But the be-glassed Clayton doesn't just pull this prediction out of the seat of his tiny little pants. He, as you'd suspect, uses science! And science provides riveting leads such as, "Each year around this time, I break out my schedule database and try to project surprise teams."
Is there nothing a database can't do?
Clayton looks at a three things to figure out whether a team is a surprise.
What does their schedule look like? Is there reason to expect better quarterback play (whether through improvement or health)? And which out-of-division games do they play?
The Skins, he says, are helped by two of those.
The database master says they have the second easiest out-of-division schedule, "Thanks in part to two games -- non-common dates against the Lions and St. Louis Rams -- the Redskins' non-division schedule is .406, second-easiest in the league." The Skins also take on the Chiefs and the mess called "Raiders," so there's some truth there.
The Clay-boy also says to expect an improved offense -- which'll certainly come as a surprise to Jason Campbell's numerous haters. He simply states, "You also have to figure the offense should improve. It scored only 16.6 ppg last season. Jason Campbell is better than that."
His database says that every point-per-game improvement yields about a one-win improvement.
So five more TDs over the course of a season could mean about two more wins.
With a new and younger offensive line, and some more experience, can Campbell produce?
The potential is certainly there. But no matter what the Professor's computer says, if Campbell keeps lobbing balls randomly in the air or firing them into the feet of his receivers, it won't matter.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He hopes that Clayton's powerful database doesn't fall into malevolent hands.