty typical stat, for a guy who's still essentially still a rookie starter though, so his 1297 yards from last year project to somewhere in the 3000 yard range for a full season. Also, Campbell and Portis were never on the field together because of Portis's injury, and Jason Campbell will certainly be looking forward to the pressure that such a distraction as Portis will take away from him. If Campbell falters, the ageless wonder, Mark Brunell, will serve as a capable backup, though by the time such a switch may be made the Redskins would probably be dead in the NFC East water anyway.

Still looking at this team on paper, the Redskins could make a case for the best receiving corps in the division. If WRs Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El, Santana Moss and Chris Cooley all lived up to their potential after having an entire off-season to work out with Jason Campbell, then the Skins could have the best offense in the East and make a strong push for a playoff spot. The problem with such hopes is that there is almost no way to tell what the receivers are capable of in this offense, especially with a new signal caller.

Brandon Lloyd was acquired in a trade with San Francisco last season and was expected to have a sizeable impact, but all he did was make 23 catches for 365 yards. Antwaan Randle El made an equally puke-tastic 32 catches for 351 yards. The strangest and easily most disappointing total put up last season was by Santana Moss. Moss had 790 yards, which did lead the team, but it was only about half of his 2005 Pro Bowl total of 1483. By far the most consistent threat of all the receivers has been TE Chris Cooley, who posted 774 yards in '05 and 734 in '06. Expect that trend to continue this season, with Cooley adding another six or seven TDs.

On offense things have the potential to be outstanding, but so many things have to come together that the chances of it all working out are very slim. Almost an identical statement could be made about the defense. Last season Washington registered just 19 sacks. No other team had less than 25. They signed Andre Carter prior to last season, but were disappointed by him for most of the year. He did, however, have four sacks in the last five games of the year, so the Skins hope he's back to form. Though their most pressing need was a pass rusher, the Redskins used their first round pick, their only pick in the first four rounds of April's draft, on S LaRon Landry. Landry is a sure tackler and the best available safety. He should give the team the flexibility to move Sean Taylor up into the box to blitz and help stop the run. MLB London Fletcher-Baker, one of the league's more dependable tacklers, was also added to bolster the defense.

2007 Washington Redskins Predictions

All that can be said about the Redskins is that they are likely the NFL's most inconsistent team. They have so many weapons that even if Campbell struggles, on paper, they appear extremely strong. It will likely be difficult to get a bearing on them for most of the season unless they are totally healthy and everyone plays to their potential right out of the box. If such a thing happens, they should be one of the more popular NFL picks in an NFL handicapping world that will surely be full of surprises.

If you enjoyed reading our Washington Redskins preview read up on the rest of the NFC East clubs like the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants team previews from Maddux Sports.

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