The Washington Redskins ended 2011 regular season like they have the past three seasons before it; not celebrating. The Redskins haven’t been to the playoffs since 2007 and have been watching the postseason from home in 10 of their last 13 seasons. But there were some bright spots in 2011. There was resemblance of the Redskins of old with a reemergence of a running game led by the 105th
overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Roy Helu. London Fletcher, after 14 long seasons and leading the NFL in tackles, was shafted from the pro bowl again, until they let him in.
Where to start with last year’s Redskins that the die hard fans don’t already know? Wrecks Grossman started the season winning three of his first four starts and throwing six touchdowns to five interceptions. Then, was pulled in week six in favor of John Beck after going 9 of 22 for 143 yards and four picks. Fans called for Beck, and their prayers were answered until everyone found out he wasn’t mobile and his arm strength and accuracy may have been over-exaggerated. Back in steps Grossman, four games later against the Dolphins, but he still couldn’t get the win. Rexy finished the season with 16 TDs, 20 INTs, and 3,151 yards, and a 5-11 record. Did I mention their “future” left tackle and tight end figured they liked the career paths of Ricky Williams and Randy Moss and failed their drug tests?
Washington’s defense was mediocre, finishing 13th
in total D in the NFL. Rookie Ryan Kerrigan provided a punch at the outside linebacker position. Fletcher, as always, provided the stability, work ethic, and heart that should be imitated around the league. After six years of Carlos Rogers not picking off one pass thrown his way, he makes his first pro bowl…with the 49ers. There are just no words to describe the Redskins bad luck during the Daniel Snyder era.
The Redskins have seven picks in the upcoming draft, including the number six overall. This pick should be used on a quarterback, and if the man upstairs means to make up for all the pain and heartache over the past 10 years, he would let Robert Griffin III fall to Washington at six. But he is spiteful God and he will not let this happen. But in steps Texas A&M product Ryan Tannehill. He is big at 6’4’’, mobile (he played wide receiver more than half of his career at A&M,) and has a cannon of an arm. He only started 19 games at the collegiate level, but head coach Mike Shanahan should already have his mind made up, and would like to keep as many as those seven picks as he can to fill other gaping holes in the team. Ryan Tannehill will be under center in his first game as a Washington Redskin.
But who will Tannehill be throwing to? Santana Moss is 32, and is on the decline. Granted, it is not his fault if he doesn’t have a quarterback who can get him the ball. But he needs someone to help during what could be his last few years in D.C. Snyder has made it known he doesn’t mind spending his money and the Eagles have 21 million dollars tied up in three pro bowl caliber CBs next year. If Philly does choose, and that is a big “if” because of Jackson’s talent, not to resign or franchise him, the Washington Redskins will land DeSean Jackson in free agency. Jackson has made it clear he wants someone to show him the money. Who better to do that than the Redskins? This would also provide an easier transition for Tannehill because he will have an explosive, experienced receiver to throw to on day one.
The Redskins will face five 2011 playoff teams in 2012. The take on the AFC North and the NFC South, and their normal NFC East foes. On top of that, they play the Rams and Vikings. Mike Shanahan knows he needs to win in his third season in Washington. It is playoffs or bust for this team. They host and beat their cross town rival Baltimore Ravens. They split their games with the Cowboys and Giants, but sweep the Eagles. Beat St. Louis and Minnesota and go 3-4 against the Falcons, Panthers, Bengals, Saints, Buccaneers, Browns, and Steelers. The Washington Redskins finish their 2012 regular season with a 10-6 record, which is good enough for one of the wild card spots out of the NFC and make it to the playoffs.
Now, the last bold prediction only applies if the two before it come true. Without a quarterback, Washington is still at the bottom of the NFC East. Without a decent wide out for Tannehill to throw to, the Skins maybe crawl to 8-8. Rookie quarterbacks have had success as of late in the NFL. But Matt Ryan had Roddy White, Joe Flacco had Derrick Mason, and Ben Roethlisberger had Hines Ward. Even in 2011, T.J. Yates had Andre Johnson for his playoff win. If the Skins have Tannehill to Jackson, we could see Washington rise from the dead and put other NFC East teams on notice that they are back.