The recent history of the Washington Redskins has been fraught with losing football. This is due to horrible free agent acquisitions and trades for players whose best days seemed to be eons ago. Diehard fans are still trying to overcome the ghosts of Donovan McNabb, Albert Haynesworth, and Deion Sanders as Redskins’ acquisitions gone wrong.
That changed in 2012, with the addition of Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, as well as the emergence of fellow rookie running back Alfred Morris. They form arguably the best quarterback-running back duo in the NFL. They anchored a prolific offense that guided the Redskins to a 10-6 record, an NFC playoff berth, and their first NFC East title since 1999.
However, the franchise’s future rests on the gimpy right knee of Griffin III. He aggravated his right ACL during Washington’s 24-14 Wild Card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Whether or not he can return to the field is unknown. If he does return, it would be unreasonable to expect Griffin III to become the prolific player he was throwing and carrying the football before his injury.
The hopeful return of tight end Fred Davis will give RG3 another effective target. Davis suffered a season ending left Achilles injury in Week Seven of the 2012 NFL season against the New York Giants. If Davis can return to the efficient status he held before his injury, the Redskins’ passing game would be enhanced considerably.
Another factor of intrigue focuses on the Washington defense. The unit lost several key members on defense. Two of those members, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and safety Brandon Meriweather, provide big play potential that the Redskins’ defense could have used at time. Orakpo provides great pass rushing ability, while Meriweather is a tough, physical presence in a secondary that surely could have used one.
Adding to the intrigue is the Redskins’ 2013 schedule. In addition to their six difficult NFC East games, they will be playing a first place schedule. That means they’ll face the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons. These games will serve as a barometer of the Redskins’ progress as a team. They could finish 12-4 or 2-14 in 2013. All depends on Griffin III’s ability to return to the Redskins, as well as injured starters Orakpo, Meriweather, and defensive end Adam Carriker. At the very least, the Washington Redskins will be interesting to watch in 2013.