The answer to that question is I have no idea. What does it matter? The extreme likely hood is that I will be wrong anyways. I will say 9-7, because I always tend to err on the side of pessimism, but I don't think that is unrealistic iin any way.
Now that we have the 2013 schedule for the Redskins, fans and maybe some media members will try and tell you exactly what is going to happen over the course of 16 games. Yeah right, it never works that way.
In case you missed it (somehow?) the entire schedule is available here http://www.espn980.com/pages/pages.php?page=2071 and starts with the Philadelphia Eagles on "Monday Night Football" on ESPN.
There are a few reasons why I love this game, in this spot. Of course, it's a division rivalry and you have a chance to not only get a win at home, but also hand a team you compete directly with a loss and essentially build a two game buffer between the Redskins and Eagles. Of course, the season is not won in one week, but every week and every game is of extreme importance, as the Redskins found out last year.
The main reason, and this is a source of significant disagreement between many fans and myself. I like that the Redskins have the entire off-season and training camp to really prepare for Chip Kelly's high octane attack. Sure, he might not show a lot of it in the pre-season, but I strongly believe he is NOT going to be able to completely unleash something radically new on September 9th that he hasn't shown before.
At Oregon or in the Eagles pre-season. It is very different when you are "showing" a read zone option for the first time to an opponent (while having practiced it significantly) versus a completely different attack for everyone on your offense, that features a very quick tempo.
In New Orleans, for the most part -- Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris had to be mostly in cohesion and rhythm. The rest of the Redskins offense, did not significantly change. For the Eagles, EVERYONE on their offense has to be in sync and in rhythm, with utter chaos and 80 plus thousand creating a raucous atmosphere.
Jim Haslett and his defensive staff were already preparing for the Kelly's new attack, and have a book a mile long on the current Eagles personnel. Sure they have weapons that the Redskins have always struggled with in Desean Jackson and LeSean McCoy - but it is enormously easier to install a game plan and preparation for the somewhat unknown when you have day after day to practice it and focus on it.
Haslett and his staff will begin preparation on Green Bay and Detoit as well to get a hard start, but the focus will be Philadelphia. Basically you are left with two options. Face Kelly and his offense in Week 2 or 3, and have some regular season tape while allowing the Eagles to work out a lot of kinks and develop rhythm and cohesion OR face a somewhat mysterious opponent who you have months to prepare for.
Don't know about you - but this is not even a hard decision. I will take option B. I want as much time as I can.
The other storyline to Week 1 is this. ESPN pushed very hard to have this game, and they won it as part of an annual Monday Night Football double-header.
Does this mean that they have received some level of assurance about Robert Griffin III's health??
I HIGHLY doubt that they were given anything more than 'we hope" and "our plan" which constitutes absolutely nothing. No offense to anybody, but Robert nor Mike Shanahan or Dr. James Andrews can give you anything more than a reasonably educated guess or level of optimism. This DOES NOT mean that Robert will absolutely be ready to go, and if the Redskins went so far as to give the NFL and ESPN any level of assurance, than that is a decision I simply have very little respect for.
For his part, Monday Night Football announce Mike Tirico weighed in via ESPN conference call on Friday about the MNF opener.
"Even if there is no RG III [Robert Griffin III], and even if it wasn’t the first game for new head coach Chip Kelly, it’s the Eagles and the Redskins. All of us who have been through some of those games know how much that means and how many special Monday night games those teams have had against each other. You add those factors in, especially with the Redskins having made the playoffs last year, and we know the excitement is going to be so sky high in D.C. People will be on the Redskins’ bandwagon with a lot of legitimacy at the start of the season. From an energy standpoint, that’s going to be a great way to open. And, while we may see some of the system and some of the principles [in preseason], that will also be the first time we see if Chip Kelly has all the stuff that’s going to make a terrific NFL offense going forward," Tiirico said on Friday.
I was told that certain high end members of the Redskins organization did not love the notion of dealing with the Eagles in week one, but the advantages outweigh the negatives in my eyes, as they did with several other officials that I spoke with over the last two days.
That's one game, how about analysis on 15 more??? No thanks, you don't want to read it. I don't want to write it. Plus, I had my say during a three hour schedule release extravaganza on ESPN 980 last night.
Some very quick thoughts from those that missed it. I don't think the bye week after the fourth game is such a bad idea. Training camp and the pre-season is six weeks, plus four regular season weeks. That's a combined ten weeks, and the break falls in almost perfectly.
Would I have liked it after Week 5 or maybe Week 6 a little better? Yeah, but I am not going to argue.
The season essentially breaks down as ten weeks in Phase 1, almost five weeks in Phase 2, ending with the Minnesota Thursday night game in Minneapolis. Players and coaches (plus media) will get a weekend at home, before Phase 3 kicks in with a road week at Philadelphia which kicks off a 7 game/week stretch to the end of the regular season.
If the Redskins are good enough they will either host a playoff game the following weekend or in the best case scenario, get a bye and host one two weeks after the regular season ends at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
I do love the fact that the Redskins get to play three consecutive home games spanning Monday November 25th (vs. San Francisco, MNF), Sunday December 1 (vs. New York Giants, SNF) and Andy Reid's Kansas City Chiefs on December 8th.
Here's the bottom line in favor of the Redskins. Washington travels to Green Bay in mid September, Minnesota in early November (could be a lot worse) and gets a dome game in mid-December (Atlanta). Sure they finish the year in frigid MetLife Stadium, but you could do a lot worse.
Who knows, maybe the Redskins will play two or even three games at MetLife Stadium over the course of 35 days. The regular season finale on December 29th, a possible playoff game, and then Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday February 2nd.
Wouldn't that be fun?
Chris Russell -- SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com -- www.twitter.com/russellmania980