The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
On Thursday, I published my projected wins and losses for the entire NFC East for the first four games of the season. I had the Redskins going 2-2 in that article, though, after watching the Bears offense sputter and die at home against the Packers, I’m beginning to question whether my projection of a Redskins loss at home to the Bears was accurate. In any event, having published the article, that 2-2 projection provides the jumping-off point for this article, in which I’ll project the outcome of the other 12 games on the ‘Skins schedule, starting with the Week 5 game against the New England Patriots, which will continue the pattern where a loss is followed by a win, and vice versa.
Week 5 New England Patriots
I could write a lot of stuff here — maybe focusing on how the Patriots are most vulnerable in the early part of the season and the fact that the Pats are better at home in Foxboro — but I don’t believe it and chances are you won’t either. I’ll be thrilled if the Redskins win this game, but I will watch it with a sense of inevitability unless, for some reason, Tom Brady isn’t playing in this game.
Week 6 at Miami Dolphins
Man, I’m sorry; I just can’t take Miami seriously after the trades last week. The Dolphins look like the worst team in the NFL right now. After the announced trade with the Texans, it looks like they are simply loading up picks for the 2020 draft. I just can’t imagine that they will beat anyone outside of, perhaps, the Giants or the Bills. I feel sorry for Josh Rosen and Brian Flores, who are both trying to establish themselves in the NFL. The Redskins come out of Miami with a “W”. Call your bookie now.
Week 7 San Francisco 49ers
The last time these two teams played was in 2017 when the Redskins traveled west and won the game 26-24. Had it not been for the grandson of Redskins legendary Hall of Fame GM Bobby Beathard, the Redskins would likely have won that game by 5 touchdowns.
Since then, the Niners are 10-16. Jimmy Garoppolo had a 0.00 rating for the Week 3 preseason game two weeks ago, and afterward explained things by saying he intentionally throws into coverage in the pre-season. Who knew?
This is a bad team that isn’t getting better fast enough. They play the Steelers, Browns and Rams in the three games prior to the matchup with the Redskins, which means that they’ll be traveling east riding a 3-game losing streak. The Redskins will murder them 12-6 in a game that features 6 field goals to win back-to-back games (unusual for Jay Gruden teams) and move a game above .500.
Week 8 at Minnesota Vikings
The Case Keenum - Kirk Cousins Bizarro World Bowl game will end predictably with a Redskins victory when the Redskins pass rush hurries Kirk Cousins into a bad 3rd down throw that is intercepted by Jimmy Moreland for a pick-6 to win the game with less than 45 seconds remaining. Chances are that the pass will be intended for the Vikings newest receiver, Josh Doctson, who can’t quite motivate himself to seriously try to out-hustle Moreland for the football.
Seriously, there’s no way Cousins can stay composed enough against his old team and its talented defense to not lose this game for the Vikings. The Cousins’ failure to launch results in a Redskins 3-game win streak. Post-game, Doctson tells Cousins that it’s “no big deal”, and then takes a nap in his car before driving home after the game. Kirk, frustrated, says, very forcefully, “Gosh darnit!!”
Week 9 at Buffalo Bills
Buffalo has the chance to pick up some early wins with games against the Giants, Bengals and Dolphins, but the Patriots and Eagles should cut into their confidence a bit before Week 9 rolls around. The Redskins are a good road team with an improved defense. The pass rush will eat Cody Ford’s lunch and live in Josh Allen’s hip pocket all day. The Redskins match their 2018 start by going to 6-3 prior to the bye week and they are on a 4-game winning streak. ‘Skins fans begin to notice.
Week 10 BYE
Week 11 New York Jets
Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa and Robbie Anderson?
Don’t make me laugh.
The Redskins come off the bye flying high and competing for first place in the NFC East with a 2-1 division record. The Jets show up on a 3-game winning streak after beating the Jags, Dolphins and Giants to find out that reality bites. Redskins move to 7-3 and the playoff talk heats up. The Redskins are on a 5-game win streak. People start to believe.
Week 12 Detroit Lions
The Lions come into this game on a 2-game losing streak after falling to Chicago and Dallas. Time was, Redskins fans could chalk up a home game against Detroit as an automatic win, but that streak was broken the last time the Lions came to FedEx. The Redskins lack of home field advantage sees them fall to 7-4.
Week 13 at Carolina Panthers
I forget — does Cam Newton play well in even-numbered years or odd-numbered years? Doesn’t matter. I’m buying the hype about how good the Panthers will be in 2019, but they have a brutal schedule against their own division, the (less brutal than before) AFC South and the NFC West. In Weeks 10-17, in addition to the Redskins, the Panthers play the Packers (in Green Bay), the Falcons (twice), the Saints (twice), the Seahawks, and the Colts (which suddenly doesn’t seem as scary as it did a month ago). The battle-tested Panthers will be desperate to get the W in the one “easy” game on their schedule, and the crowd at FedUp Field is likely to provide almost a home game atmosphere for Carolina. The Redskins get the “L”, and it provides momentum to a losing streak that will destroy all talk of the playoffs.
Week 14 at Green Bay Packers
December in Lambeau Field against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers coached by Matt La Fleur? Forgetaboutit. We saw on Thursday night that the Packers defense can play (or that the Bears offense can’t). The Redskins travel to Green Bay filled with playoff hopes, and come home winless from two road games, on a three-game skid, only to have to face the first-place team in the NFC East.
Week 15 Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles come to FedEx, and the stands are full of green jerseys. The Eagles are simply too much to handle on their way to a division championship. The Redskins lose their fourth straight game to fall to .500 and the calls for Jay Gruden to be fired heat up, as do the calls for Dwayne Haskins to start while there’s still a chance to salvage a winning season.
Week 16 New York Giants
Case Keenum is benched and Dwayne Haskins gets his first-ever NFL start. The defense plays brilliantly and the offense does enough against a disheartened 2-10 NY Giants team that is starting a rookie quarterback of their own. The Redskins go a game above .500. Fans take out their calculators and stay awake till 3 a.m. figuring out if 9-7 can get the team a wildcard spot in the highly competitive NFC.
Week 17 at Dallas Cowboys
Not so long ago, I wasn’t intimidated by the thought of playing in Dallas, but them days is gone. The Redskins tend to let down in Week 17, even if there’s a lot riding on the game. Any hope of a wildcard spot disappears when Dallas wins by 17 points in an ugly game where Dwayne Haskins doesn’t seem to do anything right and the Redskins rushing attack is stymied. The Redskins fall to 8-8, leading into another off-season of unanswered questions.
How many wins will the Redskins have this season?
This poll is closed