Washington Football Team schedule takeaways:
- The Washington Football Team schedule for the 2021 NFL season starts out with some very winnable games against the Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons within the first four weeks.
- But don’t mistake this for a cupcake schedule for Ron Rivera’s squad. Washington has six games against playoff teams from a season ago, including a Week 10 outing against the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Sportsnaut predicts that Washington will finish with a 10-7 record.
Washington could be set to rely on veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to help them repeat as NFC East champions, Washington seems to be in a good position under Rivera. He’s changed the culture big time in the nation’s capital and has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball to work with.
The interesting dynamic here is that recent reports suggest that Fitzpatrick might face a training camp competition with Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen for the starting quarterback job. No one expected this to be the case when Fitzmagic signed with WFT in the first place.
For now, Washington will be relying on what has to be considered one of the top defenses in the NFL led by edge rusher Chase Young. If its offense can pick it up, we could very well be looking at a deep playoff run in D.C. But that’s a big if.
Washington Football Team schedule predictions, roster outlook
Let’s take a look at the team’s complete 2021 schedule and make predictions for each game.
Washington Football Team roster outlook
- QB — Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen
- RB — Antonio Gibson, JD McKissic, Peyton Barber, Lamar Miller
- WR — Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, Cam Sims, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Dyami Brown, Steven Sims
- TE — Logan Thomas
- Defense — Washington ranked first in the NFL this week.
Washington Football Team 2021 preseason schedule
|Thursday, Aug. 12||@ New England Patriots||7:30 PM||NBC 4|
|Friday, Aug. 20||vs. Cincinnati Bengals||8:00 PM||NBC 4|
|Saturday, Aug. 28||vs. Baltimore Ravens||6:00 PM||NBC 4|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 — vs. Los Angeles Chargers
|Sunday, Sept. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
- Spread: Chargers -1.5
- Moneyline: Washington -105, Chargers -117
- Over/under: 44.5
It’s been a common theme here. Protecting the homefield. Taking on a greenish quarterback in Justin Herbert and a young offensive line, Washington looks to take advantage of this come Week 1. Los Angeles boasted a 3-5 record on the road a season ago. It’s going to be coming into a loud environment in the nation’s capital. In and of itself, that will be the biggest difference.
- Week 1 prediction prediction: Washington 27, Chargers 23
Week 2 — vs. New York Giants (TNF)
|Thursday, Sept. 16||8:20 PM||NFL Network|
Protecting homefield. It’s an onus that Ron Rivera and Co. can’t shy away from. The good news? New York has won just seven of its past 32 road games dating back to 2017. With these teams pretty much evenly matched, that should be the difference in this Week 2 outing.
- Week 2 prediction: Washington 27, Giants 23
Week 3 — @ Buffalo Bills
|Sunday, Sept. 26||1:00 PM||FOX|
Josh Allen and the Bills could very well be a good barometer of where the WFT is at this season. In fact, Buffalo’s trajectory is something that a defensive-minded Ron Rivera envisions with his squad. Unfortunately, Washington is a year away from being able to go into a hostile environment in Buffalo and coming out on top.
- Week 3 prediction: Bills 27, Washington 17
Week 4 — @ Atlanta Falcons
|Sunday, Oct. 3||1:00 PM||FOX|
Washington is a different mold of team in the modern NFL. It’s going to rely on a dynamic rushing attack and dominant defense in hopes of repeating as NFC East champs. Everything that WFT has done this offseason is building to that. It’s just not a great matchup for a Falcons team that wants the ball in the hands of quarterback Matt Ryan and Co. That’s especially true that Julio Jones is now a member of the Tennessee Titans.
- Week 4 prediction: Washington 34, Falcons 23
Week 5 — vs. New Orleans Saints
|Sunday, Oct. 10||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Saints are going to be a vastly different team without Drew Brees in the mix. There’s going to be more of a reliance on the running back with Alvin Kamara and a defense that has some holes. This should work to Washington’s advantage come 5. After all, Ron Rivera’s defense is more than likely set to finish in the top 10 stopping the run in 2021.
- Week 5 prediction: Washington 24, Saints 20
Week 6 — vs. Kansas City Chiefs
|Sunday, Oct. 17||1:00 PM||CBS|
Upset alert. Washington has the talent at all three tiers on defense to be able to pull off what would be one of the biggest statements of the 2021 NFL season. Primarily, its ability to go sideline-to-sideline should help against the likes of Tyreek Hill. Playing ball control offense against a Chiefs defense that gave up nearly 2,000 rushing yards a season ago will also help matters in this regard.
- Week 6 prediction: Washington 24, Chiefs 21
Week 7 — @ Green Bay Packers
|Sunday, Oct. 24||1:00 PM||FOX|
It’s all about Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay right now. If he’s not back with the Packers, they are going to be in all sorts of trouble with a greenish Jordan Love under center. At issue here for Washington is the home-field advantage Lambeau brings to the table coupled with a slightly above-average offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick. It will lead to yet another road loss against a stout Packers defense.
- Week 7 prediction: Packers 23, Washington 20
Week 8 — @ Denver Broncos
|Sunday, Oct. 31||4:25 PM||FOX|
Whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock under center for the Broncos in 2021, we’re looking at some low-scoring affairs in the Mile High City. When you take into account Washington’s stifling defense, this is magnified further. In what should be a hotly-contested affair, I am going with the home team to do just enough to come out on top.
- Week 8 prediction: Broncos 20, Washington 17
WEEK 9 BYE
Week 10 — vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Sunday, Nov. 14||1:00 PM||FOX|
A rematch of last season’s NFC Wildcard Playoff, Washington surprised the masses by playing it close against Tom Brady and Co. back in January. It lost by the score of 23-21 with Taylor Heinicke getting the start. While Ryan Fitzpatrick is an immediate upgrade, I just don’t see WFT coming out on top against the defending champs.
- Week 10 prediction: Buccaneers 28, Washington 17
Week 11 — @ Carolina Panthers
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Ron Rivera revenge game. Could it end in sweet victory for Washington? I am not too sure. The Panthers seemingly match up well against WFT’s collection of elite defensive talent. Christian McCaffrey’s ability to get out on the boundary coupled with the ascension of wide receiver D.J. Moore leads me to believe Rivera will be licking his wounds following this Week 11 matchup.
- Week 11 prediction: Panthers 23, Washington 19
Week 12 — vs. Seattle Seahawks (MNF)
|Monday, Nov. 29||8:15 PM||ESPN|
Washington will be able to score points against a Seahawks defense that lacks a ton of talent outside of Jamal Adams. The only question here is whether its defense will be able to protect the boundaries against D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. In what should be a close and unusually high-scoring affair for Washington, I am going with Ron Rivera and Co. to hold court at home.
- Week 12 prediction: Washington 27, Seahawks 24
Week 13 — @ Las Vegas Raiders
|Sunday, Dec. 5||4:05 PM||FOX|
There’s every reason to believe Allegiant Stadium will be rocking in Vegas this fall after fans were not permitted to attend games in the Raiders’ debut 2020 campaign in Sin City. That’s going to play a huge difference, especially in games against evenly-matched opponents. I expect Derek Carr and Co. to do just enough to take advantage of that.
- Week 13 prediction: Raiders 23, Washington 20
Week 14 — vs. Dallas Cowboys
|Sunday, Dec. 12||1:00 PM||FOX|
Washington posted a disastrous 3-5 record at home a season ago. It didn’t impact the eventual division winner due to the NFC East being so poor. But this must change for Ron Rivera and Co. come September. The good news? Washington has the talent in the trenches to enforce its will at home against a Cowboys team that has struggled in that regard recently. It should lead to a narrow home win.
- Week 14 prediction: Washington 24, Cowboys 23
Week 15 — @ Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia just does not match up well against Washington. Sure Jalen Hurts is more mobile than Carson Wentz. But a defensive line led by Chase Young and Montez Sweat will have the greenish quarterback running for the hills. Meanwhile, Washington’s running back group should have a field day against an Eagles defense that finished in the bottom 10 stopping the run a season ago.
- Week 15 prediction: Washington 17, Eagles 13
Week 16 — @ Dallas Cowboys (SNF)
|Sunday, Dec. 26||8:20 PM||NBC|
In their two games a season ago, Washington outscored Dallas by a combined margin of 66-19 in sweeping its division rivals. Unfortunately, we’re not going to see a similar Cowboys team in 2021. Dak Prescott returns healthy. Their defense is improved under coordinator Dan Quinn. At the very least, it will lead to Dallas holding serve at home.
- Week 16 prediction: Cowboys 27, Washington 23
Week 17 — vs. Philadelphia Eagles
|Sunday, Jan. 2||1:00 PM||FOX|
Noticing a theme? I am in no way sold on the Eagles being able to match up with Washington in 2021. Primarily, its inability to stop the run and issues in the defensive secondary could be the team’s biggest Achilles’ heel. Washington is also in a position to take advantage of that. It will lead to a season sweep of the Eagles.
- Week 17 prediction: Washington 23, Eagles 14
Week 18 — @ New York Giants
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||FOX|
Noticing another theme? Home-field advantage will play a major role in NFC East division battles now that teams are going to welcome fans back in attendance at 100% capacity. That’s no more true than in this rivalry matchup between two pretty even teams. Washington has won just two games against the Giants in Jersey since the 2011 season.
- Week 18 prediction: Giants 20, Washington 16