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Washington Redskins Betting – Can Rivera Get the Redskins to the Playoffs?
The Washington Redskins have newfound hope, as news broke on Tuesday that the team and former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera agreed to a contract.
The move marks the official end of the Jay Gruden era in DC and also closes the door on interim coach Bruce Callahan potentially earning the job. Following a disastrous 3-13 campaign where the Redskins finished at the bottom of the NFC East, Rivera has nowhere to lead his new team but up going into 2020.
Rivera was made available after being fired by the Panthers during a second straight losing season, going 5-7 through the first 12 games of his final year with the team.
Despite struggling over the last two years, Rivera remains just one of two coaches to power Carolina to the Super Bowl. He also generated three winning seasons and three NFC South division titles across nine seasons with the Panthers.
The arrival of Rivera signals a pressing of the restart button to some degree, as it remains to be seen what kind of personnel moves he’ll be interested in making. Redskins fans can at least collectively agree that it probably has the franchise headed in a more positive direction, however.
What Does Ron Rivera Bring to the Table?
It’s unclear how much power Rivera will have. Team owner Daniel Snyder has always been of the meddling variety, while the franchise made this move following the firing of former GM Bruce Allen.
Whatever the case, Rivera looks like an amazing signing on paper, and the Redskins could finally be headed in the right direction. He had his shortcomings and earned the nickname “Riverboat Ron” due to his risk-taking ways, but he also coached up solid defenses and preached strong fundamentals.
There’s an argument that Rivera was sold short by the Panthers, seeing as how the team was built around Cam Newton and struggled when he succumbed to injuries and poor play over the last two seasons.
Regardless, Rivera gets a fresh start, and he brings a defensive bite the Redskins have lacked. It’s worth wondering if his arrival keeps former elite cover man Josh Norman in town, but even if it doesn’t, the cupboard isn’t exactly bare.
Rivera will instantly have impact defenders to work with in Jonathan Allen, Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and Landon Collins.
In theory, Rivera could be a good draft and a couple of free agency additions away from revamping an already talented defense and turning it into one of the most feared units in the league.
Rivera’s offensive philosophy has often been run-based and balanced. That could be exactly what young franchise quarterback Dwayne Haskins needs, should the franchise stick behind him as the starter.
Considering he has a solid defense to start with and some nice offensive pieces, Rivera’s biggest decision to get going will be to figure out if Haskins is the guy under center he can win with.
Can the Redskins Win in 2020?
Have you seen the NFC East? The Dallas Cowboys have regressed and are undergoing their own coaching change, the New York Giants are doing the same, and the Philadelphia Eagles barely won this division at a paltry 9-7.
Nobody is running away with this division in 2020, so the Redskins have technically already thrown their hat in the ring with the Ron Rivera hire alone.
Rivera isn’t the sexiest hire, but he knows how to win, and his teams are almost always competitive. Even when the Panthers weren’t piling on the wins en route to playoff runs, Carolina still won at least seven games in six of Rivera’s nine seasons.
Of course, Rivera’s impact might not mean so much unless the team sees marked improvement from their young quarterback.
Haskins has a big arm and can attack down the field, but he wasn’t very accurate (58%) and turned the ball over too much. He did show improvement down the stretch and has some weapons around him, though, so a friendly defense and a balanced offense could allow him to be the answer.
That will need to be the case, while the team bringing in fresh legs in the backfield and another pass-catching weapon wouldn’t hurt. Replacing surely departing left tackle Trent Williams will also be on Washington’s to-do list.
While there are questions to answer yet, the Redskins got a huge upgrade on the sidelines, they do have some solid offensive talent in Derrius Guice and Terry McLaurin, and Rivera’s impact could provide a boost to a solid defense.
Playing in the NFC East, the Redskins may only need to nudge their way to .500 to give themselves a shot to make the 2020 NFL playoffs.
Will the Redskins Make the Playoffs Next Year?
In the words of the great Randy Jackson, “It’s a no for me, dog.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Rivera hire and finally am willing to allow myself to believe that Daniel Snyder will let someone else figure this thing out.
Bruce Allen had to go, and the firing of Jay Gruden earlier in the year was a clear indication that the Redskins were through with being mediocre. They’ll have to wait at least a year to ascend beyond that plateau, but Rivera is going to right the ship in short order.
The NFC East is awful, and three of the four teams are experiencing coaching changes. From a talent perspective, though, I’d still easily place both the Cowboys and Eagles ahead of the Redskins.
Haskins has a lot to prove. He may not be ready to fully lift the Redskins in 2020, and it’s entirely possible it just never clicks for him. I’ll be interested to see if Rivera pushes for a veteran quarterback or if he’s on board with rolling with the punches and letting Haskins mature on the fly.
As long as Haskins is a question mark, the Redskins can only go so far. They do have some talent, and Rivera will get them going in the right direction, but there is an insane amount of work to be done here.
Teams usually don’t go from 3-13 to the playoffs, so it’ll take quite a bit of talent infusion to convince me Washington can do that next year.
The good news is they made a fantastic hire at head coach, and their young guys got a lot of experience this season. If the Redskins enjoy a good draft and bring in some fresh faces in free agency, they can start the process of what I anticipate will be a two-year turnaround under Rivera.
I don’t think you should be betting on the Redskins in 2020, but there are great ways to profit from the NFL. Head over to our NFL Betting Guide to check out the latest odds and expert predictions.