With another football season on the horizon, many national media outlets across the country are speculating how the Burgundy and Gold will finish in 2019.
To be quite blunt, not many people think the Redskins will be competitive in the NFC. Washington coming off a 7-9 season, where at one point they were 6-3 before a catastrophic leg injury to quarterback Alex Smith.
Despite significant moves during the offseason, such as drafting their QB of the future in Dwayne Haskins and signing safety Landon Collins to a massive six-year deal, expectations around the league are not high for the bunch in 2019. The Redskins play in one of the toughest divisions in football, as both the Eagles and Cowboys are expected to be contenders to come out of the NFC.
So how do major media outlets predict the Redskins will finish in 2019? Here's a rundown. Let's take a look.
USA TODAY: 3-13, fourth in NFC East
"They come out of the gate against three 2018 playoff clubs (Eagles, Cowboys, Bears) — all sporting nasty defenses. The 'Skins also host the champion Patriots in Week 5.* Might make sense to keep rookie QB Dwayne Haskins behind protective glass through that stretch ... at minimum."
ESPN: 7-9, third in NFC East
"The Redskins play three division games in the first four weeks, which will provide a great clue for how their season will play out. They also close the season with three straight division games. They need to start well against their division for a simple reason: In the past seven seasons, the Redskins have made the playoffs twice. Both times they finished above .500 in the division. In the other five years, they were a combined 8-22 in the NFC East. Also, having a Thursday night game with 11 days off followed two weeks later by a bye might help them get healthy for a late push. They had early byes the past two seasons and the injuries mounted late. Players' health is a big reason for subdued expectations."
BLEACHER REPORT: 3-13, fourth in NFC East
"The Washington Redskins have experienced a tumultuous offseason. In May, linebacker Reuben Foster tore his ACL. The team also released Mason Foster, which opened up another spot on the second level of the defense. Washington has a potential issue at left tackle; Trent Williams hasn't joined the team this offseason because of a dispute over a medical issue, per ESPN's John Keim. Dwayne Haskins' big arm would give the Redskins' passing attack more flare than Case Keenum's conservative approach. Nevertheless, a depleted offensive line could put him in harm's way because he's not a mobile quarterback. Washington's offseason has been filled with bad news amid a transition under center, and head coach Jay Gruden is on the hot seat—a troubling combination leading into the season."
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: 5-11, fourth in NFC East
"I think there’s a fair chance this might be my biggest mistake. In this scenario, I’m imagining Dwayne Haskins being forced to start before he’s ready; but on the other hand, I think Jay Gruden is one of the more underrated coaches in the NFL. This run game could be an absolute handful, and Washington got better on defense. Imagine this division, as it tends to do, falling closer together than our breakdown here."
SPORTING NEWS: 4-12, fourth in NFC East
"The Redskins have more optimism on defense with Collins and rookie first-round Montez Sweat, but their offense no longer has the stability of Alex Smith. Rookie first-rounder Dwayne Haskins has high upside and a good shot to start right away over Case Keenum, but there are other concerns in the passing game, and the team might not be able to rely on Derrius Guice in the backfield. The forecast doesn't look for coach Jay Gruden."
THE DRAFT NETWORK: 6-10, third in NFC East
"The Washington Redskins figure to struggle through to growing pains of a rookie quarterback, though their future outlook remains bright."
CBS: 5-11, fourth in NFC East
*CBS did divisional breakdowns only, analysis is about the division, not entirely the Redskins*
"When it comes to the offensive rookie of the year award, if voters have proven one thing over the past few years, it's that they love giving the award to running backs (a running back has won in three of the past four seasons) and they really love giving it to players from the NFC East (a player from this division has won the award four times since 2012), and Sanders checks both of those boxes. If you're looking for a running back that might win, Sanders makes sense and that's because he probably has the best offensive line of any rookie running back. The other bold prediction here is that the Cowboys miss the playoffs, and before you come complaining to me that I hate your team Cowboys fans, just remember that I picked Dallas to go 10-6 and win the division last year."
So, there you have it. Not one media outlet has the Redskins finishing above third place in their division or above .500. The Redskins must remember that games are not won on paper, and that they have the opportunity to prove everyone wrong in 2019.
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