2019 NFL Power Rankings:
No. 30 Washington Redskins
Hail to the Redskins, amirite? Somebody has to be crazy enough to dress up in racist garb and Mrs. Doubtfire-inspired pig costumes while cheering for a team strapped by an owner who lacks people skills. I will say this: Washington doesn't lack for entertainment. Franchise cornerback Josh Norman scared everyone involved with the organization during the offseason when he hurdled over a bull in Spain. Can the Skins leap over the competition and into the 2019 playoffs?
The future in Northern Virginia is brighter than the Sun Baby from Teletubbies. First and foremost, Dwayne Haskins is the real deal. As a Buckeyes fan who watched all of his games at Ohio State, that MF is a bad boy. His aura is Deshaun Watson-like as teammates seamlessly gravitate toward his persona on and off the field. He processes defenses insanely quickly, getting the ball out in a hurry and nailing his targets with pinpoint accuracy. And the rookie understands when to put heat on his passes and when to employ touch. Although Haskins starting at some point this year wouldn't be the end of the world, it would make more sense to let defenses pummel Case Keenum. Allow Haskins to get his fair share of mental reps before he's unleashed. Keenum is a likable guy, but he's nowhere near the future of the franchise. If he gets knocked out, let Colt McCoy take the licks. Remember, Haskins only started for one year at Ohio State and has a lot to learn before he'll be relied upon to carry an offense. Be patient.
The Redskins boast arguably the NFL's deepest backfield. Though he'll be playing until he's 60 due to financial reasons, future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson returns following a campaign with 1,000 rushing yards. Derrius Guice, the squad’s 2018 second-round pick, comes back after missing his rookie season with a torn ACL. Scatback Chris Thompson enters the campaign with a clean bill of health. And last but not least, former Heisman candidate Bryce Love joins the talent-laden group (though he won't likely start the season on the active roster). With no proven weapons in the passing game outside of Jordan Reed, Thompson and the solid but oft-injured Paul Richardson, head coach Jay Gruden has no choice but to ride his stable of tailbacks.
Washington's defense boasts a ton of 25-and-under talent, as Jonathan Allen (24) and Daron Payne (22) headline a menacing pass rush alongside speedster and 2019 draft pick Montez Sweat (22). Some disagree with making former Giants defensive back Landon Collins (25) the highest-paid safety in the game at six years/$84 million. I don't see the issue with backing up the Brinks truck for a three-time Pro Bowl tone-setter who has the versatility to play in the box and deep middle. If you're looking to establish a particular culture in your locker room, these are the type of guys you bring in.
Verdict: 4-12. This is the beginning of a rebuilding project, and the Redskins aren't that bad on paper. There's just one question: How the fuck are they supposed to score? Jay Gruden is sitting on a scorching hot seat with no air conditioning. Since this is his last year in D.C., he might as well make it a memorable one. I know about the brunches in the city, JG. Holla at me.