Burner’s Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

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Burgundy Burner

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Burner's Burning Questions: Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

Greetings to everyone here and greetings to all of our friends on social media. We hope you become a member of the family here.

The new season is about to begin and the Redskins are facing another tough sixteen game schedule. In the first in-season entry to our new in-season blog for 2018, we will make a game by game prediction.

In this new format, BBQ will continue to post grades, evaluations, and questions each week during the season. This new format will be far better than trying to have a series of blogs after each game and it will allow us to have better organization and continuity for this blog.

All of us would love to see a 16-0 record, but let's see if we can make some accurate prognostications. Are you ready for some football?

2018 Season Predictions

September 9 – Redskins at Cardinals
Arizona has weapons on offense. The Redskins have many new weapons on defense. Redskins win on a late field goal.
Redskins 23 Cardinals 20
Record: 1-0

September 16 – Colts at Redskins
The Redskins have a chance to get off to a good start. A close game becomes a comfortable win in the final quarter.
Redskins 31 Colts 20.
Record: 2-0

September 23 – Packers at Redskins
The Packers are significantly improved and prove it.
Packers 38 Redskins 21
Record: 2-1

Week Four, Bye
The Redskins are off to a decent start after the first three weeks and get an early season break.

October 8 – Redskins at Saints
With some time to prepare for a tough opponent, the Redskins are not able to overcome a series of mistakes.
Saints 21 Redskins 17
Record: 2-2

October 14 – Panthers at Redskins
A game that could go either way and it does feature several lead changes, but the Redskins prevail.
Redskins 19 Panthers 17
Record: 3-2

October 21 – Cowboys at Redskins
The Rivalry. Enough said.
Redskins 26 Cowboys 21
Record: 4-2

October 28 – Redskins at Giants
Eli Manning is having a poor season, but Saquon Barkley is on fire.
Giants 27 Redskins 24
Record: 4-3

November 4 – Falcons at Redskins
The Falcons are looking like a Super Bowl team and continue their superb season.
Falcons 38 Redskins 28
Record: 4-4

November 11 – Redskins at Buccaneers
A game that is tighter than it should be, but the Redskins prevail.
Redskins 34 Buccaneers 24
Record: 5-4

November 18 – Texans at Redskins
The Texans have too many weapons and use them to defeat the home team.
Texans 30 Redskins 17
Record: 5-5

November 22 – Redskins at Cowboys
The Thanksgiving Day game has the Redskins eating crow.
Cowboys 24 Redskins 16
Record: 5-6

December 3 – Redskins at Eagles
A dreaded primetime game. The season is slipping away.
Eagles 41 Redskins 27
Record: 5-7

December 9 – Giants at Redskins
Keeping slim playoff chances alive - barely.
Redskins 37 Giants 14
Record: 6-7

December 16 - Redskins at Jaguars
Elimination from the playoffs and a lopsided loss.
Jaguars 35 Redskins 17
Record: 6-8

December 22/23, TBD – Redskins at Titans
The Titans are fighting for a playoff spot.
Titans 28 Redskins 23
Record: 6-9

December 30 – Eagles at Redskins
Eagles are fighting for home field advantage in the playoffs.
Eagles 45 Redskins 20
Record: 6-10

These predictions in recent years haven't been fun at all. It was especially tough this time. What are your expectations for 2018? Do you see a better record? Worse? Are there any surprises coming for 2018? Let us know what you are thinking.

See you next week with grades, evaluations, and questions for game one.

It's time for some football!

Hail To The Redskins!
 

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Burgundy Burner

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

Welcome to the new football season! It is finally here. This blog will serve as the weeky update for grades, evaluations, and questions. This format should serve us better.

The first entry is probably not going to be very popular (opinion-wise), but it can also serve as a point of reference for the weekly schedule in case you need it.

Thanks for making the off-season blog such a success. It had the most replies, likes, thanks, and interactions of any previous off-season blog by far. Obviously, the uncertainty at quarterback early on played a role, but we did introduce a few new features and that added to the content as well. We'll likely have several guest mocks again next winter/spring.

As always, thanks for the support in these blogs. You are the reason why I do this each year. Let's hope the record is far better than my predictions and we are able to watch the Redskins play well into January. I'd love to put the off-season blog on the backburner for another month or so.

Hail!
 

Boone

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

Thankfully, your 2017 prediction was not your best effort - think you had us going 2-14? It was tough enough watching them go 7-9. I think I might've had to stop watching at some point or go on a hunger strike if we'd had the kind of disastrous 2017 you outlined.

It's so difficult to make predictions. First of all, who the really tough teams are going to be changes by about 50% every season. With a few exceptions (the Patriots for example), there are very few perennially dominant franchises any more. The much higher rate of roster turnover (especially at skill positions) teams now undergo makes it really tough to anticipate how good offenses and defenses will be from year to year. The 2018 Redskins are a perfect example of that. If Alex Smith thrives, Reed stays healthy, and guys like CT and AP return to previous form, as well as unproven guys like Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson prove capable - we could be one of the best offenses in the NFL. If not, well...

You're a lot braver than I am. I just can't make any predictions with so many unknowns and variables in play. I'd just be throwing darts at a board.

Only a couple issues I have with your predictions this year...

We're going to destroy the Saints. Retribution and all. We almost always beat them, on the road or not, and last year only a series of mind-boggling events cost us the win. The Panthers have had our # in recent years. I am not confident we win that one. I believe we'll sweep the Giants (Barkley is great, but they're not going to hand it to him 30 times a game - Eli will dictate they'll continue to throw 40-50 times a game). We'll split with Dallas. And we'll find a way to beat the Eagles who will not get every bounce going their way in 2018 like they did in 2017 with or without Wentz. I don't see the Titans beating us either.

I'm on the 8-10 win bus.

That being said, I've already noted how hard it is to predict how a season will go. Even the experts end up with egg on their face trying to do it.
 

Burgundy Burner

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

I've been working on these predictions since late July and I lost the number of times I edited, changed, and re-did various games. Yes, predicting before the season is tough.

So I will undoubtedly end up with egg on my face as well as bacon, grits, sausage, pancakes, hash browns, and waffles. Breakfast anyone?
 

Boone

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

I've been working on these predictions since late July and I lost the number of times I edited, changed, and re-did various games. Yes, predicting before the season is tough.

So I will undoubtedly end up with egg on my face as well as bacon, grits, sausage, pancakes, hash browns, and waffles. Breakfast anyone?
You're usually pretty solid - last year was just an abberation :)

The bad news is predicting is tough and it takes a brave soul to put their predictions out there. The good news is, no one has us doing jack squat this year. Since predictions almost always prove wildly inaccurate, we're going to the Super Bowl baby! :thewave:
 

Burgundy Burner

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

Pretty sure I couldn't fetch two first rounders in any trade.
 

Fear The Spear

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

Gallette and Breeland....kind of sad, but at the same time, I don't know why, but for some reason it seemed kind of a funny exchange.

 

Knightingale

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

I'm very much trying to temper my enthusiasm for this year.

I'm usually the first one on the Superbowl Bus, but there was a stat on ESPN the other day listing our Schedule as the 2nd hardest in the League.

While I'm bullish on the fact that this is the best team we've had in years, I do also realise that that is simply on paper. We have so many unknowns across the board to make a decent and accurate prediction.

Is our new D-Line going to be as good as we hope?
Can our your CB's defend the pass, or are we going to rue letting Fuller go?
Can Smith reproduce his form from last year in a different uniform?
Will Reed last more than a few games?
Will Thompson come back and continue his breakout form from last year?
Will Doctson break out?
Is Richardson the real deal or another Pryor in the making?
Can Peterson last 16 games? Can our backup RB's actually make a Run game by committee work?
Will Gruden commit to the run behind Peterson?
etc etc

The only thing I know for use is that Tress Way will kick punts well. LOL

In a season that looks this hard on the surface of it (and bear in mind that some teams will underperform and others will be surprises) and with that many question marks, I can't decide where we are going to end up at the back end of the season.

If those questions all have positive answers then we're a dark horse for the Superbowl.
If they're all negative answers then we might be on the end of a 4 or 5 win season
If they're half positive then maybe it's another 7-9 win year.

Which to be honest I'd be ok with because we finally have a youth movement with this team and I think we'll only get better year on year if we're sensible and don't make any rash changes of the back of a middling season. It's taken a while to reload this team properly, but finally feels like we have.
The one thing I'd like to see out of this year is for us to be solid in the trenches as a building block to move forward.

But.... I'm kinda with Boone and hoping for an 8-10 win season. :D

Ever the optimist. :D
 

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

I know that schedules are 'on paper' and that power hierarchy changes from year to year. But my question is - how does a non-playoff team get repeatedly assigned one of the top 3 hardest schedules in the league? Something seriously wrong with that process if you ask me.

And since you took the time to post some intriguing factors that may largely determine how well the team does, I'll give my responses and maybe others will too:

Is our new D-Line going to be as good as we hope? It's going to be better than we hope. If they stay healthy we may have a top 3 or 4 unit by year's end.
Can our your CB's defend the pass, or are we going to rue letting Fuller go? Yes - because we are going to be consistently collapsing the pocket on passing downs which will make our CB talent look much better than talent levels may suggest.
Can Smith reproduce his form from last year in a different uniform? No. Smith's averages are something like 3400 passing yards a season, 18-20 TD passes, 7 INTs or so. He's efficient, not prolific. But he's what we need. He rarely makes mistakes. And is a very accurate and savvy short passing game manager who also knows how to elude pressure.
Will Reed last more than a few games? Reed has lasted more than a 'few games' every season (except last year). In the 4 games prior to 2017, he's averaged 12 games a season. His 'brittleness' is a little overstated. So I have to believe he'll return to his average of playing about 2/3rds of the season.
Will Thompson come back and continue his breakout form from last year? I don't know. But the past 2 seasons he's been a crucial part of Gruden's offense and a crucial 'safety valve' for Cousins. His versatility really helps us because we can mask our intentions when he's in there. No reason to think, given the nature of his injury last year, that he won't return 100% but how much of a favored target he will be for Smith is an open question.
Will Doctson break out? I don't know. If by 'break out' you mean that Smith will actually consistently target him instead of using him like a 1 trick pony, I have to believe he will. That's one of the reasons we could thrive with Smith. We need to start using his physicality on slants and over the middle routes instead of just having him run post patterns and go after jump balls in the end zone. He's an Art Monk like WR and needs to be used that way. I'll say this - he needs to be targeted 150 times minimum this season, and he needs to finally exceed 50% catch %.
Is Richardson the real deal or another Pryor in the making? Richardson has great hands and speed. He's caught nearly 60% of passes thrown at him in the 3 full seasons he played in Seattle. Smith is going to throw to the WRs that are reliable. He is that guy. Pryor had 1 good season with 77 catches and 1000 yds but his resume was otherwise yawn-inducing. The only question with Richardson is whether he can be a true #1 , but there's a lot more basis for hope there than there ever should've been with Pryor.
Can Peterson last 16 games? Can our backup RB's actually make a Run game by committee work? No. In a decade he's only done it 4 times. At 33 years old and with almost 3000 touches under his belt, it's not likely he will play in every game. It's unlikely he will be a 3 down back with Thompson and our other RBs likely to get significant carries, so that may help keep him healthy. That's not the real question though. The question is, can he look as good against starting NFL defenses at age 33 (and with our rushing scheme) as he did in a single preseason game. For our rushing game to 'work', it just needs to be a viable threat that teams respect. So I think the answer will be mostly 'yes'.
Will Gruden commit to the run behind Peterson? Again - what do you mean by 'commit'? If Peterson averages 5 yards a carry, Gruden's no fool - he'll give him 15+ carries a game. But Gruden is always going to run a pass heavy offense. So my answer would be 'No' as I think you're asking if we'll be a pound it on the ground team with Peterson getting most of the carries. That's not going to happen for a lot of reasons. I'm not sure we need that to be a highly effective offense. We need to be a top 12 or so rushing team and anything better than that is gravy.
 

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

 

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

I know that schedules are 'on paper' and that power hierarchy changes from year to year. But my question is - how does a non-playoff team get repeatedly assigned one of the top 3 hardest schedules in the league? Something seriously wrong with that process if you ask me.
Must be like the QB Rating formula
 

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

 

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

We'll clog the holes and keep Johnson in check on the ground. It's in the passing game that he could torch us if we aren't swarming him. In the 2 great seasons Johnson had prior to missing almost all of the 2017 season with a dislocated wrist, the Cardinals threw to him 1/3rd of the time. He's a much more talented Chris Thompson. But he's not big. If the Redskins swarm and lay the wood to him, he can and will be contained. One of the keys, if we decide to blitz the hell out of Bradford, is making sure he can't dump it off to Johnson. In other words, when you blitz, you'd better get there.
 

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Re: Burner's Burning Questions: News, Grades, Evals, Questions, Regular Season, 2018

David Johnson`s about to meet the Burgundy Tide
 

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