Projections have Redskins positioned near the foot of the 2020/2021 NFL
There is unlikely to be much excitement around Washington for the return of the 2020/21 NFL season, particularly if ESPN’s advanced prediction metric is accurate. The Washington Redskins last achieved Super Bowl immortality in 1991 by winning Super Bowl XXVI. Since then, it has been a largely fruitless era for the Redskins, as they secured playoff qualification only four times since the turn of the millennium.
This barren run looks likely to continue into 2020/21 if ESPN’s Football Power Index is anything to go by. ESPN’s Seth Walder published the projection modeling for the upcoming season, which weighs up each franchise’s results from the 2019/20 season, alterations to team rosters and members of the coaching staff, the caliber of quarterbacks and many more factors. The Football Power Index was simulated 20,000 times for optimal accuracy and the trends do not look good for the Redskins based on the average outcome. All the talk of oddschecker’s NFL futures pundits is about the likes of Kansas City Chiefs and not the team from Ashburn, Virginia.
ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts the Redskins will win fewer than six regular-season games. Their chances of qualifying for the NFL playoffs are slim too – 6% in fact. All told, these figures predict that Washington Redskins will be the second-worst performing team in the NFL in 2020/21. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars perform worse over the 20,000 simulations of the Football Power Index.
It’s news that will deflate many Redskins fans given the growing positivity in the Redskins’ camp from head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera took charge of Washington at the turn of the New Year. During the last six months, he has worked hard to try and change the culture of the Redskins organization and bring about systematic changes to the coaching team as well as elements of the roster too.
One of the major issues for the Redskins is the quarterback position. ESPN’s projection modeling does not believe that Dwayne Haskins is enough to change the balance of power in Washington’s favor next season. Remember, the data is based on Haskins’ 2019/20 form, which was disappointing, to say the least. However, the quarterback is one of the few elements of the Redskins’ roster that could defy the modeling with improved form this coming season.
The Redskins are pinning their hopes on Jonathan Allen
A positive acquisition for the Redskins’ roster has been defensive tackle, Jonathan Allen. The former Alabama Crimson Tide starter is someone that isn’t used to defeat, having been on the losing side only four times with Alabama between 2014-16. Unfortunately, since joining the Redskins, Allen has tasted defeat during 31 of his 36 appearances in a Washington jersey. Given that the Redskins’ defense is once of its strengths, it’s good to see that Allen is developing year-on-year despite the team’s overall disappointment.
In the last two years, Allen is ranked fourth in the entire NFL for the most multi-sack games among all defensive tackles. He also ranks fifth for the most games with multiple tackles for loss. Having been named team captain last year, it is clear that the Redskins hierarchy holds him in very high regard. Washington displayed their faith in Allen by recently exercising an extension to his contract, taking him to five years in a Redskins jersey. An interview with Allen was recently published on Forbes about his time with Washington and his attitude towards his career and the Redskins is positive. He insists that it’s not important to get hung up on “what [they] can do” but instead focus on “what [they] have done”. Allen insists the Redskins “have a lot to prove” not only to themselves but the rest of the NFL in 2020.
Allen’s flourishing relationship with head coach Rivera is further proof of the team spirit and culture that Rivera is trying hard to foster. The Redskins will certainly need to be greater than the sum of their parts to stand a chance in 2020/21.