During The Audible this week, Ken put me on the spot and asked for a very early prediction on the 2016 Redskins’ record. I said 9-7 (although I could be talked into 10-6), much to the chagrin of Washington homers throughout the metro area—and maybe even a couple in the studio.
While 9-7 isn’t exactly impressive—or even an improvement—I thought I should elaborate on why I don’t see that record as “bad.”
I mentioned the schedule on the podcast. The second half of the slate is the potential rain on the Redskins’ championship parade. As a refresher, here it is:
Week 10: Vikings
Week 11: Packers (SNF)
Week 12: @ Cowboys
Week 13: @ Cardinals
Week 14: @ Eagles
Week 15: Panthers (MNF)
Week 16: @ Chicago
Week 17: Giants
To recap, that’s a gauntlet consisting of: a playoff team, a playoff team on Sunday night, a road game against a divisional rival, a road game against a playoff team, a road game against a divisional rival, a playoff team on Monday night, a road game, and a game against a divisional rival.
Washington could conceivably play well during that run and still go 4-4.
Yes, I agree with everyone who thinks the Redskins will be a better football team in 2016. I also believe that Washington will finish no worse than second in the NFC East. They may very well win the division again.
Improved or not, though, the increase in the degree of difficulty may keep pace with the team’s progress.
I think this is a nine- or ten-win team that will be in the playoff mix.
If that seems too modest to you, stop and think about how refreshing it is that Redskins fans can legitimately have high expectations again.
Here's the podcast, in case you missed it: