Washington Redskins 2018 NFL Team Preview
2017 Record: 7-9
2017 ATS: 7-9
2017 Over/Under: 8-8
2018 Regular Season Wins Total: 7 wins
The Washington Redskins endured yet another mediocre season under the ownership of Dan Snyder with matching 7-9 SU and ATS records. In their defense, 2017 was marred by injuries with as many as 20 players on injured reserve. Most notable of which was star left tackle Trent Williams who was limited to 10 games and ultra-athletic yet injury-prone tight end Jordan Reed playing in only six. The offense also declined 3.4 ppg following the departure of offensive guru Sean McVay who immediately turned the Los Angeles Rams into contenders.
This offseason, the Redskins made a change at the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins finally left and was replaced by Kansas City’s Alex Smith. From a projected production standpoint, the move was somewhat of a wash though the Redskins did surrender a third-round draft pick and up-and-coming cornerback Kyle Fuller. Smith posted great numbers (26-5 TD-to-INT ratio) under the watch of Andy Reid and was surrounded by playmakers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. At 34 years old, it’s difficult to see Smith adding much of anything to a league-average offense. Losing second round draft pick Derrius Guice to a knee injury and adding retread Adrian Peterson was a prototypical Redskins move. And Reed, Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson have already missed time in training camp due to injury. Again, Smith comes from the perfect fit to one that is clearly less than ideal which strongly hints Washington’s offense doesn’t have much upside.
Defensively, last year’s unit was better than the numbers showed. The Redskins ranked 27th in scoring defense and a slightly better 21st in yards per game allowed. Both stats were hindered by a stronger-than-average strength of schedule. Their front seven has lots of potential with former Alabama standouts Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. The secondary features Josh Norman but the remainder of the unit is questionable at best. Expecting much of an improvement in 2018 becomes tricky when we analyze the schedule. After Week 1’s game at Arizona, the defense faces Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees over the next three weeks. And the NFC East is much stronger with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys expected to be vastly improved. Also note that the Redskins don’t face defending Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, until December when Carson Wentz should be at full strength. Other rugged non-division matchups included road trips to Jacksonville and Tennessee and home tilts against Atlanta, Houston, and Carolina.
Currently lined at a pick ‘em, if the Redskins don’t win Week 1’s game at Arizona, it’s difficult to envision them getting beyond the seven-win mark. In fact, I confidently recommend a wager on the Redskins to go UNDER their season over/under win total of 7. Bettors should keep an eye on the secondary. An injury to Norman — or any starter for that matter — would have devastating consequences to a depth-shy unit that must face an unfriendly slate of opposing quarterbacks.
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