Apr 25

Redskins schedule 2018: Washington to host string of playoff contenders

The Redskins’ 2018 schedule is loaded with intriguing matchups against teams from the NFC South and AFC South in addition to Washington’s NFC East rivals.

For Washington to compete for a spot in the NFC playoffs this season, they’ll need to navigate a schedule full of strong contenders. The good news for the Redskins: Several of those contenders will have to travel to Washington.

Biggest breaks: Some of Washington’s toughest opponents in Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay and Houston have to travel to FedEx Field, which should help. The Redskins also have just one long trip out west on their hands — the game in Arizona.

Bottom line: Washington appears to have a middle-of-the-road schedule. It could be tougher, and it could be easier. As if the competition in the NFC East wasn’t strong enough, the division being matched up against the NFC South, which some consider the best division in football, makes life harder on Washington and its rivals. The Redskins could see a gloomy projection for their own season and think about what the Eagles were able to accomplish last year given a similar outlook. The problem is Washington doesn’t have the same level of talent on its roster. Record prediction: 6-10

With that in mind, Sporting News breaks down the Steelers’ 2018 NFL Draft outlook, including needs, first-round possibilities, Day 2 and Day 3 plans and a few sleepers.

Linebacker: Ryan Shazier’s injury left a huge void in the Steelers’ defense last season. Pittsburgh allowed 28 points per game in five games after Shazier’s injury, and that included the 45-42 loss to the Jaguars in the playoffs. The Steelers love their linebackers, and there are good ones available in this class.

Quarterback: Roethlisberger is 36, and while retirement talks have not yet reached the Favre-like hysteria, they’re close though. It doesn’t hurt to have a quarterback of the future waiting, and there are good options that should be available.

Running back: Just in case the Bell situation reaches a worst-case scenario, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan. This draft is flush with middle-round running backs who could fulfill that need.dolphins_016

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