The Washington Redskins season could not have started off much worse. They suffered four straight blowouts to start the season 0-5.
That was followed up with the firing of head coach Jay Gruden. With Bill Callahan taking over as the interim head coach they got a little bit of a gift — facing the awful Miami Dolphins.
The Redskins won their first game and now head into Week 7 with a 1-5 record. However, the issue is that things balance out. After getting a winless team in Week 6, they get an undefeated one in Week 7.
Washington now faces off with the 5-0 San Francisco 49ers. It will be an uphill battle, but one they might surprise some people in. Here are three bold predictions for the Redskins in Week 7 against the 49ers.
Dwayne Haskins Appears
Gruden was pretty consistent with his comments that he didn’t believe rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins was ready to play. When Callahan took over, he echoed those sentiments. However, it’s only taken him a week to start to really compliment Haskins.
The rookie has impressed this week while taking first-team reps with starter Case Keenum dealing with an injury. Due to that, there might be a chance that he gets a shot to play.
Keenum looked really strong in the first two weeks of the season. Since then though he’s been much more of a hindrance to the offense than anything. Last week against a miserable Miami defense, he managed two touchdown passes and no interceptions. He completed just 13-of-25 passes for 166 yards though.
If he struggles against the 49ers, maybe Callahan makes a move. It’s really starting to sound more and more like Haskins will indeed get his chance this year. The interim head coach might be inclined to do it sooner rather than later if Keenum can’t get the offense going.
Defense Holds Up
The numbers will tell you the Washington defense has been bad this year. Sadly, the numbers aren’t lying.
That being said, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Redskins have looked much better defensively over the last few weeks.
Washington looked good in the second half against the New York Giants and for most of the game against the Dolphins. Two teams that aren’t exactly world-beaters, but the 49ers offense is nothing to be too afraid of either.
It’s also worth noting that the Redskins have a bunch of really nice pieces. The defensive line is legit. They’re one of the best units in the NFL and although Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat haven’t racked up the sacks at linebacker, that should come.
Meanwhile, Landon Collins has been great this season and was a player of the week in Week 6. Then there’s Quinton Dunbar. The cornerback has surpassed expectations this year and been absolutely phenomenal.
The defense will continue its upward path in Week 7. They might get a little tired again if the offense struggles to move at all. However, for the most part, they’ll be good.
The defensive line will be able to contain the running game, and they shouldn’t be too worried about Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing game (but don’t sleep on them either).
Washington comes out of this game looking better defensively yet again.
Redskins Keep It Close
Honestly, there’s a chance the Redskins win this game. I know that this sounds utterly ridiculous. The reason it sounds ridiculous is that Washington is 1-5 and going against a 5-0 team.
In fact, they have a chance to get absolutely humiliated too.
Due to that, let’s split the difference.
Washington’s defense is improving. Terry McLaurin is a legitimate threat at wide receiver. Adrian Peterson looked rejuvenated at running back under Callahan’s new running offense. This is a better team than it was a few weeks ago.
I’m not saying they’re going to make a playoff run, but the days of looking miserable on both sides of the ball for almost the entire game are behind them.
Keenum’s struggling mightily at quarterback. That might hold them back. Especially considering the San Francisco defense is elite. However, Washington’s defense should keep the 49ers out of the end zone too much. Meanwhile, McLaurin and company could make some plays while Peterson runs it down their throats.
This should be a very low scoring affair. It’s hard to get blown out in a low scoring game. Washington might still lose, but they’ll take it down to the wire. A loss is a loss, but at least the fans won’t stop watching at halftime.