The Washington Redskins are starting over again, two seasons after it appeared the arrival of Robert Griffin III would put them back on top. That glory was short lived. Griffin energized Washington in 2012, ended his seaason with a knee injury in the playoffs, then limped through the 2013 NFL schedule with a bad knee and an even worse relationship with Mike Shanahan. The result were dismal and mercurial owner Dan Snyder fired Shanahan and installed Jay Gruden, former Bengals offensive coordinator, as the Redskins eight head coach under Snyder.
To begin with, Gruden and new offensive coordinator Sean McVay must be able to revert Griffin back to the dynamic playmaker the Redskins drafted. New weapons include DeSean Jackson, who immediately gives Griffin a proven playmaker. Along with Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts, brought in from Arizona, the Redskins are notably improved in the passing game. Griffin himself seems to be healthier and happier than he has been and that alone make the Redskins a better team.
A look at the 2014 Redskins schedule is a sobering move though. The toughest games on the schedule are as follows.
Redskins vs Eagles – Naturally, divisional games in the NFC East are most important. The Philadelphia eagles are NFC East favorites. Washington travels to Philadelphia in Week 3, after stints against Houston and Jacksonville. Going into Philly at 2-0 would be a big boost of confidence. The return of Jackson to Philly is also a motivational factor. The Eagles will travel to Washington on Dec. 20th, a game that could play a pivotal role in determining the NFC East title.
Redskins vs Giants – This is a tough matchup to call. Both the Giants and Redskins are trying to come back from sub-par seasons. Who nabs these wins, on Sept 25th in Washington and Dec 14th in New York, will go a long way in proving which team is on the right track.
Redskins vs Cowboys – Honestly, Griffin and the Redskins offense should thrive against the Cowboys defense. We’re seeing Dallas as a non-entity unless Romo and the offense remain explosive and the Dallas defense suddenly undergoes a personality change.
Redskins vs Seahawks – In Seattle against the defending Super Bowl Champions is the time to shine.
Redskins at Cardinals – Another stern test for the Redskins offense against a killer Cardinals defense in Arizona on Oct. 12th.
Redskins at 49ers – Do we even have to say it? Beating the 49ers in their new stadium on Nov 23rd would give the Washington Redskins instant credibility.
These are what we see as the toughest games on the Redskins 2014 schedule. Winning four out of these eight would put Washington on a much higher plane than we saw last season. The rest of the schedule, which includes the Minnesota Vikings, the Titans, Buccaneers, and Rams, is very winnable. 5-3 over that schedule would put the Washington Redskins somewhere around 9-7 or even 10-6. That’s playoff territory.