The Washington Redskins' offseason has begun and fans are reeling from a rough loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It cannot be said enough how impressive the Redskins' 2012 run was, capturing the division title and earning the first playoff game since 1999.
Coming into 2012, the expectations for the Redskins were much lower, with many fans hoping for an 8-8 or 9-7 season at best. However, the phenom RG3 propelled the Redskins onto the national stage with one of the best seasons for a rookie quarterback.
While some are still licking their wounds from Sunday's loss, others are looking ahead to 2013. While the official schedule has not been released, the list of 2013 opponents is available. This piece will examine all 16 games for the 2013 season.
The Dallas Cowboys made a late surge in 2012 but ultimately collapsed in a fashion that has become a despised tradition for Dallas fans. A Week 17 win over the Cowboys propelled the Redskins into the playoffs and continued their remarkable season.
In 2013 it is unlikely that the Cowboys' roster will contain many changes. Romo will keep his starting job and Jerry Jones will attempt to fix the patchwork offensive line.
In the end, the Redskins will prove to be too much for the struggling Cowboys and bring in a win at FedEx Field.
The New York Giants delivered a heartbreaking loss to the Redskins in 2012 in Week 7 with the last-minute touchdown from Victor Cruz. However, the Redskins were able to rebound late in the season and come away with a tough-fought win in Week 13.
In 2013, the Giants will look to improve their porous secondary. The Giants surrendered 27 or more points in three out of their final four games, a clear recipe for disaster. With a healthy Robert Griffin III it is hard to imagine the Redskins not putting up significant points at home.
2012 was a year of collapse for the "dream team." A rash of injuries to key players like Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy left the Philadelphia Eagles with little chance for success. This dismal season eventually led to the end of Andy Reid's tenure in Philly.
It is hard to project what the 2013 Eagles will look like without knowing who the head coach or starting quarterback will be. Nick Foles still has plenty of maturing to do before NFL teams fear him as a passer. The arrow is clearly pointing down for this team, and the Redskins will have no problem imposing their will.
The Chicago Bears are one of the best teams to not make the playoffs in 2012. At 10-6, the Bears were the first team on the outside looking in from the NFC. Despite there respectable record, the Bears said goodbye to Lovie Smith and have begun their search for a new head coach.
The Bears sported one of the league's best passing connections in 2012 with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. The question for this game will be whether the Redskins secondary can shutdown Marshall and keep the Bears off the scoreboard.
Between the Cutler-Marshall connection and a top-10 defense, the Bears pull out a heartbreaking loss for the Redskins at home.
At 4-12, the Detroit Lions were one of the NFL's biggest disappointments this season. Despite sporting the league's second-best passing attack, the Lions failed to produce against most opponents in 2012. With Calvin Johnson as the only elite threat on offense, the Lions will look to upgrade their offensive weapons this offseason.
The lack of a viable running game continues to haunt the Lions and will prove to be an issue in 2013. Calvin Johnson will put up impressive numbers against the Redskins secondary, but in the end, it will not be enough to deliver a victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock and so far have selected Andy Reid. The Chiefs had an abysmal 2012 campaign complete with multiple changes at the quarterback position. Heading into the offseason, the clear need for the Chiefs is a competent signal-caller who can feed the ball to their playmakers.
While the Chiefs have made the right first move in hiring the best coach available, there is still plenty of work to be done. There is no quarterback available, whether in free agency or the draft, that elevates the Chiefs to prominence in year one.
This game has upset potential, but the Redskins are no longer a team that plays down to the competition.
The San Diego Chargers have become another pedestrian team in the NFL, and Norv Turner has the unemployment check to prove it. At 7-9, the Chargers have slid into a team that can win some games but are feared by none. In 2013, the question will be what the new head coach will do with a declining Philip Rivers.
The momentum arrow for the Chargers is pointing down and an infusion of youth is needed badly. With an aging Antonio Gates and a back that fails to stay healthy in Ryan Mathews, the Chargers are unable to keep their talent on the field.
This should be an easy victory for the Redskins as they look to repeat their 2012 success in 2013.
This season the San Francisco 49ers made the transition away from Alex Smith and have not looked back since. Colin Kaepernick has dynamic tools and is being managed properly by Coach Harbaugh. With an elite defense, the 49ers are poised to be competitive for many years to come.
The 49ers and Redskins match up quite evenly on offense with quality quarterbacks and playmakers. The difference in this game will come down to the defenses, and the 49ers have a far superior unit.
This game slips through the Redskins' fingers with a decisive win from the gold rushers.
Dez Bryant and Tony Romo will be the key to any success for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013. The offensive line is in desperate need of quality guards, which the Cowboys will hope to add in the draft.
The Cowboys are in the midst of a downward spiral, and Jerry Jones will do whatever it takes to right the ship. Redskins-Cowboys games always seem to be closely contested matches, and 2013 will not deviate from this pattern. The Redskins are the better team at this point and the nod goes to them in a close match.
Despite hauling in two Super Bowl rings in the last five years, Tom Coughlin appears to be on the perennial coach's hot seat. In 2013, the New York media will be chomping at the bit to print "replace Coughlin" material.
Although Eli Manning displayed horrific play in the second half of 2012, he will rebound in 2013. NFC East divisional rivalries produce some of the best games on television, and the Redskins vs. Giants will stay true to that mantra.
The Giants pull this one away from the Redskins in another fourth-quarter win.
While there are plenty of quality playmakers in Philly (McCoy, Maclin and Jackson), it is difficult to get excited about them from a team perspective. The offensive line woes and a below-average quarterback make the Eagles a team headed for rebuilding.
The Redskins are a superior team to the Eagles at this point, and these should be a solid two wins for the burgundy and gold. This is all subject to change based on a new coach and possibly quarterback. However, at this point it is hard to pick the Eagles beating any NFC opponent.
The Redskins draw a tough conference opponent group in the NFC North for 2013. The Green Bay Packers are still one of the top three teams in the NFC with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Rodgers leads one of the league's most dynamic passing attacks that any defense would be hard-pressed to contain.
The Packers' offensive strengths match up perfectly against the Redskins' biggest weakness. The Redskins secondary will struggle mightily against the Packers, and this likely ends as a clear victory for the Packers.
Adrian Peterson has completed one of the most miraculous seasons for a running back in the history of the NFL.
Coming off ACL surgery in under nine months, the Minnesota Vikings back returned not only to his elite level but finished just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's all-time season high. Peterson is a one-man wrecking crew, and that is exactly what Minnesota needs out of him.
Minnesota may have the best running back in the NFL, but it still struggles to find a consistent passer. Christian Ponder is nothing to fear, and therefore the offense must run through Peterson. In the end, the Redskins offense trumps the Vikings in 2013 just as it did in 2012.
Coming off of four neck surgeries and an entire season out of football, many were concerned about Manning's ability to withstand the NFL's physicality. However, Manning has proved all his critics wrong by leading the Broncos to a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Redskins have a great running game, which is the biggest weakness for the Broncos. However, Peyton Manning is an offensive surgeon and will prove to be too much for the Redskins defense.
The Oakland Raiders have very little to be excited about as a team at this point. 2012 was a train wreck of a season, and the outlook for 2013 puts this team in pure rebuilding mode. The Carson Palmer trade continues to haunt this team and limits its ability to upgrade through the draft.
It does not take much time to examine these two teams and see that the Redskins beat the Raiders in most facets of the game. Outside of kicking, the Redskins are superior to the Raiders, and the scoreboard will reflect as much.
The Atlanta Falcons will get the opportunity to prove they are truly a team to be respected in the playoffs this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks. Matt Ryan is loving the addition of Julio Jones to pair with Roddy White, creating a high-flying offense.
The Falcons took down the Redskins in Week 5 this year after knocking RG3 out with a concussion. The 2013 matchup between these teams will be just as closely contested, but the Falcons offense will once again prove to be too much for the Redskins.
Final Record: 10-6