A quick glance at the Redskins 2016 schedule shows a tough campaign ahead, but new analysis reveals this fall could be even harder than originally expected.
Washington took advantage of a fourth-place schedule in 2015 - and a down NFC East - en route to a 9-7 record and the division title. Now, as division winners, the 'Skins will face a first place schedule not to mention improved teams from around the league.
Writing for Rotoworld, Warren Sharp analyzed all 32 NFL team's strength of schedule based on win total information available in Las Vegas. For example, Bovada.lv set the Redskins win total at 7.5. As the offseason progresses, from the draft to OTAs to minicamp, casinos adjust the win total bets, and Sharp used the most recent totals.
His analysis shows the Redskins with the second toughest schedule in the NFL, but perhaps more troubling, the second half of 2016 will be the toughest in the league. Remember, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins played their best football late in the 2015 season, a tactic that will be much more difficult this fall.
"While the schedule does not begin as badly, from Weeks 8-17 the Redskins' schedule is projected to be the most difficult in the NFL by a large margin. They are one of two teams to play three straight road games, one of which is on a short week (Thanksgiving) vs the Cowboys. And thanks to their #1 finish in the NFC East, the Redskins must play the Cardinals and Panthers."
Again, Redskins fans have known that their team's schedule would be very tough this fall, but that back half will be grueling. The silver lining for Washington, "of their six most difficult opponents, only one (@ ARI) is a true road game. Four are at home (PIT, MIN, GB and CAR) and one is in London (CIN)."
The vibe around Redskins Park this summer has been a team that expects to win this fall, to show 2015 was no fluke and that Washington is a team built for the long haul. With their 2016 schedule, the Redskins have a chance to prove it.