For the record, I don't follow the Redskins, but I think that the NFC East is the most intriguing division at the moment. Only one team came into the season as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, the Eagles, and they sit at the bottom of the table. So, based on the six weeks of the season, here's a look at the team and where they stand.
What's good... Their offense is built around philosophy rather than the individual talents of the players. Ryan Torain was poor against the Eagles, especially when he tried to bounce the ball outside, but that stable of running backs will produce more often than not. The offensive line is playing injured, but it managed to hold up reasonably well last week. Fred Davis is a difference maker, and Santana Moss is their best receiver by a mile. They won't score a ton of points, but they manage to sustain long drives and convert on third down at a good rate. The defense is significantly better, and they probably have a top five group linebackers with the young, pass rushing combo of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan and one of the best pass-coverage LBs in London Fletcher. Leron Landry is a good run-stuffer and DeAngelo Hall, for his flaws, does make plays. Oh, and John Beck is better than you think.
What's bad... None of the running backs have proven they can handle the job. Hightower is too one-dimensional, Torain is unreliable and Helu isn't ready. Their quarterbacks have a low ceiling, and will never play at an elite level. Their offensive line is without Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger and they aren't opening holes in the middle for the backs. Possibly the worst aspect is their receivers, apart from Santana Moss and Fred Davis, this group can't get open and they can't take possession catches, when Chris Cooley comes back they should implement plenty of two-tight end sets. On defense, Rocky Macintosh is not athletic enough, LeSean McCoy made him look like a zombie. Apart from that, the secondary is only average, and even their best players, Landry and Hall, have obvious limitations.
The Difference... John Beck. I've heard a lot of people, Peter King included, claim that Beck won't last the whole season as the starter. I don't see it that way, I think Beck is a more agile, more intelligent quarterback than Grossman that bides time in the pocket and can go through his progressions. Against the Eagles he showed he's limited, he doesn't have the power and his intermediate accuracy is only average. However, he can do what Matt Cassell does for the Chiefs, and he just doesn't give up on plays. I think he will make it work.
The Verdict... The Redskins have a legitimate chance at finishing at the bottom of the NFC East standings. But, I think they're better than Dallas and, with that pass rush, they can beat the Giants. I think they manage 9 wins and miss the playoffs, and Beck comes back next year.
Tell us what you think...