Clearly, the biggest story in the nation's capital this season is Robert Griffin III.
Well, at least on the football end of things.
RG3 enters Washington being hailed as a huge piece in the franchise's rebuilding effort, and for the low, low cost of three first round picks, he better be.
The key here will be Washington's ability to surround Griffin with talent, which is no short order given the severe lack of top tier draft picks for the next two years. What's here and now is Pierre Garcon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, and Fred Davis.
The 2011 Cleveland Browns they are not, but they're not the New England Patriots circa 2007 either.
At running back, the committee approach is in play with Roy Helu and Tim Hightower leading the charge. The offensive line has a decent starting five, led by tackles Trent Williams and Jammal Brown, but the depth is suspect, with a bunch of guys you and I have never heard of mere snaps away from protecting the new franchise investment.
Defensively, the charge is led by Brian Orakpo, with last year's top pick, Ryan Kerrigan, anchoring the opposite side. The two combined for 16.5 sacks last season. The secondary has had a makeover on the backend, with Brandon Merriweather and Tanard Jackson projected to step in. Given the penchant for giving up the big one last year, these two play very key roles in getting Washington anywhere near a playoff berth.
Overall, Mike Shanahan enters 2012 with arguably the best team he's put on the field in DC, but he'll need to show progress to continue to keep the keys to Dan Snyder's kingdom. Anything less than 6-10, and I think we're looking at a possible coaching change. Anything better, and Shanahan likely gets one more year to pull the rest of the pieces together.
So my prediction: 6-10.
My hope: 7-9.
My worst fear: 3-13.
My best possible outcome: 9-7, but only if Tony Romo and Eli Manning decide they'd rather play golf all season and the Redskins stand on their heads defensively all season.