The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and you will not have to wait long for pundits and fans alike to begin predicting team’s season-long win-loss record.
It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing. Myself included.
But don’t read much -- if anything -- into the schedule right now.
Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season.
Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
There's plenty of historic precedent too. In 2011, the Eagles look loaded, and dubbed themselves the "Dream Team." The dream didn't last, and Philadelphia went 8-8 and missed the playoffs. Of course, the Redskins have plenty of examples of offseason hype amounting to nothing in the regular season too.
In 1999, the Redskins went 10-6 and narrowly missed a spot in the NFC Championship game. In 2000, the team added Deion Sanders and brought in QB Jeff George to compete with incumbent Brad Johnson. By the end of the season, Washington had fired their coach, benched both George and Johnson, and missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record.
The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week.
Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak.
Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.
But remember, once the games start, anything can happen.
(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)