Washington Redskins 2009: 10 Realistic Predictions

Philip Speake@@PhilipSpeakeCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2009

SEATTLE - JANUARY 05:  Safety LaRon Landry #30 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card game at Qwest Field on January 5, 2008 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

1. The team will finish 10-6.

After a 6-2 start last season, the offensive line faltered, hindering the rest of the offense.  

The 'Skins are getting very little national respect as usual. Despite having a top five defense last season and barely missing the playoffs, most writers think  the 'Skins will continue to be an 8-8 team.

Let's remember the Redskins were a fluke fumble by an offensive lineman and a fumble on the half yard line from being 10-6 last year. Also, the Redskins defeated the Eagles twice and Cardinals once.

Going 3-0 against the two teams in the NFC Championship is not a fluke.

2. Santana Moss will have his best year since 2005.

This should be the year that a legitimate No. 2 receiver steps up and takes double teams away from Moss. 

Jim Zorn should be able to use his entire playbook, and Moss seems like he is 100 percent healthy. In 2005, Moss had 84 receptions for 1483 yards and nine touchdowns under Joe Gibbs run-first offense.

Now, in a west coast offense, with real targets elsewhere, the coverage should be less focused on Moss. He should have two more seasons of prime play left in his career.

Look for Malcolm Kelly to draw more attention from defenses.

3. Carlos Rogers will have five interceptions! And one touchdown.

Yup, that’s right, five!

Rogers is in a contract year and has shown glimpses of all-pro potential.  This is the season when he and college teammate Jason Campbell play for their second contracts.

Cornerbacks garner big money in free agency, and a single career year can get you paid (see Nate Clements).  While five INTs is not amazing, it certainly is a step forward for a team that struggles to create turnovers. 

Also, some men up front named Haynesworth and Orapko should help Rogers out in making plays.

4. Rock Cartwright will have zero rushing attempts.

This has been an issue that has bothered me for a few years. Rock is explosive, tough, reliable, and hardworking, yet he never gets any touches.

I’m sure 'Skins fans remember his 100-yard game against St. Louis in 2005 during their run toward the playoffs. He can run, he returns kickoffs pretty well, and hits tacklers sometimes before they hit him. 

For some reason, whenever the first or second-string running back goes down, someone else is brought in. In cities like Pittsburgh, New England, and Baltimore, Rock would surely be more appreciated and utilized on the offense.

The Washington Post recently wrote a story on this, and Cartwright seems frustrated by not getting opportunities.  With Marcus Mason making the squad, Rock takes another step back.

5. London Fletcher will lead the team in tackles and finish top-five in the NFL.  

He still won’t make the Pro Bowl.  


Because this happens every year: Fletcher is an exceptional, reliable football player who never gets respect.

He will lead the 'Skins' defense again and get little respect again. Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, and/or Brian Urlacher will make the Pro Bowl over Fletcher.  

Washington loves you, London!

6. Antwaan Randle El will still be the primary punt returner.

This is one of those sad realizations I came to about a month ago. Redskins fans better hope fewer reps on offense mean better returns from El.

He danced east and west way too much last year and averaged only 6.5 yards a return. Washington brought in some speedsters to challenge El, but none made the final 53.

So we're back with Antwaan, special insert Santana Moss, and hopefully Devin Thomas can get some reps as well. Mark my words after the Giants go three and out to open the season, Randle El will run back to return the punt.

7. Sean Suisham will let the team and fans down. 

Once the announcer says, “Looks like Washington will have to punt. Fifty-three yards is out of Suishams range.” This is when I pull my hair and curse loud expletives at Vinny Cerrato and the television. He will most likely kick under 80 percent, finishing in the bottom third of the league.

Unfortunately, the Redskins love to play each game down to the wire, just when kickers are needed most.

8. Albert Haynesworth will make the pro bowl. 

Since Daniel Snyder began his free-agent spending sprees back in 2000, not a single one has made a pro bowl with the team...besides Marcus Washington, one time.

I believe that to be true from personal memory. If I am wrong, please correct me. Haynesworth will become No. 2 after another stellar season. This guy really is a beast, and we all can’t wait to watch him dominate the NFC Beast.

9. Washington will sweep the AFC West Division.   

With the exception of the Chargers, the division is a joke with no real playoff contenders.

The 'Skins host Kansas City and Denver, if they were playing in either Mile-High or Arrowhead I would not predict a win, considering how tough those places are to play.

Playing at San Diego in week 17, I fully expect the Chargers to be resting their stars, while it will probably be a must-win for Washington to make the playoffs.

10. Jim Zorn will not be fired, Campbell will leave for free agency, and the team will make the playoffs.  

Zorn, by making the playoffs, earns himself another year or two as head coach.

Campbell will leave for free agency. Despite improving for another straight season, the 'Skins will low-ball him, and once again disrespect him. 

After going 10-6, and finishing second in the division behind the Giants, Washington will lose in the NFC Divisional round.


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