The regular season road to Super Bowl LIV began Thursday in Chicago and nobody expects the Redskins to be in Miami when it ends. After combing through various outlets’ NFL season predictions, it would appear the people in the graphics department at Fox Sports aren’t the only ones who consider the Redskins an afterthought this year.
Here’s a look at what the pundits are saying about Jay Gruden’s squad, which hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2015, as it prepares to open its season against the Eagles on Sunday:
The Redskins have a 16 percent chance to make the playoffs and a nine percent chance to win the NFC East, according to 538′s fancy forecast system.
None of PFT’s six experts expects the Redskins to make the playoffs, while the Eagles and Cowboys both receive votes to make the Super Bowl.
The only mention of the Redskins in the staff’s season predictions post is in the context of who will pick first in the 2020 NFL draft. Scott Spratt says the Raiders will select Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after trading the Redskins for the No. 1 pick. Vincent Verhei writes that Washington’s Week 6 trip to Miami “could decide who ends up picking No. 1 in 2020.” FO gives the Redskins an 8 percent chance of finishing with the league’s worst record and landing the top pick, second only to Miami (22 percent).
None of The Ringer’s five NFL writers sees the postseason in Washington’s future. Two pick the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. The Redskins are 31st in the site’s initial power rankings, which would suggest they’ll be competing for the title of league’s worst team.
There’s no mention of the Redskins in Yahoo’s predictions post, unless you count the two votes for former Mike Shanahan assistant and first-year Packers boss Matt LaFleur as coach of the year.
The Redskins are 30th in Nate Davis’s power rankings. “Poor Jay Gruden,” he writes. “Imagine trying to save your job while your best player (Trent Williams) wants no part of your team, while your buzziest player (Dwayne Haskins) isn’t yet ready for prime time.”
Andy Benoit picks Washington to finish 3-13 and the Patriots to beat the Saints in the Super Bowl.
He doesn’t see Washington making the playoffs.
In a simulation of every game this season using the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI), the Redskins start 3-1 en route to a 7-9 finish. In this simulation, Washington is in contention for a wild-card sport entering the final week of the regular season, but loses, 24-0, to the Cowboys. Dwayne Haskins is the starting quarterback by Week 9. The Eagles win the NFC East with an 8-7-1 record.
Mike Clay has the Redskins 31st in his preseason power rankings.
“Washington has built a potentially dominant defensive line,” he writes, “but it’s hard to find many other short-term positives. There are more questions than answers on the offensive side of the ball (including a seemingly wide-open quarterback competition) and the back end of the defense has major depth concerns behind Josh Norman and well-funded box safety Landon Collins.”
Vinnie Iyer predicts the Redskins will finish 4-12, tied with the Giants for last place in the NFC East. “The Redskins have been winning more games than they should of late, and that will catch up with them without [Alex] Smith as they finish in an uncomfortable tie for last place, putting a rebuild further in motion,” he writes.
John Breech predicts a 5-11 record and a last-place finish in the NFC East. Jason La Canfora says Washington’s offensive line is “going to be a big big problem” and expects the Redskins will be the last NFL team to get a win. Will Brinson predicts a 4-12 season.
Hogs Haven predicts an 8-8 season, but SB Nation’s expert, Geoff Schwartz, says that’s too optimistic. “Washington is a mess at quarterback and at offensive line,” Schwartz writes. “You’re not winning eight games like that. The defense is just OK, but the division is tough. If the team switches to Dwayne Haskins at quarterback early in the season, we will see some growing pains. I think 4-6 wins is about right.” Schwartz predicts the Cowboys will lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Dwayne Haskins receives one vote for offensive rookie of the year.
NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay predicts a 6-10 season, but says he “won’t be shocked” if the Redskins go 9-7. Mitch Tischler says Washington will go 8-8, including a win over the Patriots in Week 5, while Pete Hailey sees a third consecutive 7-9 season. More than 60 other people, including this reporter, offered record predictions in RTP’s season-opening podcast. (I say 8-8.)
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