They say record predictions don’t matter, this far out. And they’re right. But we’re going to make one anyway.
The good thing about record predictions in July? You can’t be wrong. You can’t be right, either. But you can’t be totally, wholly, unequivocally wrong. The possibilities are still great in number, as long as the season hasn’t started yet. And for a team like the Washington Redskins, the field of possibilities has no bounds.
With that said, let’s take a way-too-early look at the Redskins 2019 schedule, going game by game, to see what kind of record the Redskins might come away with in 2019. It’s a team with undeniable potential. But only so much of that upside can be projected. If there’s anything we know about Washington, it’s that the pieces always have to come together. And they haven’t in quite some time.
Keep in mind that these predictions are made with the assumption that no miracles will happen. Kevin O’Connell could become the next great Redskins offensive mind, and catalyze a spectacular resurgence. Dwayne Haskins could have a Mayfield-esque rookie season. And the Redskins defense could reach its full potential, and smother its opponents into submission. But right now, none of those possibilities have come to pass. Right now, we just don’t know, and so we must defer to the franchise’s most recent on-field state, while considering additions and subtractions.
Week 1 – Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
To kick off the season, the Redskins travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Eagles. I’ll keep this brief. The Eagles are still very good, and still one of the best teams in the NFL. At home, against a Redskins roster with its fair share of immediate uncertainty, and either Case Keenum or rookie Dwayne Haskins under center, the Eagles should be able to handle business.
Prediction: Eagles win, 30-17 (Record: 0-1)
Week 2 – Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
A trip home should help the Redskins be more competitive, but against an elite Cowboys defense and an offense which features some enticing triplets in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper, the Redskins young roster will likely fall for a second straight week. Philadelphia and Dallas embody a very tough draw early on. To come from this stretch at .500 would be a pleasant surprise. And the tough stretch isn’t over yet.
Prediction: Cowboys win, 34-20 (Redskins record: 0-2)
Week 3 – Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
The Redskins could come out on top in this one. The Bears defense lost a lot of quality assets over the offseason, including Bryce Callahan, Adrian Amos, and Vic Fangio. On top of that, while the offense as a whole is put together well, there are looming questions surrounding Mitchell Trubisky’s continued development. That said, Matt Nagy is, at this point, at an advantage over Jay Gruden, from a coaching standpoint. While the two rosters aren’t as far apart as one would assume, the vote is weighed in Chicago’s favor by the coaching staff. If the Redskins offense exceeds expectations by this point, that could change.
Prediction: Bears win, 19-17 (Redskins record: 0-3)
Week 4 – Washington Redskins at New York Giants
This game is a much needed divider for the Redskins, before their bout with the New England Patriots. The Redskins roster easily surpasses the Giants’ in terms of talent, and while Washington has plenty of offensive uncertainty on their own, the Giants are in quarterback purgatory with Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, and their defense doesn’t have nearly enough to compensate for their offensive questions. The Giants have home field advantage, but that’s about where it ends.
Prediction: Redskins win, 27-17 (Redskins record: 1-3)
Week 5 – New England Patriots at Washington Redskins
Come on, guys. It’s the Evil Empire. Need I say more? Okay, I’ll say more because I feel guilty if I don’t provide some analysis. In expressive terms:
Patriots coaching on an off day >>>>>>>>> Redskins coaching
Patriots roster >> Redskins roster
Prediction: Patriots win, 38-15 (Redskins record: 1-4)
Week 6 – Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins
Don’t sleep on Miami, guys. They have some legitimate talent on the defensive side of the ball with players like Chrisitan Wilkins, Davon Godchaux, Raequon McMillan, Xavien Howard, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. And Josh Rosen is a talented quarterback who should find success with Brian Flores and Chad O’Shea. That success, however, won’t come in Week 6. The Redskins defensive line should have their way against Miami’s bottom-feeder offensive line. Expect less offense than usual, although both young quarterbacks should flash.
Prediction: Redskins win, 16-14 (Redskins record: 2-4)
Week 7 – San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
This should be a close one. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive guru who’ll hopefully have his unit finally up to full strength. Additionally, the 49ers have amassed quite a bit of talent on their roster. If the 49ers offense is one-hundred percent, they could win this with ease. The home proximity, as well as the talent on defense, will keep the Redskins close, but this is an unexpected loss right now, that could become reality in the fall.
Prediction: 49ers win, 33-28 (Redskins record: 2-5)
Week 8 – Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings
It’s a short week for both teams, but there’ll still be plenty of time for the anticipation to build for the matchup between Kirk Cousins and his alienated former team. It’s a primetime matchup, which means many in Washington will expect a dud from Cousins. But Cousins wasn’t completely inept in primetime with the Vikings in his first year. He went toe-to-toe with Sean McVay’s Rams, and now, with an improved offensive line, his chances of victory go up, especially at home. The Vikings defense is still solid as well, so Washington might not match up well in this one.
Prediction: Vikings win, 37-24 (Redskins record: 2-6)
Week 9 – Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills
I’m actually pretty high on the Buffalo Bills. Their defense is borderline elite, and Josh Allen has otherworldly upside. But right now, he’s still a bit off the rails, and against pressure, he’s prone to back-breaking mistakes. The Redskins have the antidote to Allen’s explosiveness with their menacing defensive front, and in a must-win game, they’ll pull through. They’re usually good for at least one clutch win, but no more than two.
Prediction: Redskins win, 20-10 (Redskins record: 3-6)
Week 11 – New York Jets at Washington Redskins
The Jets are one of the NFL’s boom-or-bust teams in 2019. For our purposes here, I’m going with somewhere in the middle. And at this stage, Dwayne Haskins and the Redskins should be able to take advantage of a team without an identity. At home, the Redskins get the job done. Adam Gase’s offense sputters, and the Redskins defense shines coming off a bye week.
Prediction: Redskins win, 27-16 (Redskins record: 4-6)
Week 12 – Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins
The Redskins opportunity to get back into the playoff race is the middle of the season, where they play a number of beatable teams. Detroit is one of those; with subpar coaching from Matt Patricia and concerns over whether or not Matthew Stafford has taken a step back, the Redskins can capitalize on a multi-week home stand and carry on their winning streak.
Prediction: Redskins win, 34-18 (Redskins record: 5-6)
Week 13 – Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers
Washington can compete in this matchup, as the Panthers lack depth in some areas. But Carolina’s offense has some exciting pieces, behind an imposing offensive line, and their defense added a good amount of talent over the course of the offseason, with no addition greater than explosive, elastic pass rusher Brian Burns. The Panthers get the edge over Washington at the start of December, placing the Redskins playoff hopes into jeopardy.
Prediction: Panthers win, 27-10 (Redskins record: 5-7)
Week 14 – Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers
Last time the Redskins played the Packers, they won. But last time, the Packers didn’t have the defense they have now, and they didn’t have home field advantage. By this point in 2019, we’ll know what kind of effect Matt LaFleur has, from a head coaching perspective, but for now, all we can do is rely on what we know. Aaron Rodgers is still a very good quarterback, with plenty of weapons, and the Packers defense is stocked to the brim with enticing talent. Count this as another double-digit loss by Washington, although it could be closer.
Prediction: Packers win, 25-13 (Redskins record: 5-8)
Week 15 – Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Redskins out of the playoffs, while the Eagles are still battling the Cowboys for the NFC East crown? Expect a repeat of last year’s Week 17 debacle in this one. For the Redskins, the main objective of the season is now to see out the development of young players. Any flash is a win. The “W” isn’t so important.
Prediction: Eagles win, 31-12 (Redskins record: 5-9)
Week 16 – New York Giants at Washington Redskins
The Redskins could get a much-needed confidence booster in Week 16. At home, against the depleted and talent-devoid Giants, this is an opportunity for the Redskins young players to show out.
Prediction: Redskins win, 37-25 (Redskins record: 6-9)
Week 17 – Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
With nothing left to play for, except maybe spoiling Dallas’ season, and with their coach most likely out the door by now, the Redskins can’t match up against the talent of the Cowboys in their current state. They fall in the final game of the season, leaving the winning to 2020, at the earliest.
Prediction: Cowboys win, 23-9 (Redskins record: 6-10)
Final Record: 6-10
Home Record: 3-5
Away Record: 3-5
Average points per game: 20.375
Coaches fired: Several
If we’re going week to week, then the best-case scenario is always 16-0, and the worst-case scenario is always 0-16. If this predictions confirmed your expectations, don’t take a victory lap. And if these predictions left you disappointed, don’t fret. The 2019 season has yet to arrive. And for now, nothing is truly impossible.