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Blognostications

2014 - Week 1 Redskins @ Texans

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Blognosticator - Jugband McGillicuddy

TEXANS BLOGNOSTICATION, 2014:

Owners, staff, Redskin fans, friends...

Hello and welcome to the 2014 Washington Redskins football season, and the official beginning of the Jay Gruden era in DC. I am your humble blognosticator, Jugband McGillicuddy.

It is my high honor and distinct privilege to kickoff what will no doubt be another exciting season of both Redskins football, and blognostications by literally the best contributors to any Redskins site on the World Wide Interwebz.

When BGOwnership set out to create a bold new forum for Redskins discussion, they made an important decision. They had no desire to see their own names in lights. They had no desire to wield a banhammer, or to place themselves on some sort of burgundy and gold pedestal. They decided that their site would be content driven, member driven, and would place a much-needed emphasis on quality over quantity.

They didn't achieve their goal. They CRUSHED their goal. BGO Bloggers, Blognosticators, contributors, and indeed, EVERY member took advantage of the platform we were given, and in five short years have turned this place into a "corner bar" type of site, and one where everyone in our burgundy-and-gold watering hole contributes something of value.

I feel fortunate just to be counted among those sipping a beverage in this fine establishment. But to get this shiny new avatar, and the privilege of leading off this season's blognostications, when I can pick out any number of guys and gals here who know more about our team, and can express it better than I, is pretty awesome. Thank you all for having me, for allowing me this great outlet to share my thoughts, and for the chance to discuss what should be one HELL of a season opener. Without further ado, let's get to that...

The key to this game for our Redskins is simple. Keep Robert Griffin III alive. That's right. I didn't say "healthy." I didn't say "upright." I said "alive."

Any of you who know me well know that I have a flair for the dramatic. But as I contemplated how to approach this preview, I kept having a recurring "daymare"; the image of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney meeting at our quarterback, and dashing our hopes for an improved season in 2014 right off the bat.

Watt, IMHO, is the greatest defensive player in the game right now. There's not a single thing he cannot do. He can bull or speed rush, he's better than even Ryan Kerrigan at getting his hands on the ball, and he's a respectable run stopper. He's -- put simply -- evil....at least on the field. Off it, he's a hard kid not to like, and on it, he's a thing of beauty to watch. (As long as he's playing someone else's team.)

Clowney has similar potential, though I don't see him being quite the player that Watt is. He tends to take it easy on a play occasionally, whereas Watt's motor seems like it must run full speed even while he's sleeping. (That is not to say that Clowney is a lazy player, or that he's not to be feared. He just needs to have enough discipline to realize that you can take no plays off in the NFL. If he does, he'll get hurt. If he doesn't, someone else will.)

This is not a good game to go full force with the "let's make RG3 a pocket passer" experiment. I hope that Robert won't hear his coach in his head, telling him to wait, and not to take off when he feels some heat. In this game, if he senses even the HINT of warmth, he needs to move. Not necessarily take off running, mind you, but at least attempt to buy himself some time.

Texans' Starter Ryan Fitzpatrick will find himself in a very similar position, for an entirely different reason.

The Redskins' defensive front-seven is one that even I wouldn't mind an opportunity to coach. It's comprised of weapons and playmakers, and a number of guys who can lineup at more than one position, in order to seek out the best matchup.

We know that Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo can get after the QB, and Trent Murphy (at least in utterly meaningless preseason action) looks to be the real deal.

Murphy's game reminds me a lot of Kerrigan's, and that is a high compliment. Kerrigan is probably our most well-rounded and most versatile defensive player. He can get into the backfield quickly, take a back away in the flat, and is always around the ball. That's precisely what I've seen Murphy this summer. He's not as refined as Kerrigan yet, and obviously there will be some growing pains, but I simply love having him on the roster.

The Redskins' LBs should be able to post big sack totals this year, not only because of their own talent, but because of the "space eaters" up front. The addition of Jason Hatcher won't hurt that at all, as he'll command semi-regular double teams.

Offensively, the Redskins look like a fantasy team from a couple of years ago. Remember when you had to hold your nose and pick DeSean Jackson? No more. You can now select him AND root for him.

You could do far worse than to have the players at the skill positions that we do. I mean, if you're an opposing defense, what do you do? Double Jackson? Great. Pierre Garcon's open. Double both outside WRs? Fine. Andre Roberts or Jordan Reed are open across the middle. Take away the entire passing game some how? No problem. We've got a top-5 running back to cram it down your throat. I simply cannot wait to see what first-year head coach Jay Gruden will do with the skill guys in his arsenal. (And we'll just pretend the offensive line is good too, OK?)

The Texans offense isn't one that, at this point, strikes fear in the hearts of opposing clubs. Yes, Arian Foster is back and hopefully healthy after missing half the season a year ago, but it remains to be seen if he'll be his old self. Andre Johnson is a beast, but he's 33 now, and he has to slow a little at some point, doesn't he? Having lost Owen Daniels to free agency doesn't help either. He's a dangerous tight end when he's healthy, which is...well...pretty much never. And you tell me. Have you ever uttered the words, "Oh, crap. We have to go up against Ryan Fitzpatrick?" Child, please.

I'm not worried about the Texans' offense. I'm worried about their defense. But, as I said, if we can keep Griffin alive, I think we'll win a close, physical, contest. And if Gruden starts 1-0, that's a whole lot better than the other "unknown" coordinator we brought here back in the 80s...What was his name? Joe something?

And believe me. If we win, I'll start thinking about those trophies Joe won all over again.


PREDICTION:

Redskins 24, Texans 23
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