Redskins season predictions: Surprises, Sneaky MVP, What Happens

Before the 2016 season kicks off, Breaking Burgundy and friends made some bold calls on what will happen with the Redskins.

We've come up with a concept this year that will revolutionize Redskins coverage. Ready...Here goes...Season predictions. I know, genius.
OK, yucks aside, Breaking Burgundy asked our team and friends of the site for their insight on the 2016 season. 

1) Biggest surprise?

Ben Standig, Breaking Burgundy: It's not that DeSean Jackson puts up stats. It's that he generates his best per game stats of his NFL career. The elite playmaker plays like one from start to finish and posts his first 75-1250-10 season. 
Manny Benton, Breaking Burgundy: Matt Jones. Everyone seems to have low expectations for Jones this season, and understandably so. However, I could see him being a pleasant surprise and running for 1,000 yards.  
Erin Hawksworth, WJLA/News Channel 8:  Running back Robert Kelley surprisingly proves he can handle the load and emerges as the Redskins top ball carrier.
Chuck Sapienza, Breaking Burgundy: The biggest surprise will be the improved O-Line. The Redskins will not be a run 1st team but they will be able to churn out yards when needed.

Burgundy BlogUDFA "Fat Rob" Kelley passes Matt Jones to become RB1, on merit.

Joe Glorioso, Breaking BurgundyKirk Cousins matches and exceeds his output from last season and throws for 30+TD and 4200 yards, Skins win back-to-back NFC East titles for first time since 83’-84’

Neil Dalal, Breaking BurgundyThe biggest surprise will be Vernon Davis. Some my think he is washed up after a decade in the NFL, but based on how much the Redskins paid him, he may be in for a sizable contribution.

2) Who and how many Redskins make the Pro Bowl?

Standig: Four. Trent WilliamsJordan ReedPreston SmithJosh Norman. I called Smith to the Pro Bowl back in May and no reason to change now. DeSean Jackson and Tress Way will be worthy, but will get hosed.
Benton: I'm going to say Trent Williams, DeSean Jackson, Josh Norman and Bashuad Breeland makes the Pro Bowl. Jordan Reed will play well but score less with additional mouths to feed. Preston Smith and Tress Way could be the team's alternates. 

HawksworthTrent Williams, Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Josh Norman

SapienzaThe Redskins never win popularity contests when it comes to Pro bowls but they will have three this year. Trent Williams, the gold standard of Left Tackles; Breshad Breeland, who will benefit from teams deciding to not challenge Josh Norman. Lastly, my favorite player, punter Tress Way.

Burgundy Blog: Trent Williams, Jordan Reed, Tress Way, Josh Norman (4).

GloriosoKirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, Trent Williams, Josh Norman, Preston Smith, Su’a Cravens.

DalalTrent Williams is the only lock to make the Pro Bowl, barring injury. As an optimist, let's predict Josh Norman, Chris Baker, and DeSean Jackson make the Orlando trip.

3) Biggest disappointment?

Standig: It's not that the defensive line will struggle defending the run and helping Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith generate a consistent pass rush. It's that this seemed clear after last season and yet GM Scot McCloughan, who mostly did fine elsewhere with the roster, did little to address this need area. 
Benton: Mason Foster. I don't think anyone has high expectations for Foster, but he is a starter. I think he loses that gig to second-year ILB Martrell Spaight before season's end.
Hawskworth: RB Matt Jones. If Kelley is the surprise...
Sapienza: The biggest disappointment will be the team struggling to stop the run. This was not addressed in the off season so I don't see how it improves at all. If it's worse, the Skins will struggle to get off the field.
Burgundy BlogRedskins defense actually worsens from 31st to dead-last in rushing yards allowed per attempt.
GloriosoDefensive line. Still don’t see how the Redskins defensive line improved one of their biggest issues last season. Concerned about obvious lack of depth and Chris Baker can’t play every position. The Redskins will have to score points to win games and they have the offense to do it.
DalalFor all of the hype Scot McCloughan has been advertising for Matt Jones, I just don't see it. Robert Kelley looks primed to steal away touches and Washington may regret letting Alfred Morris go.

4) Sneaky MVP?

Standig: I'm taking sneaky to another level when I say Shawn Lauvao. The Redskins ground game shows more life in 2016, making the offense even scarier. The Matt Jones-Robert Kelley combo will receive the headlines, which is why the return of the bullying left guard from numerous leg injuries will end up overlooked.
Benton: I think Preston Smith could end up being the Redskins best player along the front seven. He will be a key figure on that side of the ball.
Hawksworth: Bashaud Breeland shows Norman isn't the only Pro Bowl caliber corner in town.
Sapienza: Vernon Davis. If teams double Jordan Reed in the red zone. Davis could make a run at 7-9TD grabs. In addition, his leadership off the field could make him the real MVP.
Burgundy BlogWill Compton, if Jordan Reed isn't sneaky enough.
GloriosoSu’a Cravens. I’m on board the Cravens train. He passes my eye test, looks the part, says the right things it’s now time to see him put it all on tape. If this team is to repeat like I’m predicting it’s going to it’ll be because they get extra help on defense, especially in helping stop the run and Cravens could have a huge role in that.
DalalDeAngelo Hall has made a nice conversion to safety, which hopefully brings stability to a position Washington has not seen since Sean Taylor's unfortunate passing.
5) Record and what happens?
Standig: Same 9-7 record, but this time that's not good enough for the NFC East title or the playoffs. 
Benton: 8-8. Let's be honest, no one expected the Redskins to go 9-7 last year. They have a tougher schedule this season and a .500 season could be enough to win the NFC East. Ultimately, I see them coming in second place to the Giants.
Hawksworth10-6 ends after a first round playoff win. That's improvement, right?
Sapienza10-6 and NFC East Champs. Here's the breakdown...4-2 vs the East (Sweep Philly; split with Dallas and NY)...3-1 vs AFC North (Beat Clev and Balt; Split Pitts and Cinn)...2-2 vs NFC North (beat Chicago; lose to GB; split Minn and Det)...Split Carolina and Arizona.

Burgundy Blog: 9-7 (again). Wild Card Playoff loss (again).

Glorioso10-6 and NFC East champs again. Redskins finally win a home playoff game and are bounced in the second round by the Packers in Green Bay. Packers are officially the new, old Seahawks – aka the thorn in the Redskins playoff side.

DalalThe Eagles and Cowboys will likely have growing pains with rookie quarterbacks so the only NFC East competition for the Redskins is the Giants. Washington will win the division again at 9-7, but lose to Arizona (or Seattle) in a Wild Card matchup.

Extra point) What happens with Kirk Cousins contract situation?

Standig: I love the movie Groundhog Day. I fear we may live it next season. Cousins shows he's legit, but perhaps not quite to the point where the organization wants to make it rain, thus putting the threat of another franchise tag on the table. Let's hope we at least get a Bill Murray cameo. By the way, the DeSean Jackson scenario starts sharing contract talk headlines at some point.
Benton: Washington will try to franchise Kirk again to the QB's dismay. I think 2017 could be the year Kirk truly feels disrespected.
Hawksworth: Big year for Cousins means a big contract is coming, one with many years and possibly nine figures.
Burgundy BlogCuz throws for 4300/32/15. McC rewards him with $60M guaranteed and everyone forgets that they could've bagged him this year for so much less. Everyone but me.
DalalFranchising Kirk Cousins for a second straight year would not be ideal for Washington. If he plays at the level he did last year, the Redskins will spend a lot of money to sign him long-term.
GloriosoIf what I’ve written down all comes to life then there is only one option for Capt. Kirk: 

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