As part of a series we look at game by game predictions for each NFC East team. Starting with the defending Champions; the Washington Redskins. Possibly one of the most difficult to predict after a strong showing last season, but some of the number do flatter to deceive.
So what will happen this season in weeks 10 to 14 for the Redskins:
Week 10 – Home v Minnesota Vikings – LOSS
Jay Gruden’s men will be well rested after their International Series win over the Bengals and use all that spare energy to get steam-rolled by Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. I can’t see anything other than All-Day running riot over a fairly weak Run Defense of the Redskins and helping Teddy Bridgewater control the flow of the game to steer them to victory. This is also a Vikings unit that is gaining momentum towards the top of the defensive rankings with young talent that upped it’s game last year and they will successfully throttle the diverse collection of receivers that the Redskins possess.
Week 11 – Home v Green Bay Packers – LOSS
Did anyone say Play-Off Rematch?!?! Under the lights on Sunday Night Football, the Redskins will look to put right the wrongs of their Wildcard loss to the Packers last year. Rodgers was masterful in his control of the Green Bay offence and the Redskins couldn’t keep up; unfortunately, I can see this game going pretty much the same way as it did this January. With his favourite weapon back in Jordy Nelson, FedEx Field will play host to one of the top QBs in the game on top form and continue the Redskins mini tailspin and consign them to a 6-4 record. There is half a chance that Cousins can keep Washington competitive in this game as he did show plenty of potential in their play-off game last year, just a few slips and a porous defense lead to the defeat.
Week 12 – Away @ Dallas Cowboys – LOSS
And now we arrive at the result I’ve essentially already predicted, but time to remind you of the three things in life that are certain: Death, Taxes and the Redskins and Cowboys season series being SPLIT; and seeing as I predicted the Redskins to win their Week 2 matchup, I have to chalk this one up as a loss. By this point, injuries will have set into teams, and the lack of depth on the Redskins front 7 will tell as Ezekiel Elliot, who will now be an expert in the playbook, rampages over the Redskins D and the 2016 NFC East Champs have their title in serious question as they slip to a 3rd straight loss.
Week 13 – Away @ Arizona Cardinals – LOSS
Riding a 3 game losing streak, I couldn’t think of a much worse game to have next on the schedule than away to a revived Cardinals outfit that made it to the NFC Championship game last year; oh and you have to play away at the stadium they only lost twice at last year. The strength of schedule element really takes it’s toll on Jay Gruden’s outfit, as there’s a massive difference between facing the like of the Cardinals and Panthers compared to the Rams and Falcons. The Cardinals secondary which be much improved from the one that begun to waiver down the stretch without it’s MVP Tyrann Mathieu and Cousins will struggle to get a rhythm in this one.
Week 14 – Away @ Philadelphia Eagles – WIN
At 6-6, the Redskins hopes of being the first repeat NFC East Champions since 2004 beginning to fade, they get a softer matchup against the Eagles, who they have the upper hand against in recent times. Cousins and Reed once again dominate the Eagles Defense, and with Wentz at the helm after the Eagles call it a lost season experience some growing pains as he throws plenty of interceptions against Josh Norman and an improved secondary. There’s still a chance that the Eagles pull off a shock here if they have Wentz and Green-Beckham in sync by now and have a sketchy Running Back position figured out; potentially Wendell Smallwood (?); but as of now I’ll give it to the Skins.