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Where do major media outlets have the Redskins finishing in 2019?

Where do major media outlets have the Redskins finishing in 2019?

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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    Alex Smith could make 'interesting' battle for QB practice reps with Dwayne Haskins

    Alex Smith could make 'interesting' battle for QB practice reps with Dwayne Haskins

    Training camp should be a major opportunity for Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins to get a lot of work with new offensive coordinator Scott Turner and the new playbook, but if Alex Smith is healthy, the reps for Haskins might shrink.

    "The biggest thing we’ve got to do is not make sure we’re divvying up the reps as evenly as possible, but we divvy up who they work against. This could be a very interesting challenge for us because of QB Alex Smith. If Alex is healthy and continues to get healthy and we do activate him, he’s going to be in the throes of this competition," head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday. 

    The Washington Football Team drafted Haskins 15th overall last year, only after Smith suffered a broken leg in November 2018. Rivera wasn't around for either of the decisions to draft Haskins or trade for Smith, but now the new coach gets to try and solve the QB riddle in Washington. 

    Haskins struggled as a rookie in part because he didn't get much practice work with the first team offense. It was obvious how little Haskins knew of the offense and his offensive teammates when he first got on the field in Week 4 last year. Some of that might have been self-inflicted, regardless, Haskins needed the work. 

    Now in his second season, Haskins got exactly zero team drills in this offseason due to Coronavirus. None. 

    So, with what should be the most important training camp of his young professional career, Haskins again might face another hurdle in the return of Smith. 

    Smith deserves tremendous accolades for his recovery after 17 surgeries and intense infection in his leg. But is Smith getting back on the field the best thing for a young Washington team trying to rebuild?

    Haskins is 23. Smith is 36.

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    Haskins has tremendous potential, Smith has already proven he can produce.

    Haskins has started seven NFL games. Smith has started seven NFL playoff games. 

    Considering all of that, Haskins should get the most work of any Washington passer.

    Take note that Rivera didn't say the reps needed to be equitable, but rather the level of competition. Haskins needs more reps than Smith or Kyle Allen.

    RELATED: WHICH WASHINGTON PLAYER HAS A LOT RIDING ON THE 2020 SEASON?

    Smith has been in the NFL since he was drafted first overall in 2005. Allen started 13 games for Rivera and Turner in the last two seasons. Haskins hasn't even been through a padded practice with Rivera and Turner. 

    It makes total sense to get Allen reps against the first-team defense. He needs to be prepared. And should Smith get medically cleared to be back on the field against a defense, he should get some of those reps too. Washington needs to see what Smith has left if he actually gets cleared for football.

    Still, Haskins should get the majority of that work. He needs it, and Rivera needs to see what he has in the former Ohio State star. 

    Smith's recovery is an incredible story, but Rivera's plan in Washington is a long-term rebuild to put together a consistent playoff team. That means getting Haskins on the field as much as possible. 

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    Peter King says cutting Derrius Guice was the 'right call' by Ron Rivera

    Peter King says cutting Derrius Guice was the 'right call' by Ron Rivera

    After Derrius Guice was arrested on domestic violence charges Friday, the football world's eyes were fixated on the team's response to the allegations.

    Facing a critical decision before his first season as Washington's head coach, Ron Rivera ultimately released the former second-round pick. Guice then went unclaimed on waivers

    NBC Sports' Peter King was one of those individuals paying close attention to Washington's response to the allegations against Guice following a Washington Post story detailing sexual misconduct by several front-office executives. His take on Rivera's decision? It was the only decision to make. 

    "I think that was a good first move, and the only move, Ron Rivera," King wrote in his Football Morning in America column. "Cutting Derrius Guice when the weight of evidence suggested domestic violence by the 2018 second-round running back. With everyone looking to see how the organization would react to any domestic issues after the behavior in the organization documented by the Washington Post, the franchise did the only thing it could do when the heinous behavior Guice was accused of in Virginia was made public.

    RELATED: RIVERA EXPLAINS DECISION TO CUT GUICE

    "In this climate, it was impossible for Washington to allow the legal system to run its course," King said. "This was the right call."

    Washington's backfield is in a tough spot following Guice's release. The hope in 2020 was for him to become a featured back after his first two seasons in the league were marred by injury. Rivera will now have to lean on an aging Adrian Peterson again and two rookies who've had limited experience at the position. 

    But those issues aren't the worst problems to have. Rivera and Washington were under pressure to make the right decision, and in King's eyes, they did. 

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