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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My Predictions: Redskins will win 9 games

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The Cowboys and Eagles will finish the '09 season with 10 wins apiece. We've already guaranteed that after two glances at the schedule. Now it's time to examine how the Men of Zorn will finish. Will the addition of Albert Haynesworth bring playoff glory to the Redskins? You're about to find out.

Sept. 13 at New York Giants -- I'm sure Jim Zorn's wondering what he did to offend the NFL schedule makers. The Redskins served as the Giants' Super Bowl homecoming opponent in '08. And here we go again. 'Skins fall to 0-1.

Sept. 20 St. Louis -- Things didn't work out so well the last time the Rams came to FedEx. Now they have the Giants' former defensive coordinator as head coach. I think the Redskins will take care of business, though, and improve to 1-1.

Sept. 27 at Detroit -- Why does this schedule feel so familiar? Oh, maybe it's because they're basically playing the '08 season all over again. But they'll catch the Lions at the right time, which is to say anytime. (I'm a big Jim Schwartz fan, but it will take him a bit.) 2-1

Oct. 4. Tampa Bay -- The Redskins are on a little roll here. I think they come home and take care of business against a weak quarterback. Folks, your Redskins are 3-1.

Oct. 11 at Carolina -- Let's see what Big Al Haynesworth can do against the run. The Panthers have one of the best backfields in the league, but the Redskins do a pretty nice job against the run. But I just don't see them winning in Charlotte. 3-2

Oct. 18 Kansas City -- Todd Haley may have this team headed in the right direction, but the Redskins will take care of business at home. The Chiefs don't have a pass rush. Jason Campbell will have a huge day and Zorn will lead a triple Hooray! chant in the post-game locker room. 4-2

Oct. 26 Philadelphia -- The Redskins marched into the Linc last year and pushed the Eagles around. I want to pick Washington here but can't bring myself to do it. I think Brian Westbrook puts up huge numbers in this prime time affair. Redskins are 4-3.

Bye -- Not a bad place for a bye at all. In fact, maybe this is the optimum time for a little refreshment. Zorn tells his team to leave the facility for at least five days -- and not to call him at home.

Nov. 8 at Atlanta -- I think the Falcons could back up a little bit this season. I've changed my mind on this game several times, but in the end, I decided that Haynesworth would torment Matt Ryan for four quarters and the Redskins get a huge road win. 5-3

Nov. 15 Denver -- Everyone welcome Kyle Orton to town. I think the Broncos will begin their late-season slide about right now. Redskins improve to 6-3 and there's much rejoicing in the land.

Nov. 22 at Dallas -- This game road trip hurts. In fact, it's almost diabolical. Redskins beat the Cowboys at Texas Stadium in '08. Won't happen this time around. Redskins fall to 6-4.

Nov. 29 at Eagles -- I've seen the Redskins pull off wins in the Linc two years running, but it won't happen this time. Eagles load up to slow down Clinton Portis and avenge the '08 regular-season loss. Zorn's post-game media sessions become even more bizarre as he tries to relate the two losses to the sagging automobile industry. Redskins are 6-5.

Dec. 6 New Orleans -- I like the Redskins to bounce back in this game. Drew Brees goes off, but Campbell responds -- and we get to meet Malcolm Kelly in the end zone for the first time. Also smell a huge game from tight end Chris Cooley. He races home to post photos of the game on his blog. Redskins are 7-5 and back in the playoffs.

Dec. 13 at Oakland -- The Tom Cable-Al Davis honeymoon will have been over for two months. Campbell shows the Redskins why they should sign him to a long-term contract with a 300-yard, three-touchdown performance. Redskins talking playoffs with an 8-5 record.

Dec. 21 New York Giants -- Huge back-to-back against Beast opponents. This actually sets up pretty well for the Redskins, but I don't think the Giants falter down the stretch this season. Redskins lose and fall to 8-6.

Dec. 27 Dallas Cowboys -- Both teams have a lot to play for -- and the Redskins take care of business. The Cowboys are haunted by Decembers past, and that will rear its ugly head again. Campbell drives home his point that the Redskins should sign him to a long-term deal. Zorn skips off the field in some of the late George Allen's Sansabelt pants. 9-6

Jan. 3 at San Diego -- Because the Chargers dug themselves a hole early in the season (as always), they have to have this one. We could have the greatness of a three-way tie in the Beast at 10-6, but sadly, it doesn't happen. Filling in for the injured LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles has a huge game. Redskins stay home with a 9-7 record.