You Could Win The Super Bowl! Washington Redskins

By Drew Magary
|  Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011  |  Updated 10:09 AM CDT
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You Could Win The Super Bowl! Washington Redskins

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NFL Training camp season is always a time for irrational exuberance. Every team thinks it can win the Super Bowl, even though 31 of those teams will end being horribly wrong. And so, to preview the upcoming NFL season, which could be the most unpredictable ever, we now give you five reasons why your favorite team could win the Super Bowl. Today, it's the Washington Redskins.

1. Most dominant preseason in NFL history! Like you, I resisted most of the good news that came out of Washington's first two exhibition games against the Steelers and Colts (who are notorious for laying down in the preseason). The Redskins may have looked okay in those two games, but they were still destined to be the doormats of the NFC East this season. Then I watched them play against the Ravens this weekend and hold their own and I became slowly deluded into thinking this team could be halfway decent. I blame Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden for this, because they were calling this game like it was the freakin' Super Bowl. I heard Gruden say, "Cam Cameron is going to have to solve this Washington blitz," and wanted to shout at the TV, "NO HE DOESN'T! It's the preseason, you moron!" The preseason has a way of conning you every year, of getting you to buy into a team despite the numerous factors that render a preseason game a poor barometer for regular season play (injuries, lack of effort, starters out, etc.).

But if you're a Skins fan, you may as well buy in now, because there's no payoff to being cynical about it. The Skins have looked good. They've played excellent defense and both quarterbacks (!) have looked very good. It's almost as if this team has made...

2. GASP! Good offseason moves! With the Eagles making like the old Skins and buying up every free agent in the universe, the Skins moves look paltry by comparison. But the team made three very, very good pickups in free agency: OL Chris Chester, DL Barry Cofield, and CB Josh Wilson. All three have looked good in the preseason, and these are the kind of low-key moves that you rarely hear about in the summer, but become very notable once October and November roll around. The Skins didn't reach for a QB in the draft or pay out gobs of cash to Santonio Holmes (though Danny wanted to). They instead brought in quality role players that could help improve the surrounding talent. They didn't even brag about it, like they'd normally do. "Yeah, we were quiet this offseason because we're just like the Colts and Steelers." That's what Dan Snyder usually likes to message out from his robot tentacles.

3. Good riddance to bad rubbish. They got rid of Al Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb, each of whom were divisive in their own unique ways. McNabb, though a "good guy," was always more than happy to let his buddies (agent Fletcher Smith, Mike Wilbon) bash the team by proxy. Haynesworth, of course, was far less discreet than that. Both are gone, and the bounceback potential looms for this team, especially given that current expectations are so low (the Skins almost always go into a season with some big coach or player change that promises the illusion of improvement), especially for...

4. Sexy Rexy And The Beckster. John Beck is almost certain to start in Week 1, despite having no real pro success on his resume. Behind him will be Rex Grossman, who has been so inconsistent for so long that it's hard to remember that in the early part of 2006, he actually played quite well for Chicago. This entire season rests on whether or not Beck is as good as the Shanahans have advertised him to be (somehow I doubt it), or whether or not Grossman can suddenly become that distant version of himself once more if he finds himself taking over. Both have looked good in the preseason, but all that goes out the window once the games count. If either man can play decently, the Skins might have enough on defense to surprise everyone. Speaking of surprises...

5. God I hope Peter King is wrong about Tim Hightower. King advised readers to take Hightower in round 3 of their fantasy drafts, which is INSANE. But Hightower has looked great all preseason and King was (as he'd tell you) right about Arian Foster last year. So take a bow, Tim Hightower. You have been anointed.

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