The Redskins were 8–8 last year in coach Jim Zorn’s first season, compared with 9–7 in Joe Gibbs’s last. For the decade, they’re 67–80, and three times (2000, 2001, and 2008) they went 8–8. This year the Redskins will get enough out of owner Dan Snyder’s big-spending ways to remain promising, but Snyder and his sidekick, Vinny Cerrato, don’t spend wisely enough to be Super Bowl contenders.
The Redskins like to think they’ll become one of those surprise teams like Arizona was last year. They hope that signing Albert Haynesworth, retaining DeAngelo Hall, and drafting linebacker Brian Orakpo will make the defense tougher and that quarterback Jason Campbell will have a breakout season. The reality is that they may not have the offensive line to protect Campbell, they play in a tough division, and they’re a long shot for the playoffs.
This is likely to be another of Dan Snyder’s wait-till-next-year teams. Here are our predictions:
Giants 20, Redskins 17. Opening in the Jersey swamps is no picnic. We’ve lost four of our last five there.
Redskins 27, Rams 7. The Rams were 2–14 last year. That’s all you need to know about this game.
Redskins 31, Lions 10. The Lions not only were 0–16 last year; they’re 2–19 in their last 21 regular-season games against the Redskins.
Redskins 17, Bucs 10. Radio talker Tony Kornheiser fires up the bandwagon as the Redskins go to 3–1.
Panthers 21, Redskins 17. The bandwagon stalls in Carolina as the Panthers’ D sacks Jason Campbell four times.
Redskins 23, Chiefs 14. What a great schedule: In the first six games, we play the 2–14 Rams, the 0–16 Lions, and the 2–14 Chiefs.
Eagles 17, Redskins 14. Donovan McNabb out-duels Campbell.
Redskins 24, Falcons 17. Our defense handcuffs Matt Ryan.
Redskins 27, Broncos 20. Clinton Portis torches his old team for 150 yards.
Cowboys 28, Redskins 17. Snyder has stadium envy when he sees the palace Jerry Jones has built.
Eagles 22, Redskins 20. The Redskins swept the Eagles last year. This season the Eagles return the favor.
Redskins 24, Saints 10. The Saints go marching out with a loss.
Redskins 30, Raiders 10. The Redskins go to 8–5, and we’re hoping for a playoff run.
Giants 23, Redskins 20. In a division showdown, the Redskins suffer a tough loss and Snyder chews out Zorn after Campbell fumbles twice and gets picked three times.
Cowboys 17, Redskins 13. In another big division showdown, the Redskins again come up short and playoff hopes evaporate.
Chargers 28, Redskins 24. The Redskins’ late-season collapse drops them to 8–8. Snyder has his checkbook ready for the 2010 season, when there won’t be a salary cap. Wait till next year.