Redskins ground game ready for Year 2
By Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir
The NFL season is upon us and it’s time to figure out what’s going to happen. Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir take a look at the numbers and take a shot at predicting some over/unders for the Redskins’ 2013 season.
Robert Griffin III passing for 3,600 yards (3,200 in 2012)
Tandler—Over: This really comes down to whether or not Griffin will throw more often; he’s not going to be much more efficient with his passes than he was in 2012. He averaged 8.1 yards per attempt last year so he’d have to throw 50 times more in 2013, about three attempts per game. I think that’s a lock.
El-Bashir—Over: Griffin was tied for the 25th most pass attempts in 2012 (with Seattle’s Russell Wilson). Because of the injury, though, Griffin is most likely going to pass more this season. And given that he boasts one of the game’s best arms and is among the league’s most accurate passers, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see RG3 reach 4,000 yards.
Griffin passing for 25 touchdowns (20 in 2012)
El-Bashir—Over: See above. He’s going to throw more and he’s had an entire offseason to study film, hone his footwork and sharpen his ability to read defenses. Therefore it doesn’t seem like much a stretch to expect him to throw six or more touchdown passes in his second season. (Not to mention he’s got a healthy Fred Davis, Pierre Garçon and Roy Helu to help him out).
Tandler—Under: I don’t doubt that Griffin will be a better quarterback and the Redskins will probably score more touchdowns than they did and Griffin will throw for a few more. But this will still be a running team and that means carries for Alfred Morris near the goal line. I see Morris pushing 20 TDs on the ground and RG3 coming up just short of 25 passing.
Alfred Morris rushing for 1,600 yards (1613 in 2012)
Tandler—Under: I think if this offense truly hits on all cylinders Morris has a shot at a truly special season, perhaps pushing the 2000-yard mark. But the chances are better than a healthy Roy Helu Jr. and explosive rookie Chris Thompson cut into his carries some and Morris has another outstanding season but short of his team-record total from last year.
El-Bashir—Under: RG3 is going to be less of a threat to run, and defenses will know it. That – and an offseason of prep work – will allow opposing coordinators to devise schemes to limit Morris’s effectiveness. I also think Morris’ rugged running style will eventually catch up to him later in the season.
Pierre Garçon racking up 1,000 yards receiving (633 in 2012)
El-Bashir—Over: One of the big storylines in '13 is going to be the chemistry between Griffin and Garçon. Griffin is going to throw more, and he spent the entire offseason working off to the side tossing passes to Garçon, who was recovering from shoulder and foot injuries. Garçon, meantime, says he’s now 100 percent healthy.
Tandler—Under: This is a tough one. While I think Garçon has the ability to rack up a thousand receiving yards I’m not so sure he’ll get the opportunity. Josh Morgan is healthy, Leonard Hankerson looks like he “gets it” in his third year and Aldrick Robinson seems to have rounded out his game. Throw in Roy Helu Jr. and maybe Chris Thompson catching some balls out of the backfield and I just don’t think that Garçon will be targeted enough to post 1,000 receiving yards.
Brian Orakpo amassing 11.5 sacks (1 in 2012 in 2 games)
Tandler—Under: I’m certainly not ruling out Orakpo having a monster season and racking up over a dozen sacks. Maybe him being in a contract year and a Redskins offense that may be capable of allowing the team to play with a big lead a lot of the time will push him over the top. But I want to see him do it before I predict he’ll do it.
El-Bashir—Over: He’s hungry. He’s finally healthy. He’s also faced with the chance to score a lucrative, long-term contract with a huge season. I also think the emergence of Ryan Kerrigan and the arrival of rookie Brandon Jenkins is going to force opposing teams to divert their attention. And that can only help Orakpo.
Redskins recording 10.5 regular season wins (10 in 2012)
El-Bashir—Under: Given how difficult the Redskins’ schedule is, I have a tough time predicting that they’ll surpass last year’s win total. They’re facing six teams that won 10 games a year ago, including games at Green Bay, at Denver, at Minnesota and at Atlanta. And, oh yeah, they also play in the rough and tumble NFC East.
Tandler—Over: I don’t think this is a slam-dunk by any means given the schedule as Tarik noted. But it’s a quarterback league and with RG3 the Redskins will either be on equal footing at the most important position on the field or will have a clear advantage in 14 of their 16 games (exceptions are the matchups against Aaron Rogers and Peyton Manning). I don’t think that they will be a juggernaut or anything but I do see them getting to 11 wins.
Redskins notching .5 postseason wins (0 in 2012)
Tandler—Over: This is where the crystal ball gets cloudy, trying to figure out if they will win a game four months from now against an unknown opponent at an unknown site. All I can really go on is that I think this is a team on the rise and therefore they should do better this year than they did last season. A playoff win is the next step and they should take it.
El-Bashir—Over: Although I don’t see the Redskins surpassing last year’s win total, I do see them finding their way into the playoffs for the second straight year. This group had their hearts ripped out last January at FedEx Field. If they get there again, and RG3 is healthy, I don't think they'll let that happen a second time.