The Washington Redskins will feel confident about maintaining their hold on the NFC East in 2013. Mike Shanahan's team was an impressive 5-1 in the division in 2012, and that provided the platform for its first postseason appearance since 2007.
The health status of youthful dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin III will prove crucial this time around, as will the performance of a revamped secondary.
If both those factors go the Redskins' way, then they are well-positioned to repeat 2012's success. One note of caution, however, is provided by a tougher overall schedule:
2 at Green Bay Packers
4 at Oakland Raiders
5 BYE WEEK
6 at Dallas Cowboys
8 at Denver Broncos
10 at Minnesota Vikings
11 at Philadelphia Eagles
15 at Atlanta Falcons
16 Dallas Cowboys
17 at New York Giants
The Redskins face three division winners on the road in the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. That brutal triple-header will offer ample proof of whether the 2013 version of the Redskins are Super Bowl contenders or not.
They also entertain the powerful San Francisco 49ers to kick-start a late-season run of three straight home games. That run can make or break a return to the playoffs.
The following slides offer a win-loss prediction of Washington's 16 games for the upcoming 2013 NFL season.
All statistics courtesy of NFL.com and Pro-Football-Reference.com.