Redskins fans have had their share of doom and gloom over the years and some fans are pessimistic about the Redskins chances to get back to contender status. Count me as one of the fans that didn't expect much last season but was pleasantly surprised. Here is what I think could happen if the Redskins build off their success from last year.
Week 1: Redskins vs Steelers
September 12th | Monday Night Prime Time
Prediction: Redskins start the season off with a big game against the formidable Steelers. The Steelers rely heavily on Antonio Brown and Big Ben on offense as they are still missing Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant serves his suspension. The Redskins have made a significant addition to the offensive line through the draft and get the running game back on track with Matt Jones and another back rush for 105 combined yards and 1 Matt Jones touchdown. Kirk Cousins picks apart the shaky Pittsburgh secondary for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 to Jordan Reed the other to Jamison Crowder.
Redskins Win: 24 - 17
Week 2: Redskins vs Cowboys
Prediction: The Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys who are coming off a loss. The run game gets on track in this one early with the backs combining for 167 yards rushing in the first half and 2 touchdowns. Kirk Cousins can play safe ball and sticks with slants, screens, and hitches by the 3rd quarter the Redskins are up 21 to 6 with Kirk just having tossed a TD to Jamison Crowder. Later that quarter in an attempt to get back in the game Tony Romo drops back and gets sacked by Ryan Kerrigan and is out for a couple weeks while he clears concussion protocol.
Redskins Win: 27 - 6
Week 3: Redskins @ Giants
Prediction: It's week 3 and the Redskins look to establish real momentum. In their first road game of the season the Redskins start off slow going through several series of 3 and outs. Eli Manning stretches the field with rookie receiver
Will Fuller but exposes the Redskins underneath completing several chunk plays to Odell Beckham Jr. that eventually leads to a touchdown. The Redskins before halftime try to get the running game on track but those overpaid Giants defensive linemen aren't completely terrible and stifle Matt Jones and Co. In the 4th quarter the Redskins are down 13 to 6.
Kirk Cousins puts the team on his back and launched a bomb to Desean Jackson to tie the game 13 to 13. In the drive after the score the Redskins come up with an interception that was tipped at the line by RJF and Will Compton comes down with it. With less than 4 minutes left Cousins marches the team down the field but the Redskins are stopped short at the Giants 32-yard line. Dustin Hopkins comes out to take the lead and knocks it through giving the Redskins the lead with under 2 minutes to play. The Giants try to get downfield to tie but time runs out.
Redskins Win: 16 - 13
Week 4: Redskins vs Browns
Prediction: One of the games that RG3 to Washington. RG3 doesn't look like his prime 2012 self but he looks much improved than he was with the Redskins. The Browns offense features some formations and plays that play to his strengths he completes several intermediate passes displaying the accuracy we were accustomed to seeing years ago. The Browns don't really get anything going against the Redskins defense until the 2nd quarter when Robert drops back to pass in the red zone and runs it in from 12 yards out. At the half the Redskins are up 14 to 7 with Kirk Cousins having tossed touchdowns to Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed. Speaking of Jordan Reed he has a monster game picking apart the Browns depleted secondary with 11 receptions for 178 yards and the touchdown I mentioned earlier.
The Browns try and get back in the game but the entire Browns offense tries to do too much: Robert tries to make plays that aren't there, their running backs try to get through running lanes that have closed, and the receivers do no favors for the quarterback as they drop several catchable passes. The defense steps up in the 2nd half and takes command of the game recovering two fumbles one from Griffin, and a strip by Will Blackmon against a receiver. The Redskins run down the clock with Matt Jones and Co.
Redskins Win: 21 - 7
Week 5: Redskins @ Ravens
Prediction: The Redskins travel a short distance to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Joe Flacco has been having a bounce back year this season and it showing against the Redskins secondary. Flacco tosses two quick TD passes in the first quarter that have the Redskins down 14-0 at halftime. The Redskins have been trying to run without much success . Desean Jackson gets in on the dink and dunk action plan implemented by Gruden to get positive yards and breaks a screen wide open taking it to the house for 40 yards and a score.
It hasn't been Kirk Cousin's finest game having thrown a pick early in the 1st half and lost a fumble in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. However the Redskins continue to chip away at the field on consecutive drives that both lead to field goals. 14-13. Flacco continues to pick apart the Redskin secondary. He gets the Ravens in the red zone and they punch it in on a run at the goal line. 21-13. In the ensuing kickoff after the score Rashad Ross takes it back 70 yards that has the Redskins near the Ravens red zone at the start of the 3rd quarter. Kirk Cousins tosses Jordan Reed a pass in the seam and Reed powers through tackles to score. 21-20.
Closing out the game in the 4th the Redskins defense finally steps up. Preston Smith gets a sack to stall the Ravens drive. The Redskins move methodically down to the Ravens 25 yard line with under a minute to go on 3rd down the Redskins take a bold shot to the end zone off a play action. Desean Jackson was put in motion to the slot and runs a post route in the middle of the field while the Ravens secondary is preoccupied with Jordan Reed, Garcon, and Crowder. Cousins pass is caught by Jackson in the end zone is a nail bitter.
Redskins Win: 27 - 21
Week 6: Redskins vs Eagles
The Redskins are a crazy 5-0. The Eagles have tried to undo years of damage caused by Chip Kelly in one offseason. Sam Bradford is terrible. The Eagles defense is no match for the Redskins offense. The Eagles offense is vanilla and ineffective. Desean Jackson gets some revenge with 2 TDs. The first blowout of the season.
Redskins Win: 42 - 3
Week 7: Redskins @ Lions
It's the Lions. No Calvin Johnson. The offensive line takes care of Ziggy Ansah, an aging Haloti Ngata, and Deandre Levy. The Redskins pick off Matt Stafford twice as he has been struggling to find a consistent target all year. Matt Jones puts together a respectable 70 yard rushing 35-yard receiving performance and caps it off with two touchdowns. Redskins are 6-0 in a game that was in with the Skins performance was better than the score.
Redskins Win: 24 - 10
Week 8: Redskins @ Bengals
October 30th | London Game
The Skins make the trip across the Pond to face the Bengals in London. The Bengals are in the same position they were last year at this time – on a roll. It's a clash of unbeaten teams in London. Unfortunately the Bengals defense is still damn good and cause trouble for the Redskins offense all game. The Redskins lose this game to a superior team.
Redskins Lose: 13 - 21
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Redskins vs Vikings
The Redskins thankfully host the Vikings at home coming off a much needed BYE. After having lost their last game they look to establish momentum and get back on track. The Vikings have built a stellar defense but Jordan Reed is having a career year so far if you hadn't noticed. Reed is a mismatch for Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo. Reed's star play and a solid showing from the Redskins defense against Adrian Peterson and Co. allow the Redskins to win a close one.
Redskins Win: 14 - 7
Week 11: Redskins vs Packers
Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers. Clay Matthews is Clay Matthews. I don't see this one going differently than the playoff match-up last year.
Redskins Lose: 21 - 35
Week 12: Redskins @ Dallas
The Skins are an impressive 8-2 and they have to travel to Jerry World. The Cowboys have been awful all year and the talking heads predicting them to win the division are looking pretty dumb on Thanksgiving. Even on a short week Cousins has one of his best games of the season continuing the Redskins winning tradition on Thanksgiving tossing 4 TDs 0 INT and running for a two-point conversion (just to rub it in).
Redskins Win: 36 - 14
Week 13: Redskins @ Cardinals
Prediction: Redskins make a trip westward to play the Cardinals who are looking to lock up a playoff spot already. Carson Palmer and that receiving core is too impressive, David Johnson causes a lot of missed Redskin tackles and the Tyrann Mathieu picks off Cousins twice.
Redskins Lose: 14 - 31
Week 14: Redskins @ Eagles
We've seen this story before. Time doesn't make this trainwreck better.
Redskins Win: 35 - 10
Week 15: Redskins vs Panthers
December 19th | Monday Night Prime Time
The lights are on. The big stage is set. The Redskins look to prove themselves against a top NFC team for the 1st time this season. In a physical game that has several Redskin and Panther players leave due to not major injuries the Redskins win the game on a Chris Culliver pick 6 in overtime.
Redskins Win: 27-21
Week 16: Redskins @ Bears
The Bears lost the arguably the soul of their offense in Matt Forte and a major weapon that could have taken advantage of the Skins secondary (Bennett). Their defense is a definite work in progress. Matt Jones has a field day. 28 rushes 159 yards 2 touchdowns.
Redskins Win: 27-10
Week 17: Redskins vs Giants
The Redskins would have kicked butt here but they are resting their starters.
Redskins Lose: 10-13
Redskins regular season record: 12-4
Pro Bowl players: Jordan Reed, Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan
Best Statistical Season: Jordan Reed | 95 receptions, 1118 yards, 11 TDs
Most Improved: Jamison Crowder | 53 receptions, 610 yards, 7 TDs
Defensive Star: Ryan Kerrigan | 64 tackles, 15 for loss, 12 sacks, 5 FF