The Washington Redskins are NFC East Champions. Excuse me while I soak this in. This was not supposed to happen. This team was a wreck coming out of preseason. Next Sunday, the Redskins will host the Packers in the wildcard round and this magical, unexpected season could come to an end (or it could extend into the next weekend in Arizona or Carolina).
I'm going to enjoy every second of it, because I don't think it will repeat next year. After all, my beloved Skins did not beat a winning team all this season. That's fine. It happens. But next season's schedule will be a tough one.
Not only is the NFC East always tough to navigate, the Redskins get a 1st place schedule and all that rolls in with it. The bad part is they also face the NFC North and AFC North this upcoming season. That means the Redskins will play six playoff teams from this year, including four other division winners. They'll get to face the two teams with the best records this season.
*COWBOYS (home, away): Of course, the Cowboys twice. Dallas should get their act together with a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
*GIANTS (home, away): New York could've/should've been the best team in the division. They let sooooo many games slip away this season. Now, they could have a new coach next season but the franchise shouldn't change too much.
*EAGLES (home, away): No more Chip Kelly ... so could this team be better? Depending on the new coach, there is talent on this roster to get back to where experts thought they'd be.
*PANTHERS (home): The 15-1 Panthers were far and away the best regular season team this year and could be defending Super Bowl champs when this game happens. We met earlier this season with Carolina trouncing the Redskins.
*CARDINALS (away): Not only do the Redskins get to play the 15-1 team ... they get the 13-3 team as well. Arizona may be the best team in the league this season.
*BENGALS (away): This game will be played in London. Cincinnati will be making their 5th straight playoff appearance this weekend. One of the better offensive teams in the league.
*VIKINGS (home): NFC North champions who bring in rushing champ Adrian Peterson. This is a relatively young team that is on the right track under Mike Zimmer.
*PACKERS (home): Well, we will get a rematch of our playoff meeting with Green Bay next year. Hopefully, the Packers will be looking forward to this game as revenge for their playoff loss to the Redskins. Hopefully.
*STEELERS (home): Big Ben and the Steelers get to come to Washington. Last time they were in DC, it was the night before Barack Obama was elected President. Pittsburgh is a trendy pick in the AFC playoffs this season.
*LIONS (away): Detroit is one of those teams that I think is better than they looked this past season. The Lions are possibly a surprise team for 2016.
*RAVENS (away): Another team who surprisingly had a bad season. Not to say that this team just had an off year -- this isn't a great team. But it is a regional rival that should get the blood boiling.
*BEARS (away): For the 2nd straight season, the Redskins will visit Chicago to play the Bears. Washington won a key game this year to catapult their playoff run.
*BROWNS (home): Who knows what the Browns will look like in 2016? New GM, new coach and maybe new QB.