Week 1: Washington Redskins At New Orleans Saints
- QuarterbackThe Redskins should be a fun team to watch this season with Robert Griffin III. He gives them explosive athleticism, a strong and accurate arm and the intelligence and desire to run Mike Shanahan’s offense.You can’t argue with Drew Brees when it comes to passing accuracy and aggressiveness at quarterback. Brees has complete confidence in his ability and his decision-making is almost always stellar.
- OffenseThe Redskins may eventually have an All-Pro quarterback, but they don’t have a very solid complementary cast at this point. Pierre Garcon has a chance to be the kind of receiver who can bring out the best in Griffin, but there’s not much else in the cupboard.The Saints have a multitude of weapons. Marques Colston can get open whenever Brees needs him to while Devery Henderson can go downfield and get it. Jimmy Graham may be the best receiver on the team and Pierre Thomas keeps opposing defenses honest.
- DefenseThe Redskins showed significant improvement under Jim Haslett last year and his 3-4 defense. The Redskins love to attack the quarterback and they have the power up front with Adam Carriker, Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen.The Saints have been devastated by the punishments associated with the Bountygate scandal. Steve Spagnuolo will run the Saints’ defense and will have a difficult time keeping this unit respectable without Jonathan Vilma.
- Special TeamsThe Redskins have a solid weapon in punter Sav Rocca, who excels at directional punting and giving his coverage teams a chance to get down the field. The Skins do a solid job at both punt and kickoff coverage.Thomas Morstead is one of the best kickoff specialists, having led the league with 68 touchbacks a year ago. Darren Sproles is still one of the best and most elusive return men.
The Redskins probably will be a much better team by the second half of the season than they are in the first half. Robert Griffin III is extremely gifted but he needs experience. The Saints will have their offensive moments this year and this should be one of them. They should be able to handle the improving Redskins.