Sunday, the New Orleans Saints jump-start their season at home against the Washington Redskins. Week 1 is always the most difficult week to project because of the turnover on each roster with players gone and many new ones added in their stead.
No game in the entire league will epitomize that fact to a greater degree than the Washington-New Orleans game.
Washington has kept the same system it's been sporting the past two years under Mike Shanahan. But the offense has made a huge upgrade at the quarterback position, bringing in Robert Griffin III to run the show.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner promises to add a missing dimension to an offense mired in mediocrity the past two years.
On the Saints' side, the offense figures to remain largely the same as it has the past six years under Sean Payton. But the defense promises to look dramatically different under brand-new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Under Spagnuolo, the Saints are transitioning to a more conservative, modified Tampa 2 scheme. Much like Chicago, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay of years past, the Saints will aim to generate enough pressure with their front four that the back seven can focus on coverage.
Of course, that is an oversimplification, but for our purposes works just fine.
Everything said is meant to show that watching three Redskins games from a year ago (as I did) may not give us everything we need to know to accurately predict the keys to this Week 1 contest.
I will try nonetheless.