Let’s establish some over/under lines for the Redskins and I’ll take a shot at the over or under on each of them. Feel free to play along in the comments section.
Games started by Robert Griffin III—13.5
Over: Only folks who haven’t been paying attention or who see every glass as way under half empty think that RG3 won’t start the opener on Sept. 9 against the Eagles. Barring a setback, he’ll be behind center for Week 1. But quarterbacks, even those who aren’t going into the season with a twice-reconstructed right knee, are subject to injury. And if Griffin gets dinged up Mike Shanahan will be very, very cautious about putting him back in. I think he’ll manage to stay upright and might miss a game or two but not three.
Passing yards for Griffin—3,700
Over: Last year Griffin threw for 3,200 yards, 22nd in the NFL. Only four starting quarterbacks had fewer pass attempts than his 392. A projected increase is based on thinking that he will pass a few more times per game and that he will go a little deeper when he does throw. Griffin should learn from his 2012 mistakes and become an even more efficient passer than he was as a rookie.
Rushing yards for Griffin—600
Under: It is safe to say that his 120 rushing attempts for 815 yards will stand as Griffin’s career highs until he retires sometime around 2030. If he rushes for 500 yards that’s about 31 yards per game and that seems about right. That’s enough to keep the defense off balance, especially if he pops a 40-yarder every few weeks.
Rushing yards for Alfred Morris—1500
Under: No, I don’t foresee a sophomore slump for Morris, who ran for 1613 yards and averaged 4.8 per carry as a rookie last year. I just don’t think he’ll carry as often as he did last year (335 rush attempts, 21 per game). As noted above, Griffin will pass more often and I think that the backup running backs—whoever winds up in those jobs—will get more than the 91 carries that the reserve tailbacks had in 2012.
Receiving yards for Pierre Garçon—1000
Over: Garçon averaged 63 yards per game in the 10 he played in last year, a pace that would have put him just over 1000 for a 16-game season. He has played 16 games in a season just once in his five years in the NFL but until last year he had never played in fewer than 14. Let’s say he plays in 13 games; an average of about 77 yards per game would be needed to hit 1000. That seems to be doable.
Receptions for Fred Davis—55
Under: It’s kind of hard to draw comps for Davis since he was injured in the seventh game last year (24 receptions at the time) and played 12 games in 2011 before he was suspended for the last four (59 catches). I think that Davis will show some rust after his injury and with the variety of targets that Griffin will have to throw to I don’t think that he will be able to pile up a lot of catches.