Several months before last season, USA Today Sports’ Nate Davis correctly predicted that the Seattle Seahawks would defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLIII. This season, he is predicting that the Seahawks will repeat as champions, defeating the Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIX.
Davis has also forecasted a 7-9 season for the Burgundy and Gold. While that record can be considered ‘progress’ for a team that finished 3-13 last season, I would think many–even those who are not fans of the Redskins– to be a bit ‘short-sighted’ for several reasons:
1. Last season was indeed an anomaly for the Redskins. With their star QB spending the entire offseason rehabbing from knee reconstruction, rather than developing and working with teammates, Robert Griffin III was nothing like the impact player he was the year before.
2. While Davis seems to ‘account’ for the additions of WR DeSean Jackson, WR Andre Roberts, DE Jason Hatcher, and S Ryan Clark to the team with the increase in wins, I think he’s not looking at the fact that these players can potentially have a far greater impact than just a 4-win improvement. In no way am I saying the Redskins will win 12 games or more next season, however a playoff appearance, and perhaps an NFC East title are indeed plausible. As are 7 wins, so I’ll give Davis credit in that regard.
3. I think the defense will be noticeably improved from last season with the additions of Clark, Hatcher, and hopefully a relatively healthy DL Stephen Bowen. If Bowen can stay on the field, this unit will be very-much improved. Not that Bowen is the best player on defense, however his prescence and play can indeed have a ‘ripple-effect’ on how the front seven performs.
4. Davis may also be taking into account that the Redskins will have a rookie head coach (Jay Gruden) and rookie offensive coordinator (Sean McVay). Nonetheless, both have been around pro football for several years; Gruden and McVay are no strangers to game-planning and going through the rigors of getting a team prepared to play on Sundays.
In conclusion, Davis may indeed be dead-on with his forecast for the Washington’s season. But given the talent and potential this team has, and the clear upside to RG3, I do expect a bit more in two-oh-one-four.