It's opening day eve of the 2013 Redskins season and for fans, like kids at Christmas, tomorrow can't come soon enough.
The wagering crowd is looking at the football prediction line for Eagles at Redskins. If you are one of those, check to view predictions here.
Here are five safe bets for the Redskins season for the rest of us.
No. 1 ‒ Robert Griffin III is perfectly healthy.
He's the talk of the league, but most of the talk is skepticism about RGIII's health and durability. When last we saw him in action, Griffin was writhing on the ground in the home playoff loss against Seattle. In this case, that last impression is the lasting one.
The irrepressible youth may have been all-in for Game One, but old coach Mike Shanahan knows it is more important for Griffin to be available for the last four games than for the first four. One glance at the schedule will tell you why.
The Eagles game is Shanahan's only chance to bench Griffin without fan revolt if health is the issue. He didn't do it. If Griffin is playing, Griffin is 100 percent ready.
No. 2 ‒ Brian Orakpo is perfectly healthy.
The focus on Griffin's knee overwhelmed concern about Brian Orakpo's pecs. Rak twice tore his left pectoral muscle over two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl playing with the injury in 2011, but was lost for the season when he tore it again early in 2012.
The same training and medical staff that lavished attention on RGIII was available to Orakpo. Hog Heaven trusts (yes, it's a trust issue) the staff paid due attention. It is just as important that Rak is available for the last four games as it is Griffin.
If Orakpo is playing, Orakpo is ready. The question is how will he change his tackling technique while in coverage. Avoid arm tackles, Rak.
No. 3 ‒ Griffin's pass completion rate will decline.
RGIII's passing stats will go down in a good way. He will throw the ball away more often when plays break down.
Griffin's concussion and knee injury happened when he was making big running plays from play-action. Yes, football loves a running quarterback. Yes, we want Griffin to slide sooner or get out of bounds quicker. Why run at all? Throwing the ball away is better. That's what Brady does.
The gingerbread man was caught and eaten at the end of the story. Don't be the gingerbread man, son. Throw the ball away.
No. 4 ‒ Leonard Hankerson or Aldrick Robinson will emerge as a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver.
The Redskins haven't had a legit No. 2 wideout since Rod "fifty-fifty" Gardner. That's sad.
Bruce Smith derided Gardner with the notion that the odds were 50-50 that he would catch a ball that hit him in the hands. Washington's inability to find a true successor to Gardner explains much of why Jason Campbell struggled here.
Lord know the team tried, but Brandon Lloyd, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Donte Stallworth never measured up to fifty-fifty. Antwaan Randle-El was pressed into a role he was not signed for and never really fit.
Lack of a receiving one-two punch at receiver is why Hog Heaven ranked the 'Skins as having the third-best receiving corps in the Beast. (The Eagles without Jeremy Maclin are fourth.)
Robinson is in his second year and Hankerson is in his third. Both flashed brilliance during preseason, Robinson especially. Hankerson is in his third year, the time when he should blossom as a pro player. Hog Heaven can't tell which of the two will do it. Call it a football perfecta.
Count on one of those players to be good for a Gardner-like 60 catches for seven touchdowns.
Who knew in 2005 that we would be praising Gardner in 2013? Not I, said the duck.
No. 5 ‒ Redskins fans will enjoy the 2013 season.
We are not saying "Redskins" and "Super Bowl" in the same sentence here. The Redskins will have a winning season, however, and contend for a playoff spot because they have corrected two flaws in pre-Shanallenhan thinking about team structure: continuity and depth.
Mike Shanahan is the second coach of the Snyder era to get a fourth season at the job. Joe Gibbs twice led the Redskins to the playoffs in his second run here. Shanahan stands an excellent chance to do the same and with a better team than Gibbs coached.
Gibbs fell victim to Snyderrato thinking that "proven talent" at the top and a bunch of other guys would achieve Nirvana. The 2012 Redskins won the division with a lot of injured players. No Gibbs II team could have done that.
NFL seasons are a test of depth. Endurance wins championships as much as passing, blocking and tackling.
The Redskins have endurance. Now if they can only avoid suspensions.
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