Sunday, April 17, 2016

So.....The NFL Put Out It's 2016 Schedule

(Schedule designed by The Washington Redskins. Original source here)
I used to be very excited about the schedule release because of multiple reasons. First, I'm not a big Basketball or Hockey guy so unless the Capitals or Wizards are playing, I could care less about either sport. Baseball is just starting up and Football hasn't done much  since the very boring and tedious underwear fest called The Combine back in February. Second, was that from 2004-2013 I was a season ticket holder and that I needed to know ASAP when the 'Skins were playing so I could try and schedule myself off for those games. In my real career, you usually have to be available to work weekends. So, it can be a royal pain to get a specified day off. The earlier you can put in for games, the better.

Of course, its during this time that everybody makes predictions and has it figured out how their team is going to do based on who they're playing, when they are playing them and how much rest or lack of rest the team is given when facing a particular team will affect the outcome of the game. It's okay, I do it as well. But, do we really learn anything from a schedule release other than when to turn on the TV or show up at the stadium? I don't think so.

Here's Why:

1. Everybody Is Going To Beat The Browns (Not True)

When you look at the schedule and see the Browns coming to FedEx, the majority of you mark that as an automatic win. Well, every other fan from every other team is predicting the same thing. The problem is that it is highly doubtful that Cleveland is going 0-16. That doesn't happen often. Cleveland is bound to win a few games this year. The same arguments can be made for the Redskins losing against Green Bay or Carolina. These are not automatic losses despite the 'Skins losing to both teams last year. While you can guess the likely outcome of these games, it still doesn't mean that it will happen that way.

2. Team Turnover/Strength of Schedule

Even though the 2015 Redskins went 9-7, made the playoffs and won the NFC East there has been a decent roster turnover on the 2016 team. This year's team will be different from the team from last year. Look at the teams that played poorly and how radically those teams have changed in front office, coaching and player personnel. Compared to the Redskins, they're doing almost a complete overhaul.  Again it's hard to figure how the 2016 team will perform based off a 2015 record. It's also equally hard to tell how easy/difficult the 2016 schedule is based off the 2015 records of other teams.

3. NFL = NOT FOR LONG

In the NFL change is constant. A couple of good moves combined with a key injury to another team in your division can lead to radical change. Remember, only 2 seasons ago the Redskins were 4-12 and hoping that new GM Scot McCloughan could turn things around. He did. This also includes Jay Gruden improving as a head coach, Kirk Cousins becoming a starter and a change in scheme philosophy with Bill Callahan that contributed to the team's success. Those moves combined with the Eagles and Giants floundering and Tony Romo going down helped the Redskins to win the division.
Unless you're that homer that has the Redskins going 16-0 every year, I find it hard to believe that anyone had the Redskins winning nine games when the schedule was released last season (I had them winning 6 games).

So, while it's fun to guess how the team will do when the schedule comes out.....please take all of these "predictions" with a huge grain of salt. The schedule release again is just another way to pump you up for the season and let you know when to turn on the TV, nothing more.

Well, at least we got a good Hype Video out of it.

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