As the Washington Redskins get ready to start their 2018 campaign, we will preview each game and a final record for the team. The 2018 NFL rotation has the Redskins matched up with the NFC South which had three playoff teams last season, and the AFC South which had two playoff teams. The Redskins schedule has been rated as one of the hardest in the NFL this season.
Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals
In the opening week of the season the Redskins embark on their longest trip of the season in traveling to Arizona. The Redskins defeated the Cardinals at FedEx Field 20-15, which ended the small playoff chance for the Cardinals. The Cardinals were without all-purpose back David Johnson who essentially missed all season with an injury. Quarterback Sam Bradford takes the reigns of the offense and new coach Steve Wilks takes over for Bruce Arians. The Redskins should take advantage of a new coach and see how improved their run defense is.
Redskins 24, Cardinals 20
Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins
In the home opener the Redskins will host Andrew Luck and the Colts. Andrew Luck should be playing after missing the entire 2017 season with shoulder issues. The Colts offense doesn’t have much around him with the exception of TY Hylton, and the defense is young and rebuilding. The Redskins should be able to get a strong victory here.
Redskins 31, Colts 17
Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
Highest paid player ever Aaron Rodgers and the Packers come to town for a matchup that is created by both teams finishing third in their respective divisions last season. A healthy Rodgers will bring newly signed tight end Jimmy Graham along with Randall Cobb with him but gone is Jordy Nelson, who was Rodger’s favorite receiver. Green Bay has been focusing on their defense to help keep Rodgers from having to win shootouts every week. I fully expect a shootout in this game, and if the Redskins can win here and start 3-0 they have a chance of a successful season.
Redskins 38, Packers 34
Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints
After an early bye week the Redskins travel on the road to last season’s most disappointing loss on a Monday night. The Redskins had a two touchdown lead before Drew Brees lead a 15 point comeback to force overtime. Once in overtime the Saints were able to prevail and the Redskins season was essentially over. This will be Mark Ingram’s first game back after suspension to partner with Alvin Kamara, last year’s breakout star. The Saints offense is loaded and their defense can be stout. The Saints were a Stephon Diggs last second catch from the NFC Championship game. This is maybe the hardest game of the season for the Redskins.
Saints 31, Redskins 21
Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins
After a short week the Redskins return home to face another playoff team from last season to host quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers. The perennial MVP candidate will have a new offensive coordinator in Norv Turner, University of Maryland product wide receiver DJ Moore, and his solid defense coming to FedEx Field. The Redskins have never defeated the Panthers with Cam Newton as their quarterback. The last game was a disappointing effort on a Monday night at FedEx Field with a chance to control their playoff destiny. This game will come down to whoever makes the fewest mistakes.
Panthers 21, Redskins 20
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
The Redskins tough October continues with their arch rivals coming to FedEx Field. This Dallas team is remarkably different from previous teams with standout tight end Jason Witten retired and wide receiver Dez Bryant released. The team is now all in quarterback Dak Prescott’s and running back Ezekiel Elliott’s hands. Outside of those two the skill positions are lacking for the Cowboys. Their defense maybe a tad better but still has major secondary issues. Plus their solid offensive line has some kinks in their armor. This will be the game to see how much the Redskins’ defense has improved against the run. However Prescott is undefeated against the Redskins.
Redskins 27, Cowboys 17
Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
The Redskins tough October continues with another NFC east opponent traveling to the Meadowlands to face the Giants. The Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley number two overall in the draft and signed wide receiver Odell Beckham to a massive extension. The Redskins split with the Giants as both teams were decimated with injuries. The worst game of the 2017 season was the last game defeat to the Giants. Quarterback Eli Manning should be eager to prove he is not done yet. Their are still issues with the Giants offensive line and the defense will be switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense.
Redskins 31, Giants 24
Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins
The Redskins’ tough schedule continues with a visit from Matt Ryan and the Falcons to FedEx Field. The Falcons lost a tough game to the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s playoffs and the year before had a major Super Bowl collapse against the New England Patriots. The Falcons have drafted wide receiver Calvin Ridley to pair up with Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. The Falcons offense is one of the top in the league and is paired with an aggressive defense will be a challenge for the Redskins.
Falcons 31, Redskins 23
Washington Redskins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Redskins travel to Tampa Bay to take on former Redskin DeSean Jackson and the Buccaneers. After being on the cusp of the playoffs in 2016 the Bucs took a step back last season. Quarterback Jameis Winston will be catching up to speed after serving a three game suspension to start the season. The Bucs do have a very solid offense but Winston has been known to turn the ball over. The last time the two teams met was the huge come back and the “you like that” game from Kirk Cousins. This is a game the Redskins must win if they plan on making the playoffs.
Redskins 35, Bucs 24
Houston Texans vs. Washington Redskins
The Redskins return to FedEx to take on the Houston Texans. The Texans feature exciting young quarterback Deshaun Watson leading an explosive offense and JJ Watt anchoring a tough defense. Injuries derailed the Texans season last year with Watt going down early and Watson going down halfway through the season. The expectations for the Texans will be sky high and by this time in the season they will either be a solid contender or have been underachieving. I think the Redskins have to win this one as this will be a short week for them.
Redskins 38, Texans 35
Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
For their short week the Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys in the Thanksgiving feature game. This will mark the third straight season the Redskins will play on Thanksgiving losing to the Cowboys in 2016 and defeating the Giants last year. The Redskins are 1-7 against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving with the one win in 2012 led by Robert Griffin III. If the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott is healthy he will be the feature. But we all know rivalry games have different outcomes than are expected.
Cowboys 28, Redskins 27
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
After an 11 day break the Redskins travel north to take on the defending Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles. Almost certainly by this time quarterback Carson Wentz should have returned for the Eagles. In two games against the Redskins in 2017 Wentz was masterful against the Redskins, escaping pressure after pressure to make plays. The Eagles are deep across the board and added more pieces to defend their crown. Philadelphia has historically been a bad matchup for the Redskins in primetime games.
Eagles 34, Redskins 20
New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
The Redskins will return home on a short week to face the Giants. The Redskins finished 7-9 last season but were 1-5 against the NFC East. If that record moves to 3-3 or 4-2 the Redskins would be in line for a playoff spot. This also will be the last game of the season where the Redskins do not face a former playoff opponent from last season.
Redskins 24, Giants 21
Washington Redskins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Redskins travel to face the defending AFC south champion Jags in a late season matchup. The Jags feature a strong young defense that is capable of smothering good offenses. Led by outspoken cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the defense is fast and plays with a swagger and attitude. Blake Bortles is an efficient quarterback but the offense goes through Leonard Fournette. This is the game where the defensive line must oppose its will and make Bortles win the game. The Jags should be hungry after losing in the AFC Championship game last season.
Jags 20, Redskins 17
Washington Redskins vs. Tennessee Titans
The final road game for the Redskins is a matchup with another playoff team from last season, the Titans. Quarterback Alex Smith gets to face the team who eliminated him and the Chiefs last season. Led by a strong defense featuring former Redskins draft pick Brian Orakpo and a offense by Marcus Mariota. The Titans rode a strong defense and running game to a playoff bid last season. Most likely both teams will be fighting for a playoff spot. The Redskins must win this game I believe in the playoffs.
Redskins 28, Titans 21
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins
The final game of the regular season have the Redskins hosting the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles. By this time in the season teams will either be fighting for the playoffs, already clinched, or are already eliminated. I expect the Eagles to win the division so it is possible some players get rest here. Also I expected the Redskins to be in contention and fighting for a spot in the postseason. I do not expect 2016 to happen in this situation this time.
Redskins 35, Eagles 28
I have the Redskins finishing the year at 10-6 and earning a wild card spot. With so many good teams in the NFC a few of them will knock each other out of contention. The revamped defensive line and steady play of Alex Smith should be good enough to foster a three game improvement over last season.