With the NFL season fast approaching, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each team’s 16-game slate will be split into its most difficult (1-8) and easiest games (9-16). For this article, the focus is on the Washington Redskins most difficult games during the 2020 season.
Washington Redskins Most Difficult Games in 2020
1. Week 14: at San Francisco 49ers
The Redskins take on the 2019 Super Bowl finalists to conclude a three-game road trip. The 49ers remain a Super Bowl contender, boasting one of the most balanced teams in football. Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio‘s defense will have its hands full against the Niners’ pass-catching group that includes YAC monsters like George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins will go against the 49ers’ secondary that allowed only 5.2 passing yards per attempt in 2019. The Skins do not match up well with the 49ers, making this the most likely loss on their schedule.
2. Week 12: at Dallas Cowboys
The Redskins begin a grueling three-game road trip in Dallas on Thanksgiving against an offense that projects to be one of the most prolific in football. This defense does not have the talent in the secondary to slow down the likes of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. The pass-rush will have to step up and force Dak Prescott into turnovers if the Redskins are to remain competitive in this game. The Cowboys should be able to score on the Redskins’ offense, so Haskins will also need to have a big game to keep pace. It’s tough to win in Dallas on Thanksgiving, especially against such a stacked offense.
3. Week 17: at Philadelphia Eagles
The Redskins are in the middle of a rebuild, so this game could come at a time when the team is already out of playoff contention, while the Eagles could have a lot at stake in this game. The Eagles have added a lot of speed on offense, particularly with first-round rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor – if DeSean Jackson stays healthy, this is a dynamic 1-2 punch that could cause problems for the Redskins’ secondary. While the Skins might play loose with nothing to lose, it’s always difficult to win in Philly – Washington has lost their last three games at Lincoln Financial Field.
4. Week 13: at Pittsburgh Steelers
The second of a three-game road trip comes in Pittsburgh against a Steelers team with a dominant defense and an offense that welcomes back quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers’ defense led the NFL with 38 takeaways in 2019, as defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick helped transform the unit into one of the best in the league. Dwayne Haskins will have to protect the football and the pass-rush will need to get to Big Ben for the Skins to have a chance in this one. It’s always tough to go on the road and take on an unfamiliar opponent with Super Bowl aspirations.
5. Week 4: vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Redskins will have a tough matchup against another Super Bowl contending team in the Ravens. While the Skins have an athletic front seven that includes this year’s second-overall pick Chase Young, it’s going to be a tall task to slow down Lamar Jackson and this dominant running game. Ravens’ sophomore wide receiver Marquise Brown has blinding 4.30 speed, which will also cause matchup problems. The Skins will need their pass-rush to get home to help keep Jackson and company in check. This is easily the team’s most difficult home game of the season.
6. Week 7: vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Redskins’ first matchup against the Cowboys comes a week before their bye. The Skins have gone 3-11 against the Cowboys since 2013, including three consecutive losses. New head coach Ron Rivera will have his team fired up as he tries to kick off his Redskins’ career with a victory in his first game against their biggest rivals. The Redskins will need to grab the early lead so that they can establish the running game, keeping Dak Prescott and this dynamic offense off the field in the process. The Cowboys have the look of Super Bowl contenders, so this will be a daunting task.
7. Week 3: at Cleveland Browns
The Redskins travel to Cleveland to take on a Browns team looking to rebound after a disappointing season in 2019. The Browns no longer have the hype, but they still have the same talented roster that created a ton of buzz prior to last year. The team will likely transition into more of a balanced offense under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, leaning on stud running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. This is also a tough defense that includes star talents like edge-rusher Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward. The Browns look poised to bounce back this year, making this another difficult road game.
8. Week 10: at Detroit Lions
The Lions figure to be much-improved in 2020 with a healthy Matthew Stafford under center. They were 3-4-1 before Stafford’s season-ending injury, so this is a team that is much better than their 3-12-1 record. The Lions added running back D’Andre Swift in the draft, whose pass-catching skills remind some of Alvin Kamara – he will pose a major problem for the Redskins’ linebacking corps. First-round rookie cornerback Jeffrey Okudah will also help bolster a weak secondary. The Lions are flying under-the-radar, looking like playoff contenders with an outside chance of winning the NFC North. making this a tough road game for the Redskins.