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NFC East preview: Washington Redskins

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Haskins, Guice, Allen & Payne form a strong young nucleus

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Redskins
Dwayne Haskins may not be the starting quarterback (yet), but he is the future.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

2018 RECORD

7-9

VEGAS OVER/UNDER

6 wins

UNIT-BY-UNIT 2018 RANKINGS

DEFENSE

17th (353.4 ypg)

OFFENSE

28th (299.7 ypg)

POINT DIFFERENTIAL

25th (-78)

SCHEDULE

Sept. 8 at Eagles

Sept. 15 vs. Cowboys

Sept. 23 vs. Bears

Sept. 29 at NY Giants

Oct. 6 vs. Patriots

Oct. 13 at Dolphins

Oct. 20 vs. 49ers

Oct. 24 at Vikings

Nov. 3 at Bills

Nov. 17 vs. NY Jets

Nov. 24 vs. Lions

Dec. 1 at Panthers

Dec. 8 at Packers

Dec. 15 vs. Eagles

Dec. 22 vs. NY Giants

Dec. 29 at Cowboys

THE BREAKDOWN

THE COACH: Jay Gruden

THE STAR: Ryan Kerrigan

THE PLAYER THE SEASON RIDES ON: Dwayne Haskins (his development, not his play)

THE DIRT

First, the good news.

The Redskins drafted their quarterback of the future in Dwayne Haskins.

Talented RB Derrius Guice, a 2018 second-round pick with first-round talent, is back after tearing his ACL as a rookie. He will pair with Adrian Peterson (1,042 yds, 7 TDs and 4.2 ypc) to form an elite backfield. They will run behind two-time Pro Bowl RG Brandon Scherff and RT Morgan Moses.

Young Alabama alums and former first-round picks DE Jonathan Allen (8.0 sacks in his second season) and DT Da’Ron Payne (5.0 sacks as a rookie) form a fierce pass rush with Pro Bowl LB Ryan Kerrigan (13.0 sacks in 2018, 60 sacks in the past five seasons). Matt Ioannidis posted 7½ sacks in 2018 in a breakout season in the other lineman spot, while first-round pick Montez Sweat will bookend Kerrigan at linebacker.

And Washington sured up its secondary by signing former Giants S Landon Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler, even if it overpaid significantly ($84 million over six years).

Now the bad news…

Trent Williams, one of the best left tackles in the game, has reportedly sworn to never again play for the Redskins. Three-time Pro Bowler Donald Penn — but now 36 — and Geron Christian have been tabbed to replace him.

Ereck Flowers — yes, him — is the starting left guard.

Four of their first five games are against 2018 playoff teams.

WR Jamison Crowder signed with the Jets. That leaves Paul Richardson (20 rec., 262 yds in seven games) as their second-best receiving option after Jordan Reed (54 rec., 558 yds in 13 games). The other starting receiver? Likely rookie Terry McLaurin, a third-round pick this spring. Reed, by the way, suffered yet another concussion in the team’s third preseason game.

Journeyman QB Case Keenum will keep the position warm until Haskins has developed enough to start, with Colt McCoy still recovering from a broken leg suffered last season.

CB Josh Norman, once an elite player, is 31 and showing signs of slowing down. That’s not good news, but veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is there to back up both Norman and Quinton Dunbar.

THE TAKEAWAY

With a journeyman starting at quarterback until Haskins is ready, a major question mark at left tackle and an anemic receiving corps, the Redskins will find it difficult to reach .500 in a division with two playoff contenders in the Cowboys and Eagles. But Guice, Peterson, Allen, Payne and Kerrigan just might make it interesting.