Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 19, one day before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.
Redskins need to take advantage of early schedule
Yesterday in the game prediction post I looked at some of the opportunities that the Redskins failed to capitalize on against the Dolphins—dropped interceptions, fumbles there for the taking, drives deep into Miami territory that came up empty.
But there is another, bigger opportunity that the Redskins have that they could let slip through their fingers and that is their early schedule.
They have already lost to the Dolphins, who were a mediocre 8-8 last year. Next up are the Rams and Giants, both of whom were 6-10 last year.
Up next are the Eagles. They were a cut above the first three opponents but the Redskins beat them at FedEx Field last year after giving them all they could handle in Philly. After that it’s on the road to play the Falcons and Jets before returning home to play the Bucs. Those three teams combined to go 12-36.
Summing up the first seven games before the by, there is one with a winning record in 2014, one that finished .500 and five coming off of double-digit loss seasons.
It’s a different story after the Week 8 bye. There are four games against 2014 playoff teams including a visit to the defending champion Patriots right off the bat plus two more against teams that finished with winning record. At this point we don’t know how teams will be playing in November and December but that looks like a considerably tougher slate.
This is not the ideal schedule structure for a team that is trying to find its way. At this point, as the try to gel as a team, particularly along the offensive line and at defensive back, they are underdogs at home to the Rams, despite the fact that they have been every bit as mediocre as the Redskins over the past several years.
It should be noted that even though the season has started we really can't be sure of which teams will be quality teams in 2015 and which ones will struggle. It's probably safe to say that the Patriots will be in Super Bowl contention again and that the Bucs will have a top 10 draft pick. But most of the other teams could go either way.
The Redskins have no control over it one way or the other. All they can really do is try to gel sooner and beat some of the lesser teams coming up in the coming weeks. On Friday about 25 minutes after practice ended there were 10 players still out on the field in small groups, working to get better. It’s a good sign that I haven’t seen in previous years.
But, in terms of the schedule, the sun is shining and the Redskins need to make some hay.
—Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park; no availability
—Days until: Rams @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 5; Eagles @ Redskins 15
In case you missed it
- Scherff and Co. will get a second stiff test Sunday vs. the Rams
- Prediction: Strange things happen when Redskins, Rams meet
- Three Redskins out vs. Rams, Reed, Knighton questionable
- Gruden on how Cousins responded to his interceptions
- Redskins’ Barry: Drive to excel makes Kerrigan ‘easy to coach’
- Redskins Fantasy Fix: With DeSean out, who to trust at WR?
- Gruden: Last year's Rams game will not be motivation for Redskins