The Washington Redskins were able to ditch their losing ways in 2012, winning their division for the first time in over a decade.
They succeeded largely because of the play of impact rookies such as Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, along with savvy veterans like Santana Moss and London Fletcher. Altogether, the Redskins improved as a whole on both sides of the ball and definitely took steps towards becoming a Super Bowl contender.
Since the season ended, this squad has only improved. Washington solidified its rickety secondary through the draft and free agency, which will only help them in 2013. It also doesn’t have the hardest schedule, and RG3 will have digested a whole season and offseason, maturing that much more.
So, the question is this: Can the Redskins win Super Bowl XLVIII? Well, they certainly have a chance and not just that “on any given Sunday” type of chance.
The biggest worry for the Redskins is obviously the knee of their star quarterback. At 23 years old, RG3 has had two major knee surgeries and, although he looks to be recovering just fine, he isn’t Superman.
Of course, while Washington stands a better chance of winning if Griffin III is in the game, he’s not the only puzzle piece it’ll need to fit in order to put together a championship season.
Between top draft picks like David Amerson and Phillip Thomas, along with free-agent corner E.J. Biggers, Washington has certainly bandaged its secondary. However, there is just too much youth at the defensive back position for the organization to be super confident.
If Amerson, Thomas and late-round pick Bacarri Rambo can perform as most people expect them to, Washington should be OK, but there is still lingering doubt for sure. The doubt itself stems solely from the fact that none of them have played a single down in the NFL, but preseason will (obviously) be the best tell as to whether or not these young guys are ready.
Aside from defensive back, the Redskins are pretty set.
The offense is solid, although the offensive line could use a little work. It will also be interesting to see how rookie TE Jordan Reed fits into the team’s game plan, but I’m sure he will find his niche.
The main objective that the Redskins needed to focus on this offseason was maintaining their pieces from a year ago. Continuity is key in the NFL, and Washington’s big wigs have done a pretty good job of keeping together a division-winning team.
Another large obstacle in the Redskins’ way is their schedule. Now, I did mention earlier that they don’t have the hardest schedule in the league, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some tough games.
Now, that’s not to say the burgundy and gold don’t stand a chance. The Redskins will definitely put up a fight against these NFL juggernauts, but whether or not they are “winnable games” is still up in the air.
There will also be some added incentive to win at Denver, too; It will be Mike Shanahan’s first time back at Mile High since being fired by the team a few years back.
While there aren’t a whole lot of things standing in the way of the Redskins’ Super Bowl endeavors, what does stand in their way is certainly intimidating.
I wrote earlier that the majority of this team’s success or failure will fall squarely on the shoulders of its quarterback, but what will truly carry them to the big game will be whether or not they can continue to improve as each week passes. They don’t have a plethora of big stars or anything, but the blue collar attitude seems to fit this team well.
So, can the Redskins win the Super Bowl? Sure. Will they? Probably not, but they are close.