This will be part of an ongoing series where we take a look at each individual team we will face this season.
It's been a roller coaster ride for Redskin fans. The Skins struggled again last season, which resulted in the firing of head coach Jim Zorn. Owner Dan Snyder then lured in Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan (along with wonderboy OC Kyle Shanahan) to coach the 2010 squad. Then, former quarterback of the future Jason Campbell was dealt to the Oakland Raiders following the Redskin's acquisition of future HOF quarterback Donovan McNabb from the Eagles. The icing on the cake was Albert Haynesworth. Just one year after signing his monster contract, the big guy is disgruntled by the new 3-4 scheme the Skin's will deploy next year, as he feels he's meant to be a disruptive 3 technique DT, and not role playing two gap NT. Despite all the turmoil, Redskin fans have reason to be optimistic heading into the 2010 season under the tutelage of Shanahan and on the arm of McNabb.
Follow me through the jump for a look at the Washington Redskins 2009 Season, the offseason, and three keys to winning this matchup.
2009 Season (7-9)
|Rushing YPG||PPG||Offensive DVOA||Defensive YPG||D. Passing YPG||D. Rushing YPG||Defensive PPG||Defensive DVOA|
|2009 Season||312.5||218.1||194.4||16.6|| -4.7%
* stats from NFL.com and Footballoutsiders.com
2009 is a season that Redskin fans would just soon forget. There's not much of a silver lining to this one. Aside from one double digit win (10 points) against the Denver Broncos, the teams three other wins came against bottom dwellers St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Oakland. The Redskins lost the other 12 contests, finishing the season at 4-12.
The offense was a mediocre unit. Reeling from the constant offensive coordinator carousel in Washington, Jason Campbell continued to struggle to establish himself as "the guy". I wouldn't categorize his performance as poor, but it just wasn't enough to give the organization confidence that he has what it takes to carry a franchise. The running attack wasn't much better, especially after the loss of Clinton Portis in week 9 to a season ending concussion. All that said, it's hard to take too much from last season and project it on to 2010 considering they've got a completely new offensive system and quarterback.
The defense was solid for the Redskins. Though he battled with injuries, the acquisition of Albert Haynesworth can be considered successful. While he may not have put up eye popping numbers, his presence did help those around him. Rookie DE Brian Orakpo made an immediate impact as a pass rusher and was selected to the Pro Bowl squad. Against the pass, this team performed well last year. However, the team struggled at times against the run. This offseason the team will be switching to a 3-4, which makes it difficult to project their success next season.
The Offseason: Free Agency and The Draft
Just as one would expect with a new coaching staff, the Redskins were extremely active this past offseason in trades and free agency. As mentioned before, the big news was the acquisition of Donovan McNabb via trade, and the dealing of Jason Campbell to Oakland for draft picks. Beyond that, the organization signed a whopping 18 new free agents. You can view those here. Notable acquisitions include Rex Grossman (QB), Bobby Wade (WR), Willie Parker (RB), and Larry Johnson (RB).
Through various trades over the years, the Redskins weren't left with many picks in the 2010 draft. However, many think they did the right thing with those few picks. Following a rough season, the team had the 4th selection overall in the draft and used it to take athletic Offensive Tackle Trent Williams from OU. Some thought that they should have taken Russell Okung here, but many experts believe that Williams was selected because of his athleticism and quick feet; both important attributes to have in a zone blocking scheme. You can check out the rest of their picks here.
Three keys to winning
1. Give CJ the rock. I'm sure this strategy is getting a little tired to you guys. Though, against teams that are average or below average against the run, it's a no brainer, though. No reason to make this any more difficult than it is...turn around and hand the man the ball.
2. Keep more runs between the tackles. Traditionally, it's a good idea to find a way to get CJ to the edge as much as possible. This matchup dictates a different strategy. Albert Haynesworth isn't used to being a two gap NT, and while he may be capable of eating up two linemen, he doesn't appear motivated to take on this dirty job. In addition to this, it's a good idea to run at 3-4 defenses anyways as it eliminates the lateral speed advantage the 3-4 provides.
3. Don't get beat deep. Washington hasn't been a passing threat lately, but that all changes with the addition of Donovan McNabb. He throws one of the best deep balls in the game. Keep the play in front of the secondary, and be especially careful not to let home run threat Santana Moss catch you out of position.
Donovan Mcnabb is the wildcard here. I still feel good about this matchup though, especially considering it's a home. Titans win a close one 21-17 and Chris Johnson goes for 125 and 2 TDs.