As camp gets underway I thought it would be good to look at three possible scenarios for how the Redskins season could turn out. Now obviously the final record could be between 0-16 and 16-0, but in reality most teams end up between 5 to 11 wins. While of course anything can happen in any game, using For the Record I came up with three scenarios that are plausible, taking a hard look at each game.
Optimistic Scenario: Redskins in the playoff hunt
The key to a winning record will definitely be getting off to a hot start. The Redskins are going to need to get 5 or 6 wins before the bye week and things toughen up down the stretch. Here I have them taking advantage of the homefield in 3 of their first 4 games to get rolling. Taking out the Falcons in Atlanta won't be easy, but if the Redskins are running hot and everything is clicking it's possible. In the 9 games after the bye I have them struggling somewhat, but a lot of that has to do with a pretty tough schedule. I have them at 9 wins heading into the final two weeks which are on the road vs two tough division opponents. I have them going into Dallas in the final week to pick-up their 10th win and hopefully a playoff berth.
Pessimistic Scenario: Redskins drafting in the top 5 next year and likely under a new HC
This is a scenario that would be pretty devastating to both the Redskins fan base and the team as a whole. This is a great example of what could happen if the Redskins if the Redskins come out of the gate unprepared for the season and squander their early home games. I still have them being able to take down the Jets and Bucs on the road, but it is hardly a guarantee (particularly if they are struggling). After the bye I don't think things will get much better, but there are a couple of games that could be winnable. Overall though this would really signal a set back for this team and would almost certainly lead to a change at both HC and QB (as well as a number of other spots). It would mark the 3rd straight season of 12 or more losses and the 6th season out of the last 7 with 10 or more losses.
Middle of the road scenario: Redskins show some improvement, but still have a ways to go.
This is probably the most likely scenario as the Redskins show improvement and are in most games, but can't pull off a winning record. It's similar to the first optimistic scenario as they get three wins before the bye against the Eagles, Jets and Bucs, and 4 wins after the bye (I flipped the final two road games and had them beating the Eagles). The big difference though is the Redskins don't get off to a hot start at home, which I think will make it tougher for them to got into Atlanta if they aren't closing out games. I think 6-10 to 8-8 is about where the Redskins will end up this season and this record is a pretty good reflection of that.
What do you think? Where do you the Redskins will end up this season? Share your simulations/predictions below and why you feel they will finish there!