Washington Redskins Way-Too-Early Schedule Predictions


May 23, 2013; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton (76) participates in drills during organized team activities at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I’m told that around this time of year a prediction of how many wins each NFL team will accrue is made by a group of folks from a small town in Nevada known for this sort of thing. For the 2013 season, the wizards from Las Vegas have looked into their crystal balls, and set the over/under on Washington Redskins wins at 8.5. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 2013 schedule and make some early win/loss predictions:

Week 1: Monday, September 9 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

While I think the Eagles will be an improved team, I don’t see how four preseason games are going to be enough time for the Eagles to completely grasp new head coach Chip Kelly’s system. With or without RG3 starting, I give the Redskins an edge in Week 1 based on continuity, and think they’ll win their opener in prime time. (1-0)

Week 2: Sunday, September 15 @ Green Bay Packers

Everything about this sets up awful for the Redskins. Short week, early away game, and Aaron Rodgers plus more weapons in the backfield than he has ever had before. I anticipate the inexperience of the Redskins’ defensive backfield to be exploited by Rodgers, and the result could be very ugly. I think a loss can be expected here. (1-1)

Week 3: Sunday, September 22 vs. Detroit Lions

I don’t think this is a particularly great matchup for the Redskins. For the same reasons that I like Rodgers, I think Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can exploit the Redskins’ DBs. However, the Redskins will be at home and will have a regular week to prepare, so I’ll give them a slight edge in this matchup, and mark them down for a win in Week 3. (2-1)

Week 4: Sunday, September 29 @ Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are still a mess. It has been OVER A DECADE since the Raiders have had a winning season. I think the Redskins should see this game a a big opportunity to get a road win before their early BYE week, and believe they will hold off the Raiders on the road. (3-1)

Week 5: Sunday, October 6 BYE

Week 6: Sunday, October 13 @ Dallas Cowboys

Even though the early BYE isn’t ideal, I think it will give the Redskins a chance to address whatever early-season issues the team is facing before heading to Jerry’s Dallas Funhouse. The Redskins were able to pull off a victory in Dallas last year, and having an extra week to rest, reorganize, and prepare for the Cowboys should give them a great chance to get the win and jump ahead early in the NFC East. (4-1)

Week 7: Sunday, October 20 vs. Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are coming off a 10-6 year, added a lot of talent this offseason, and still have Jay Cutler at quarterback. Somehow I still think the Bears get overlooked by non-divisional opponents. I think Chicago has an advantage here, and believe they’ll hand the Redskins their first home loss of the year in Week 7. (4-2)

Week 8: Sunday, October 27 @ Denver Broncos

The Broncos added Wes Welker, have a healthy Peyton Manning, and largely kept their defense in tact. I think the Broncos are probably a favorite to reach the Super Bowl from the AFC, and should dispatch the visiting Redskins. The loss will bring the Redskins to (4-3).

Week 9: Sunday, November 3 vs. San Diego Chargers

For a lot of the reasons I think the Redskins will struggle against good quarterbacks, I think the Chargers’ defensive backfield could struggle with RG3 and the offensive weapons that the Redskins bring to the table. I’ve never been sold on Philip Rivers, and will give the edge to the Redskins to pick up the win at home. (5-3)

Week 10: Thursday, November 7 @ Minnesota Vikings

This looks like another tough game for the Redskins. I think the Vikings have improved on both sides of the ball this offseason, and Adrian Peterson is just an absolute monster. The Redskins will be going on the road for this Thursday night game which is always tough, and I think the Vikings will send them home with a loss. (5-4)

Week 11: Sunday, November 17 @ Philadelphia Eagles

My thought is that by this point in the season the Eagles will be a significantly improved team. They should prevent the Redskins from sweeping in 2013, and the loss will be the second in a tough stretch. (5-5)

Week 12: Monday, November 25 vs. San Francisco 49ers

What should be an exciting matchup between two fantastic young quarterbacks might not be a great game. San Francisco is possibly the most complete team in the NFL, and should be heading down the home stretch of a fantastic year. I think this is a tough game for the Redskins, and a loss here will bring the Redskins under .500 for the first time in 2013. (5-6)

Week 13: Sunday, December 1 vs. New York Giants

Week 13 will be the first back-to-back homestand of the 2013 season. Even though it is a short week, I like the Redskins to break their losing streak here with a win against the Giants. While Eli Manning has had the most successful career of all the NFC East quarterbacks, I think some of the magic is gone from the Giants. The certainly have talent all over the field, but I think some RG3 magic will give the Redskins the edge at home. (6-6)

Week 14: Sunday, December 8 @ Kansas City Chiefs

This is kind of a trap game for the Redskins. After a few tough opponents at home, they go on the road against the Chiefs who normally have nothing to play for at this time of year. I think the Redskins will see the importance of this game and take the win on the road. (7-6)

Week 15: Sunday, December 15 @ Atlanta Falcons

This is a tough way to start the final stretch of the season. The Falcons had a great offseason, have dangerous options in the backfield, and also have a huge advantage with Matty Ice and his excellent wide receivers. I think this is a terrible matchup for the Redskins, and see a loss here. (7-7)

Week 16: Sunday, December 22 vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Redskins will be back home against the Cowboys and should be as amped for this game as they are for any game all season. I see them winning against the Cowboys, keeping them in the NFC East hunt. (8-7)

Week 17: Sunday, December 29, @ New York Giants

What a tough way to end the season. Eli and the boys in blue normally are turning things up at this time in the year, and should have the edge at home against the Redskins. A loss here will certainly make the final NFC East standings tight, but I think it will be tough to take it to the Giants on the road. (8-8)

Final Thoughts:

While 8-8 seems like a step back, I think the schedule this year is a tough one for the Redskins. While they were able to keep things together this offseason, I don’t think the Redskins made enough improvements to build on their terrific run through the end of the 2012 season to improve on their 10-6 record, while the rest of the NFC East certainly was in a better position to catch up. I don’t think an 8-8 season would be seen as a failure by any means. Unlike this offseason, the Redskins will be in a good financial position next offseason to make some moves to put more talent around RG3, Alfred Morris, and the rest of the young stars on the Redskins to build on their success for the future.