Season predictions! We posed questions to Ben Standig and Frank Hanrahan. Here's what they said.
Best case (season):
Ben - The DL is much improved. Legit safeties roam the secondary. Kirk Cousins >>> RG3. If Jordan Reed, Trent Williams and Keenan Robinson avoid notable injuries, 8-8 within reach.
Worst case (season):
Ben - Not sure what that even means anymore record-wise considering seven wins over the last two seasons. Head coach Jay Gruden appearing overmatched is probably the worst case scenario because it either means another coaching change or major uncertainty going into his third season.
How many games does Kirk Cousins start this season?
Ben - Let's go 15, leaving out one wild card scenario for injury or an alien abduction. Like Peter Hailey said recently, I've been driving the Cousins train for some time. No point changing course now that he's the starter.
Frank - Kirk Cousins will start 12 games this season for the Redskins. He will be benched after a 3-9 start.
How many games does RG3 start this season?
Ben - Zero. This mght be utterly naive, but I cannot understand why he steps foot on the field this season with that $16.5 million contact for 2016 becoming guaranted with serious injury.
Frank - Robert Griffin III will not start one game measly game for the Skins this season. He will be in shutdown mode.
When the season ends, the Redskins 2015 Rookie of the Year will be...?
Ben - I love what I've seen from Matt Jones and think he evetually turns the RB scenario into a true committee, but give me Preston Smith. His pass rushing skills stood out during the preseason and I suspect he eventually starts playing more than Trent Murphy.
Frank - The Redskins rookie of the year will be Preston Smith. He will register 9 sacks!
Whether Rookie or free agent, who ends up being the best acquisition?
Ben - Terrance Knighton. Pot Roast's massive presence in the middle of the much improved defensive line will help the overall defense significantly.
Frank - Well, not really a true offseason acquisition, but give me Rashad Ross. After a great pre-season, The little known wide receiver will make some big plays and will be known this year.
Whether Rookie or free agent, which acquisition ends up being biggest head scratcher?
Ben - My call here is for something the Redskins didn't do which is upgrade the OL depth. This isn't a knock on Brandon Scherff. This is about not feeling confident with Spencer Long and Josh LeRibeus for some time. Imagine the forecast if Morgan Moses didn't make a jump this offseason.
Who isn't starting Week 1 that by Week 8 we're going to be asking, "Why wasn't he starting Week 1?"
Ben - The third receiver doesn't always start, but it should be Ryan Grant now. It will be by Week 8.
Frank - This may be Alfred Morris' last hurrah as I expect Matt Jones to take over the starting running back spot by season's end. He looks like a steal so far and will become an even bigger one with a breakout rookie campaign.
Do any of the current OL reserves ever start this season for reasons other than injury?
Ben - No, though I'm curious Arie Kouandjio impresses enough during practices to end up becoming the first guard off the bench.
Over/under -- Ryan Kerrigan sacks...13.5
Ben - This falls right around this number, but I'll go over. More DL help means harder to double team.
Over/under -- Run defense...NFL rank 12.5
Ben - Under. Read all my Pot Roast praise above, not to mention Stephen Paea and Jason Hatcher. Top 10 potential.
Frank - I actually think the Redskins will be much better in stopping the run with all the defensive line additions, so I will go under 12.5 for run team defense this season.
Over/under -- Number of games fans will ask loudly why Redskins took Scherff over Leonard Williams... 8.5
Ben - Over. Scherff would hve to play at a Russ Grimm level to avoid such thoughts from the fans.
Frank - Underplayed has been the fact that Brandon Scherff, who was drafted fifth overall to play right tackle, is starting at right guard. Yikes. Still, I will go under 8.5 games that fans will be screaming "You should have taken Leonard Williams!"
Over/under -- Alfred Morris... 1,000 rushing yards
Ben - Under. It's a Matt Jones thing, mostly.
Rank top 4 in receptions this season
Ben - Garcon, Reed, Jackson, Grant
Frank - DeSean Jackson will lead the team in receptions followed by Jordan Reed! Yes he will actually not be Mr. Glass this season then comes Pierre Garcon and Rashad Ross.
Who ends up in the Pro Bowl
Ben - Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, Tress Way.
Frank - Skins Pro Bowlers will be the usual suspects. Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan will get the nod to Hawaii. It still is there right? DeSean Jackson will also get the nod but won't go.
Record in the NFC East
Ben - Let's go 2-4. Win at Philly, beat Dallas at FedEx
Frank - Skins will go 2-4 in the division with wins over Philly and New York.
Final record prediction
Ben - Calling for 6-10 doesn't sound great, but I'm cautiously optimistic in part because the entire world acts like they won't win a game.
Frank - Redskins sadly will go 5-11. Hey, an improvement over a year ago! Overhaul per usual in the off season.
Super Bowl prediction
Ben - Let me show all my work
NFC Division winners: Giants, Packers, Saints, Seahawks.
NFC Wild card: Eagles, Rams (Vikings and Cowboys, so close, but...)
AFC Division winners: Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs
AFC Wild card: Dolphins, Broncos
Super Bowl: Patriots 31 Packers 28
Frank - At the end of the day, I am going with Indianapolis versus Dallas in Super Bowl 50! Book it.