Michael Lombardi picked the Redskins to win the division and we all laughed. Now he explains his rationale.

The link is here, and conveniently for me, Lombardi broke down his reasons into bullet points that I can analyze one at a time.  He should have stopped while he was... um... not explaining the rationale behind the pick?  Anyway, away we go:

Most people are laughing at my pick of the Redskins to win the NFC East.

Yup.

But I gave it great thought, did my research and did not simply just throw it out for effect, or to be called an idiot by my Twitter followers.

Alright, sweet.  So what'cha got?

The Redskins play the 29th easiest schedule in the league, facing only five playoff teams from 2010. Washington plays the entire NFC West, as well as Buffalo and Carolina.

Hmmm... While the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys don't get to play Carolina, they too get to play the entire NFC West, and Buffalo.  Usually you lead with a strong point.  I hope that's not the case here, Mike.

Washington actually played better on the road last year, winning four games versus just two at home. They will play better at home this year. They won in Philadelphia and Chicago last year and beat the Packers at home.

Oh, they'll play better at home... just because.  Got it.  Mike even named a few good wins.  Well, the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants also had some good wins.  The Cowboys won in Indianapolis and New Jersey. They also beat the Redskins at home. (I'm assuming it's fair to use the Redskins as an impressive team to beat, since they're the pick to win the division).  The Giants swept the Redskins, and also beat Chicago.  The Eagles swept the Giants, beat the Skins on the road, and also beat the Colts and Falcons. Every team in the division had good wins.

The 'Skins lost six games by four points or less last year, and were horrendous on defense, finishing 31st in yards allowed. This year they have talent that suits their 3-4 scheme and are not trying to shoe-horn 4-3 personnel into a 3-4.

Call me crazy, but noting that the Redskins were horrendous on defense last year doesn't exactly help the argument.  Plus, both the Eagles and Cowboys lost 4 games by 5 points or less last year.  As for not trying to shoehorn 4-3 guys into a 3-4... Are we forgetting Barry Cofield?

Running back Tim Hightower and an improved offensive line will make the run game much better. Tight end Fred Davis is blocking well and Anthony Armstrong is emerging as a big-play receiver.

I like Hightower, but if I'm ranking the division's starting running backs, Hightower is 4th.  As for Fred Davis "blocking well" and Anthony Armstrong "emerging as a big play receiver," alright... fine.  I won't dispute that.  But I hope you're not hitching your Redskin wagon to Fred Davis' better blocking and Anthony Armstrong.

Mike Shanahan wants to prove he is still a big-time coach and knows another 6-10 season won't make many happy in D.C. Shanahan was hired to restore the 'Skins to their glory days, the sooner the better. I think Shanny will have a better year this year as well.

Ohhhhh, Shanny knows another 6-10 season won't make many happy in D.C.?  Here I was thinking that the fans in D.C. didn't mind losing 10 games every year.  My bad.  So I guess he'll try harder this year?  Is that the message?  So how many extra wins should we pencil in on account of Shanny trying harder?  3?  4?

I know, I know: Rex Grossman is playing quarterback and everything stated above is meaningless if Grossman turns the ball over. I know he has never had a quarterback rating higher than 78. I know the only year he started, he threw 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. I know there are risks with this pick, but I am going to believe that Shanahan can get more good Rex than bad Rex. We shall see.

I think all of the above is meaningless regardless of whether or not Rex turns the ball over... which he will anyway.

Michael Lombardi, everybody.

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