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Washington Football Team, NFL Season: False Hope or Optimism?

Should we be optimistic for the Washington Football Team 2021 season? Or is it false hope? The answer is ...

ASHBURN -- As we continue to look ahead to the 2021 NFL season, the Washington Football Team has their best shot at winning a Super Bowl in the Dan Snyder era.

Certainly that statement can be argued, but it feels real.

First, though, they'll have to go through a tough schedule. Per SportsBettingDime.com, WFT has the sixth-hardest slate (as defined by combined win totals of 2021 opponents) ...

Rank - Team - Combined Win Totals of 2021 Opponents

1 Las Vegas Raiders 153.5

2 Pittsburgh Steelers 152.8

3 Houston Texans 151.8

4 Cincinnati Bengals 150.8

5 Detroit Lions 150.1

6 Washington 150.0

7 Arizona Cardinals 149.1

Everybody does their "strength of schedule'' component as they wish. But we don't need any metrics to envision the challenges.

If this team is good, they'll get through it with 10 wins. Is the defense really as good as people think it is? If that's the case, 10 wins might be light.

READ MORE: Three Battles To Watch On Defense

In last year's seven wins they took on Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts/Nate Sudfeld, Ben DiNucci, Andy Dalton, Nick Mullins, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Burrow/Ryan Finley. 

It's not an embarrassingly bad list, but it doesn't exactly make one believe that this defense was really tested by great QBs.

This year, Washington is set to face Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, potentially Aaron Rodgers and others. 

An upgrade from 2020 under center? We think so, too. 

Washington spent big on William Jackson III instead of retaining Ronald Darby. They added Bobby McCain at free safety and Benjamin St-Juste, along with No. 19 pick Jamin Davis, who will play more of a cover linebacker role.

There should be no doubt that they are better on both sides of the ball with the additions of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown and Charles Leno on offense.

READ MORE: Three Offensive Battles To Watch

Will it be enough? Maybe. If we're starting with a baseline of 10 wins based on talent on paper, we should probably knock off a win (at least) for injuries and bad luck.

That leaves us looking at a 9-8 record under the new 17-game NFL scheduling.

Per one model, the WFT is also projected to win 9.2 games with an NFL Rank of 12. It lists Washington as No. 21 in Strength of Schedule Ranking.

ESPN WFT D

They have a combined win probability of 54% and are expected to out-score their opponents 392-371. 

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What does all this mean? Buckle up. It's not going to always be pretty or easy. But if Washington can stockpile some wins before hitting the meat grinder of their schedule, they'll have a chance.

Remember a few years ago when then-boss Bruce Allen said his team was 'close' before a disastrous 3-13 crash? That won't happen again, at least we don't think. But because of the schedule and what common sense tell us? Maybe it's wise to be prepared to be disappointed while also being excited about the chance to be the best. 

READ MORE: How Can WFT Be No. 1 D?