For our NFL preview section, full of Washington-focused and league-wide goodies and due out Wednesday, we rounded up what national prognosticators think of the Redskins’ chances. You can probably guess how this ends, but read along anyway.
Cousins in charge: Most of these NFL predictions were published before Washington switched from Robert Griffin III to Kirk Cousins at quarterback on Aug. 31. While there’s no telling how the predictions might have changed, we can assume that at least part of the picks are a reflection of the way observers felt about RGIII.
[D.C. Sports Bog: The Redskins aren’t last in every power rankings, just lots of them]
Cowboys or Eagles?: Projecting the NFC East isn’t as easy a gig year to year, as say, the AFC South. But this season, forecasters are split between Dallas (12-4 in 2014) and Philadelphia (10-6). Only the Giants (6-10) mostly stood pat this offseason; the other three teams made big changes. The oddsmakers at Bovada, as well as SI’s Chris Burke and ESPN’s Todd Archer pick the Cowboys to repeat. So do six members of NFL.com’s 13-person panel, including Judy Battista, Steve Wyche and Gil Brandt. Seven on that panel, including Brian Billick, Charley Casserly and Bucky Brooks, pick the Eagles, as do SI’s Doug Farrar, USA Today and the numbers whizzes at FiveThirtyEight. (The Bovada oddsmakers also seem to have switched from Dallas to Philly.) Only a Harvard Sports Analysis Collective study argued a team other than Dallas or Philly would be the division’s best: the Giants.
Fifteenth in the NFC: USA Today, Athlon and Pro Football Weekly all project Washington to be the second-worst team in the conference. The Sporting News, apparently optimistically, projects Jay Gruden’s team 14th.
6-10: That’s the record ESPN’s John Keim, The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly project as Washington’s record. USA Today’s Nate Davis went with a repeat 4-12, and Sports Illustrated projected 3-13.
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