The Redskins face four 2018 playoff teams in their first five games of 2019.
If that sounds hard, that’s because it is.
Washington opens in Philadelphia before hosting the Cowboys. Then the Bears come to FedEx Field. All three of those teams made the playoffs last year, and will be considered contenders for the NFC championship this season.
In Week 4, the Redskins travel to New York to take on the Giants. While that might look like a win for Washington, historically it’s been tough to get victories in the Meadowlands.
After that, the Patriots come to town. Tom Brady. Bill Belichick. A bunch of Super Bowl trophies. Yep, those Patriots.
Add it all up and the early season looks very tough for Jay Gruden’s team. After three straight non-playoff seasons, surely the pressure is on to make the playoffs in 2019.
With those first five games, Washington must win two simply to stay alive for the long run.
It’s overly naive and simplistic to make schedule assumptions, especially in April.
The NFL is hard enough to predict week to week, when injuries and starters are known quantities, let alone five months away from real game action.
With that noted, still, the Redskins' opening stretch is hard. NFC East games are always hard, and the Burgundy and Gold will play three division contests by Week 4.
The Patriots are the greatest dynasty in the history of the sport. To say the least, that’s a tough game.
The Bears won 12 games last season and their defense gave up fewer than 18 points-per-game.
If the Redskins can survive the early portion of 2019, things look more forgiving later.
But survival is key.
The Redskins have never been a fast starting team under Gruden, although he did notch his first Week 1 win last year.
2019 won’t be about Week 1. It won’t be about Week 5. But it will be about not getting into a large hole between Weeks 1 and 5.
The Redskins, even with a litany of questions, cannot afford a 1-4 start. They certainly cant afford a start worse than that.
In the NFL, the pressure is always on.
In Washington, it just doesn’t relent.
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