The Washington Redskins Could Be the NFC East Champions of 2006

OK, Terrell Owens is a Dallas Cowboy now. Lavar Arrington jumps ship and heads to New York, and Donovan Mcnabb seems to be healthy and in good spirits. The Philadelphia Eagles should be back to championship form because of it, right? There is no doubt that the Giants, Cowboys, and Eagles are tough teams that will be competing for the NFC East title, a trip to the playoffs, and a chance for a Super Bowl appearance. However, the biggest challenge for these three teams will be the Washington Redskins. With the addition of two top receivers and a new coaching staff, the Skins have the best chance of winning the NFC East title in 2006.

Before the 2005 season began, there wasn’t one person outside of the Capital Beltway that believed that Joe Gibbs and Company had a shot at winning more than 6 games. Every “so-called” football expert predicted the Redskins to be in the cellar of the NFC East once the season concluded. The first two games of the season in 2005 did nothing to change anyone’s minds. In week one, Patrick Ramsey was yanked after just one half of football (after being promised the starting job by Joe Gibbs) for an ancient Mark Brunell. The Redskins beat the bears without scoring a touchdown. The next week, the Redskins traveled to Dallas on a Monday night for a showdown. For 56 minutes, it looked like Joe Gibbs and company were on the verge of another disappointing season. From nowhere, Mark Brunell looked 25 years old again and threw two bombs for touchdowns to newly acquired Santana Moss. Things began to look good in Washington DC. Fourteen games later, the Redskins were in the playoffs for the first time in 6 years.

This off-season, the Redskins picked up where they left off by adding some key players and coaches to the team. Brandon Lloyd, formerly of the San Francisco 49ners and Antwan Randle El of the Pittsburgh Steelers will upgrade the passing game and free up Pro Bowl wide receiver Santana Moss. Running back Clinton Portis should feel the effects of the new additions as well. He may not be called on to carry the ball 25-30 times as often anymore which should keep him healthy and ready to go for the playoffs. New Offensive Coordinator Al Saunders will create schemes that will keep opposing defenses guessing all season long. If the offensive line holds up, Mark Brunell may look better than he has ever looked. There will be too many weapons for him to choose from. Look for Chris Cooley to finally get the respect he deserves this year.

The Defense suffered a great loss when Lavar Arrington was released this off-season. However, Greg Williams will make sure his defensive unit is just as fierce as last season. Adam Archuleta and Sean Taylor will be a serious threat in the secondary. Carlos Rogers will use the experience he gained as a rookie last season and become a top defender in the NFL. The Defensive line really came along towards the end of the season. With the signing of Andre Carter, you can certainly expect more of a pass rush this year. Marcus Washington is a Pro Bowler that will lead this unit in 2006. There weren’t many people who expected Lemar Marshall to be any good in 2005, but he proved all wrong and will continue to do so this upcoming season.

There is no doubt that it will be tough in the NFC East this season. Redskin fans always get nervous when Dallas comes to town and it’s hard to predict what will happen when they play the Giants. The Eagles have been a top team for the past 5 years and will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2005 season. But, don’t expect the Redskins to be shaking nervously. They have some weapons as well and are ready to show them to the NFL.

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