Redskins Preview Capsule
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (8-7-1)
New faces: WR Terrelle Pryor, DL Stacy McGee, DL Terrell McClain, LB Zach Brown, S D.J. Swearinger.
Key losses: Offensive coordinator Sean McVay, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Pierre Garcon, DE Chris Baker, LB Trent Murphy (injured).
Strengths: TE Jordan Reed gives QB Kirk Cousins matchup nightmare in passing game and offensive line features one of league’s best left tackles in Trent Williams. CB Josh Norman is big-play threat in secondary and LB Ryan Kerrigan in pass rush as defense should be improved under new coordinator Greg Manusky.
Weaknesses: Lack of familiarity between Cousins and WRs Pryor and Josh Doctson could hurt, especially if RB Robert Kelley can’t generate consistent ground attack. Third-down and red-zone play particularly on defense cost playoff spot last year and could be problem again.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Cousins is coming off back-to-back 4,000-yard passing seasons, Reed is good bet to produce big numbers if healthy, and WR Jamison Crowder will have bigger role after 67 catches for 847 yards, seven TDs last year.
Expectations: Contending for playoff spot and possibly division title in uncertain NFC East. Cousins playing for another contract should be more motivation than distraction with coach Jay Gruden dialing up passing game as much as possible. Anything from 6-10 to 10-6 is possible with brutal schedule and big problems to fix from last year with limited personnel turnover on defense.