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Predicting the Redskins’ 2014 games

Apr 23, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

Redskins-huddle-vs-Raiders

It’s difficult to try to predict the outcome of an NFL game 10 minutes before kickoff. It’s sheer folly  to do it about four and a half months before game time. But that’s never stopped me before. Here are my way, way, way too early 2014 predictions game by game.

(Home teams in bold)

Sept. 7 Texans 21, Redskins 17 The Redskins and Texans had remarkably similar falls last year, going from division champs in 2012 to the cellar of the NFL. Both teams are somewhere in between worst and first and the home team takes this one. (Redskins record: 0-1)

Sept. 14 Redskins 31, Jaguars 24 There aren’t many four- or five-year rebuilding programs in the NFL these days but the Jags are into the second year of theirs. They’re not there yet but the Redskins are probably glad they won’t have to face them again until 2018. (1-1)

Sept. 21 Eagles 30, Redskins 21 Yes, Donovan was triumphant in his return to Philly but Jackson won’t be quite as fortunate as the Redskins still will be struggling with tackling Shady McCoy. (1-2)

Sept. 25 (Thur.) Redskins 24, Giants 20 It’s a short week going in but they have the short trip to Philly the week before then they are at home. The Redskins didn’t play New York last year when Eli was throwing picks by the bushel. They’ll make up for it in this game with a few interceptions of Manning. (2-2)

Oct. 6 (Mon.)Seahawks 28, Redskins 24 Jay Gruden will need to have his team ready for prime time in a hurry with his fourth and fifth games both coming under the lights. Will this be the Redskins team that was in display in January of 2013 when Griffin and the offense were doing the hot knife through butter routine on the Seattle D during the first two drives? It could be but the Seahawks will find a way to win anyway. (2-3)

Oct 12 Cardinals 21, Redskins 14 A bit of a tough trip here with the Redskins traveling out west on a short week. The Redskins do have a shot here if Haslett’s attacking defense takes shape and Carson Palmer can be forced to throw a few passes up for grabs. But the Cardinals are a team on the rise and will be tough at home. (2-4)

Oct. 19 Titans 24, Redskins 10 At some point the Redskins will lay an egg at home and send the fans home cursing and scratching their heads. This is that point. (2-5)

Oct 27 (Mon.) Redskins 42, Cowboys 20 It’s hard to see how the Dallas defense is going to be much better this year than it was last year. In 2013 the Redskins didn’t have the weapons to exploit it; now they do. (3-5)

Nov 2 Redskins 28, Vikings 24 The franchise lost a lot of character when it moved from playing outdoors at The Met in Boomington into the Metrodome. But two months isn’t going to be enough to regain the edge they had. (4-5)

Week 19 (Nov. 9) BYE

Nov. 16 Redskins 17, Bucs 14 I’m not buying in to Lovie Smith doing a quick turnaround job in Tampa Bay. (5-5)

Nov. 23 49ers 24, Redskins 20 The Redskins were non-competitive against the 49ers in a Monday night game at FedEx last year. Washington will be improved but the 49ers are still much better. (5-6)

Nov. 30 Colts 35, Redskins 28 It’s somewhat surprsising that this one doesn’t get the prime time treatment with the marquee young QB’s involved. RG3 beat out Andrew Luck for the Heisman Trophy. Luck got drafted first overall, Griffin second. At home, Luck wins it on the scoreboard in the first of what will be infrequent meetings on the field. (5-7)

Dec. 7 Redskins 21, Rams 14 We won’t know who “won” the RG3 trade for a few more years but the Redskins should handle Sam Bradford and win this particular game. (6-7)

Dec. 14 Redskins 24, Giants 23 Remember the 2012 game at MetLife when Victor Cruz caught the bomb from Eli to win the game in the last two minutes? Think that game but with the outcome reversed with Griffin going to Jackson. (7-7)

Dec. 21 (Sat.) Redskins 38, Eagles 24 This is non-prime time but nationally televised. I think the Eagles will have something to play for here so a Redskins win will hurt them. Unlike the earlier meeting, DeSean gets his revenge in this one. (8-7)

Dec. 28 Cowboys 24, Redskins 21 I know that every Redskins fan out there loves to jump on the “Tony Romo is a choker” bandwagon. Fact is, he has many more successful comeback attempts than he has ones that end in interceptions. Like the one he engineered last December with the sprained back. And this one. (8-8)

  1. jayovalentine - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    I think we will beat Seattle, Rich. The beginning of a new rivalry.

    • ceetown22 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      New rivalry?? This rivalry started back in 2005 when we beat Tampa in round one (Sean Taylor/Michael Pittman incident) and lost to Seattle in round two. We then missed the playoffs in 06, then Seattle knocked us out again in 2007 – this time in round one. They knocked us out of the wild card again in 2012, so this is not a new rivalry.

  2. vtsquirm - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    I like the skins vs the Texans and Titans but I like the Rams over us in week 14

  3. Bobby - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I’m going to pretend I didn’t read this…

  4. internetcareer - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Nostradamus strikes again! lol

    You have us at 8-8 Rich. I can see the Skins losing that first game in Philly. But there is no way the Giants will beat the Skins in our house. They have zero pass rush now that Tuck is gone. They have lost way 2 much on Defense to be considered anything but a 6-10 team. Redskins will be 3-1 after FOUR games because it pains me way to much for me to believe that Robert Griffin will lose to Ryan Fitzpatrick on opening day. Ya kidding me???

    • internetcareer - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      P.S. I forgot to add something Rich. RG3 will also not lose in HOUSTON simply because it is a home game for him. That stadium is going to be filled with Baylor fans holding RG3 SIGNS just like they did in New Orleans 2 years ago. There is just no way Griffin loses to a “who is the quarterback this week” type of team, unless you are predicting that RG3 is not a franchise QB, and it seems you are. Close game for sure but if Griffin is the real deal…he will prevail…and I think he is.

    • Jimmy - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:35 AM

      Read it again. He has us sweeping the giants.

  5. Stephfan - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Worst prediction ok mine is 9-7 realistically we can beat the titans! The toss up is can we beat either 49ers or hawks to make it 10-6

  6. twtrawick - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    I get what you are saying about the last game and Tony Romo beating the choker curse, however he is 0-3 the last three seasons. LOL, actually the last 3 seasons whoever plays the Cowboys the last game of the season is crowned the NFC East champs. But no, I am not predicting that, just pointing it out.

  7. hrrcyberdemon - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    Ok, so here’s my prediction Mr. Tandler.

    Redskins@Texans – W (28 – 17) = Robert and co. prove they are competitive and easily beat a weaker foe.
    Jaguars@Redskins – W (30 – 14) = Jaguars still have a long way to go before anyone takes them seriously.
    Redskins@Eagles – L (30 – 33/OT) = Eagles squeak by with a near loss, both sides prove they mean to win the NFCE.
    Giants@Redskins – W (24 – 17) = Hard fought home game against division opponent, but still the victor.
    Seahawks@Redskins – W (20 – 16) = Won’t be a blowout revenge game, but we still prove the WORLD, 2012 was no fluke the first half.
    Redskins@Cardinals – L (17 – 24) = I’ve seen way too many games over the years in AZ. Even though ‘Skins should beat them, those pesky ‘Cards find away to spoil their day.
    Titans@Redskins – W (32 – 17) = No competition at all. Titans are spiraling out of control.
    Redskins@Cowboys – L (28 – 29) = Lost in the final seconds (as usual – 2012 was unusual), and I still hate the Cowturds!
    Redskins@Vikings – L (27 – 24) = Two game losing streak before the bye week. Fans are worried.
    Bucs@Redskins – W (20 – 17) = closer than one might think, but we finally have our groove at home going.
    Redskins@49ers – L (24 – 10) = I can’t remember the last time when the ‘Skins beat SF at Candlestick.
    Redskins@Colts – W (28 – 24) = We shock all Colts fans – they didn’t see this one coming. Let the trash talking begin.
    Rams@Redskins – L (20 – 27) = We drank too much of the kool-aid and coming down from such an emotional high from beating the Colts.
    Redskins@Giants – W (10 – 6) = Ugly win, but we sweep the Giants. Eli, wants to be traded.
    Eagles@Redskins – W (24 – 17) = We ensure a split between the Eagles and ‘Skins. Not a bad year for first year head coach.
    Cowboys@Redskins – W (30 – 17) = we regain the electricity at home, and send the ‘boys packing, knocking them out of reach of the playoffs.

    10-6 = right back where we sort of left off, before the whole injury thing. Robert has redeemed himself this year. The critics still think his pocket skills are left to be desired, but the real fans know he was worth every damn penny and trade scheme….but overall…in 3 years, he has brought excitement back to a dismal as-of-late franchise, and a new found hope again for all ‘Skins fans. And looking further into the crystal ball….Cousins is traded, year 2 with Jay, improves Roberts pocket presence and Roberts goes on to sign on for another 5 year contract, keeping us alive for 3 of the 5 years for playoff appearances. Eventually getting that SB ring, 4 years from now.

  8. CavemanCatching - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Players-turned-analysts LaDanian Tomlinson, Jamie Dukes, and Warren Sapp have all tabbed the Skins as their sleeper picks for 2014. If Coach G can really get the guys to buy into his system, the pieces are in place (assuming a good draft) for a worst-to-first-to-worst-to-first scenario. 10-6 is doable and 9-7 should be attainable. The key will be the 7 game stretch beginning at Arizona, where 5 of those games are on the road against good (and a few “great”) teams. If we can squeeze three wins out of those road games, and the two at home, the former record would be in reach.
    Also, especially with some type of post-season on the line, I have a hard time seeing the Skins losing at home in week 17 to their chief conference rival.

  9. Troy - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:45 AM

    Completely disagree Rich. This team is closer to the 10 win group than the 3 win team. With the generous schedule, I see another 10 win season at least. Defense will g e the big question but a healthy RGIII makes a huge difference……

    • ceetown22 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      well 8 wins is closer to 10 then it is to 3… just saying

  10. skinsfan5182 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:35 AM

    Come on Rich have some faith!
    We’re starting the season (2-0)! who’s the QB for the Texans again?? Andre Johnson isn’t what he used to be. He’s still good,but he’s no spring chicken. @ Texans & Jags @ home are easy wins! Going to Philly week 3, Desean will undoubtedly make it known to his teammates that he want’s to beat the Eagles, (3-0). Agree with beating the Giants week 4 (4-0). Next is the Seahawks in a rematch of the playoff game, this is redemption we aren’t losing to them again on our turf (5-0). Next is @cardinals I will be attending this game as it’s a short drive from San Diego. I think the cardinals are pretenders they’re not that good (6-0). No way we’re losing to Titans at home (7-0) Cowboys aren’t that good but I’ll give them this win since it’s in Dallas (7-1) Vikings suck, yes we lost to them last year but they will be playing outdoors this year. (8-1) Bucs @ home it’s going to be a close game but I think this might be that home game we lose since it’s later in the season and Bucs have had time to adjust to Lovie (8-2) Next 2 games @ 49ers and @ Colts are both losses (8-4) Rams have a good defense but what about their offense? this will be a win (9-4) I don’t think @ Giants are that good we’ll get this win (10-4) Next 2 games are @ home against division rivals and feel like we’ll win both. so I have us finishing (12-4)

  11. I.L. - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    I agree with others Rich. We will be better than a .500 team this year. So, I feel like we will go 9-7 or better as each game we’re developing more chemistry.

  12. captblood3000 - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    I see it’s still the Silly Season.

  13. kenlinkins - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    Rich: I am still trying to figure out if GM Allen has fixed the O-Line and what the Redskins might draft. Add to that no knowing if the so called new attack defense will work and what kind of offense coach Gruden has in mind and I fear that any guess at each game would be a crap shot at best ( you called it folly) but in keeping with the sprit of the day, my best guess would be 6-10, mostly due to the learning required by any head coach in his first year. That would double the win total of 2013. I think that the Giants find a way to split with the Redskins and T. B. beats the Redskins here in DC. If the Redskins can go 8-8 in Gruden first year, I for one would be happy, but if the Redskins can not find 6 wins with this schedule I would be very shocked. (Then again, many had us at 11-5 going into 2013).

  14. babyteal1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Lose to the Texans Week 1????….no way.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      Man, I have to say that some of you have simply could not have been watching this team at all or at least not paying much attention. To say that there is “no way” they will lose any game on their schedule flies in the face of history. Even when they’ve been pretty good they have been highly capable of losing to any team, anywhere, at any time.

      > >

  15. mauriceatwood - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Rich, I love reading your articles, but this one hurt a little bit. You got us losing some games that I think we should win and not so much working in the reverse. While 8-8 is a solid start for the new coach I think it falls short of what this team is capable of. If the defense is bolstered by Hatcher on the end and gets some decent improvement in the secondary I think we could be looking at a 10-12 win season with this team. Call me crazy all you want, but just two years ago we won 10 games with a similar schedule, a rookie quarterback, and horrific head coach and offensive coordinator.

    Here is my take for the ‘Skins:

    We go 4-2 in the division (we have to beat at least one team twice and it doesn’t matter which team but preferably the Cowboys)
    We beat Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and St. Louis
    We lose against Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco, and Indianapolis

    If that holds we go 10-6. You are right in that Redskins fans are bound to be sent home unhappy against a lessor team at least once. OK, but that could be offset by our beloved Redskins winning a game we aren’t supposed to. Seattle playing in Washington is prime for the upset. The Skins winning early in Philly is another distinct possibility.

    Gruden is an offensive minded genius and I expect plenty of points to be scored by the Redskins, especially with Desean Jackson on board. He and Pierre Garcon on the field at the same time is some serious trouble to defend with a completely healthy RG3. If the offensive line is as improved as Gruden hopes que the scorekeeper because the points are coming.

    If the teams who are considered favorites against us (right now anyway) score less than 20 points we will stand an excellent chance of beating those teams. Regardless, it sure is fun and exciting to have a new coach, the salary cap fiasco behind us, and a couple of new high powered additions that should help out tremendously. Maybe the upcoming draft will get us a couple more impact players like Alfred Morris and Jordan Reed were.

  16. colmac69 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    On paper first 8 games look promising if u look how some of those clubs performed last yr.ie titans..jags..texans.ny)….sea at home then short wk sees long travel to ari b tough…second half winnable games vs vikings..bucs then two tough away games then decent looking finish to season…lots can change but if I was pushed for early prediction then 8-8,, 9-7 ?

  17. Phillip J. - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    I think the bucs will beat us. I don’t see us getting the interceptions against the Giants, remember our secondary is still weak, we don’t know how good our linebackers will be, but we know we need a good corner for a long time now.

  18. nealc53 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    I see / thing 2 / 3 more wins

  19. nealc53 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Skins BEAT SEATTLE!!!

  20. oneloveva - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    8-8 Lollol…I’ll quote the late DARTH Vader””I find your lack if faith disturbing””…You seem to spell, im losing some football reality… Mr Tan…another huge factor or should I say advantage,is that teams have to try to learn a brand new offense,than with Shanny, which bodes well for us((it won’t be JUST LIKE the bangles)), and giving us a bit more of an edge,PLUSE,you’re basing your predictions off of last year’s fiasco,Rg3 coming off of knee surgery, having no first team workouts, having no mini camps, having no OTAs, having no preseason((& still putting up decent numbers considering)) A season like we had was expected, but because of those factors alone shouldn’t give you an 8-8 prediction.We have another true weapon(Djax) ((still having garçon,morris,reed,moss,hulu,johnson))we have a bigger bodied Oline (bettr protection) we have a 100% healthy quarterback((who will have a TRUE offseason/preseason))& who is still nothing short of dynamic, we have a head coach who took a subpar quarterback in Andy Dalton, and made the Bengals dangerous.
    12-4…..11-5 is my prediction, based off what my experience as a Football Coach of 12yrs sees,and the only concern is, the team learning a new system… And if im wrong…you didnt read this Lollol

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