Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Sep 2010

ESPN: Washington 2010's Surprise Contender

This ESPN Insider story looks at three strong indicators that have driven the NFL's biggest turnarounds over the last three seasons: improved health, improvement at quarterback, and Pythagorean regression to the mean. One team qualifies in all three areas, which is why we're picking Washington as a 2010 playoff team.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 04 Sep 2010

11 comments, Last at 06 Sep 2010, 2:14pm by loneweasel


by Carlos :: Sat, 09/04/2010 - 3:08pm

Hahahahaha. As a guy currently in DC and subjected to endless skins coverage, I hope you're right. As a football fan, I'm quite sure you're wrong. This is an old, thin team, with a solid D, weak ST and O. I predict 7 wins, 8 max.

by buzzorhowl (not verified) :: Sat, 09/04/2010 - 6:24pm

As a lifelong Redskins fan, I must regretfully second your opinion. I wish I believed we'd be playoff contenders this year, but 7-8 wins seems about right to me too.

by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Sat, 09/04/2010 - 9:31pm

Hopefully correlation has proven causation, if only just this once. Hail to the Redskins!

by Jimsorgi (not verified) :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 1:30pm

Reason 1 and 2 contradict each other.

by dmb :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 2:59pm

Care to elaborate? I don't see how having better team health and acquiring a better QB are contradictory reasons for improvement.

by Telamon :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 3:11pm

I think he just meant that improving yourself at QB instantly makes your team less healthy, as long as the QB you got was Donovan McNabb. Kinda inclined to agree.

by dmb :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 4:16pm

Hahaha, I suppose that's somewhat true, although the injury issue was team-wide.

by Jimsorgi (not verified) :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 10:21pm

I understand that it meant team wide health. My post was tongue-in-cheekish with a hint of truth.

by Paulie (not verified) :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 3:10pm

I am a Skins fan. I have gone over their schedule dozens of times. I can't find more than 6 wins.

by Jeff Fogle :: Sun, 09/05/2010 - 4:28pm

Offshore markets have it at 7.5 wins, with the "Under" a slight favorite at -130 on the moneyline (+110 if you want Over).

Not far at all from the nine wins it takes to be in the picture. But...Washington also ranks fourth in the division in the market win estimates (from the Greek):

Dallas 10.5 (Under -140)
NY Giants 8.5 (Over -150)
Philadelphia 8.5 (Under -150)
Washington 7.5 (Under -130)

by loneweasel (not verified) :: Mon, 09/06/2010 - 2:14pm

Surprising? For sure.

Contenders? To whom? For what?

An old gimpy QB behind a non-existent line and no skill players isn't contending for squat.