On Wednesday, May 12th, the NFL officially announced the playing schedules for every team in 2021. While we already knew who would play who, now it is official when these marquee matchups will take place. Teams will have a lot of roster turnover from now until training camp and from training camp to opening night, but I’d still like to take an early dive into Washington’s schedule.
Here at Overtime Heroics, we are taking an early dive into all 32 NFL Teams and their schedules. Below are my predictions for Washington’s upcoming season. Disclaimer: These opinions are subject to change as a result of new information.
WFT 2021 NFL Schedule: First Half
Week One | 9/12/21 | Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team
Washington opens their season with a very unique challenge. The Los Angeles Chargers finished last season with a 7-9 record with a few losses coming on the heels of questionable coaching decisions from ex HC Anthony Lynn. Brandon Stalley has taken over as head coach and I am a big fan of the Chargers 2021 draft – the additions of Rashawn Slater and Asante Samuel Jr. can turn LA into a contender for an AFC Wild Card Spot. However, I think Washington is capable of holding their own against the dynamic Justin Herbert in week one – the Chargers offensive line will not have enough experience playing together and Washington’s pass rush should throw off Herbert enough to take home a week one win.
Prediction: Washington wins 24-20
Week Two | 9/16/21 | New York Giants at Washington Football Team
Mark my words now, I will take any and all bets, The Washington Football Team will get their first win against Daniel Jones during their primetime matchup Week Two of the 2021 NFL season. While I do think the Giants have made a concerted effort to improve their team the last two seasons, Washington’s defensive line will dominate the Giant’s offensive line. Thus forcing Jones into too many turnovers for the Giants to have a chance of winning the game.
Prediction: Washington wins 28-17
Week Three | 9/26/21 | Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills
Washington will face one of their biggest challenges of the season during a week three matchup with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park. Washington struggled mightily against mobile quarterbacks the past two seasons, and Josh Allen’s rocket arm and legs will prove to be a challenge for this defense. Though offseason acquisitions William Jackson and first-round pick Jamin Davis were added to the roster to contain these threats, I think Buffalo holds on to a close one.
Prediction: Washington loses 28-24
Week Four | 10/03/21 | Washington Football Team at Atlanta Falcons
After a miserable 2020 season, the Atlanta Falcons opted to clean house mid-season, firing HC Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff after a Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons hired Arthur Smith as their head coach, and while they could have started the rebuild and drafted a QB, they elected to select TE Kyle Pitts. While I think Atlanta should be better than they were last season, I think Washington’s pass rush will throw off Matt Ryan and Ryan Fitzpatrick should be able to make enough plays down the field.
Prediction: Washington wins 31-24
Week Five | 10/10/21 | New Orleans Saints at Washington Football Team
Hosting the New Orleans Saints is always better than visiting the Super Dome, and though they will have a new look at QB this season, I am sure Sean Payton will still give opposing HCs fits. Minus the question marks at quarterback and cornerback, the Saints still have a talented roster with playoff potential. While I think Washington should win this game, I see the Saints sneaking out of Fed Ex Field with a hard-fought win.
Prediction: Washington Losses 21-20
Week Six | 10/17/21 | Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Football Team
Another week where Washington, fortunately, does not have to travel to one of the toughest NFL cities to play in, unfortunately, they still have to deal with Patrick Mahomes and the rest of KC’s offense. While this is a matchup of KC’s offensive prowess vs Washington’s defensive nucleus, Washington will not be able to compete with the defending AFC Champs. If KC did not address their offensive line as aggressively as they did this off-season, I’d have Washington pulling off the upset, but now I think Andy Reid and Mahomes take care of business on the road.
Prediction: Washington Loses 31-21
Week 7 | 10/24/21 | Washington Football Team at Green Bay Packers
The entire season for Green Bay depends on Aaron Rodgers and if he wants to continue playing quarterback for GB. The fact of the matter is Rodgers is the lifeblood of the Packers and they are not a scary team to face without Rodgers under center. No Rodgers, I anticipate a hefty Washington win, but even with Rodgers, I think Washington can squeak out a road win in Lambo.
Prediction: Washington wins 28-21
Week 8 | 10/31/21 | Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos
While I am a fan of how the Denver Broncos are building their roster out, they have a bigger question mark at QB than Washington. Denver is a stout team with playoff aspirations, but Teddy Bridgewater does not inspire any confidence that Denver will be playing meaningful football in January. I anticipate Washington winning back-to-back road games and has the best record in the NFC East heading into their bye.
Prediction: Washington wins 21-17
Week 9 | BYE Week
WFT 2021 Schedule: Second Half
Week 10 | 11/14/21 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team
Washington, coming off their bye, will host the 2020 Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers for the first time since Tampa knocked out Washington last postseason. Fast forward to week 10 of 2021, assuming Tampa had another season full of injury luck, I anticipate Tom Brady and co. to make another run at the Lombardi trophy. Though Washington only lost 31-23, that game was not as close as it seemed. Furthermore, Washington’s defensive line frequently rushed Brady the wrong way, running their DEs up the field and past the QB. Unless Del Rio adjusts and attacks Brady from the inside, Washington will likely struggle in this matchup.
Prediction: Washington Loses 31-20
Week 11 | 11/21/21 | Washington Football Team at Carolina Panthers
Carolina took care of Washington last season, and since that game, both teams have upgraded their starting quarterbacks. Carolina looks to be doing a good job of building a solid young core of players, but they are behind Washington in terms of rebuilding talent – Washington’s begun in 2017 while the Panthers began in 2020. Washington’s offense and defense should both be able to handle whatever the Panthers throw at them and take care of businesses.
Prediction: Washington wins 28-17
Week 12 | 11/29/21 | Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team
In their 2nd primetime spot of the season, Washington hosts Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. While Russell has been one of the best QBs in the league since he was drafted, the Seahawks have not done the best job of surrounding him with talent since the “Legion of Boom” days. With that being said, I think Washington comes out hot in a primetime spot and their defensive line gives Wilson fits.
Prediction: Washington wins 24-21
Week 13 | 12/05/21 | Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders
Before the 2021 NFL Draft, the Raiders currently only have one starter returning from their offensive line. Also, it’s hard to imagine that the Raiders did enough to improve their defensive talent that was their Achilles heel last season. Though their O line should be meshed by Week 13, unless Washington soaks in the Vegas nightlife too hard before the game, the Football team is more well-rounded and should walk out of Sin City with their 3rd straight win.
Prediction: Washington Wins 28-20
Week 14 | 12/12/21 | Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
Week 14 begins a five-week run on divisional opponents for Washington, and though I have them as the best team in the NFC East, divisional games are always more volatile. However, I see Washington taking their first game against Dallas this year. While Dallas has tried to build on their defense that was weak last season, I am not impressed enough with their offseason acquisitions to think that a healthy Dak Prescott immediately returns Dallas to the Super Bowl conversation.
Prediction: Washington wins 31-28
Week 15 | TBD | Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles
Visiting Philly is never an easy task, especially for NFC east rivals, and Washington will get their first crack at them during Week 15. Philly is one of the toughest teams to evaluate in 2021 – they had a new, first-time head coach and a young quarterback with mainly unproven weapons. However, I think Washington underestimates Hurts’ ability in this matchup and Philly sneaks out an upset win.
Prediction: Washington loses 24-23
Week 16 | 12/26/21 | Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys
Coming off a win vs Dallas two weeks ago and a heart-breaking loss to the Eagles the week before, Washington’s Week 16 matchup at Dallas quickly becomes a must-win for both sides. The NFC East title will probably be a race between these two teams and a win here would allow either side to control their destiny. In this case, I have Dallas narrowly edging Washington, making week 17 vs Philly a must-win for Washington to win the NFC East.
Prediction: Washington loses 34-31
Week 17 | 01/02/22 | Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team
After losing a must-win game, Washington now focuses their sights on beating Jalen Hurts and a scrappy Eagles team they lost to just two weeks ago. Fortunately for Washington, playing Hurts two weeks ago allows their defense to adjust to his style of play and force the young QB into one too many turnovers. Washington should lock up the NFC East with a home win here.
Prediction: Washington wins 24-20
Week 18 | 01/09/21 | Washington Football Team at New York Giants
At this point in the season, I anticipate Washington already having clinched a playoff birth and the Giants already headed for a top 15 selection. With that being said, Washington benches their star players while the Giants look for some momentum to build on for next year.
Prediction: Washington loses 21-17
At the end of the season, I see Washington ending up with 10 wins. Though Washington is facing a much tougher strength of schedule than they did last season, I anticipate Washington being able to improve by 3 wins this season. Coach Rivera has done a fantastic job by adding high-quality players to Washington on the field and in the locker room, and I think the 2021 season will begin to pay massive dividends. Washington’s 2021 season relies on the arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick, and if he can avoid costly turnovers while pushing the ball down the field, Washington will be playing meaningful football in January. For more content follow me @Slimeaction and also follow @OTH_Football.
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