The NFL season begins on Thursday, meaning there are only a couple of days left for season predictions to come in.
On Monday, ESPN released its simulation of the 2020 season, a study conducted using its customized power index, past performance, projected win totals and each team's projected starting quarterback.
ESPN ran over 20,000 different simulations of how the upcoming NFL season will unfold, but picked one of them, randomly, to analyze. And in that specific simulation, things did not go well for the Washington Football Team.
The simulation has Washington finishing the year with a 4-12 record, tied for the second-worst record in the league. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars were projected to finish with fewer wins.
Additionally, the exercise painted a bleak outlook for how Washington will fare at the beginning of the campaign. In this simulation, the team began the season 0-5, with blowout losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams in back-to-back weeks.
Washington would eventually get its first win of the season in Week 6, a 31-3 blowout victory over the New York Giants. The club would finish with a 2-4 record in the division, with its other NFC East victory coming over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7.
The Burgundy and Gold's other two wins in that season simulation were against the Cincinnati Bengals and Detriot Lions, two clubs that combined for four victories a season ago.
Expectations in Washington aren't exactly high in 2020. However, Washington has a new head coach in Ron Rivera and several new faces on the roster. The team has a solid collection of young talent with a lot of potential, even if that doesn't directly translate to victories this fall.
When Rivera took over in January, he said the rebuild wouldn't be a quick fix. The lack of offseason activities and a truncated training camp due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic added another challenge in his first year at the helm.
One thing Rivera has stressed since taking over as head coach is identifying which players will be part of the team's core moving forward. There's no one that directly applies to more than quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
The 2020 season is as much about Haskins' development as it is wins and losses for Washington. If the quarterback can parlay his solid offseason into significant growth in 2020, Washington has a lot to be excited about for the future - even if that doesn't immediately translate to wins in the present.