Followers of the Washington Football Team headed into the new NFL campaign under no illusions about the difficulties that lay ahead.
Trying to improve on a 3-13 season was certainly never going to be easy, but the early signs under new head coach Ron Rivera have been promising.
Washington defeated Philadelphia Eagles on the opening weekend, before being beaten by Arizona Cardinals in their second outing.
Read on as we take a closer look at the upcoming schedule and assess whether the team can make further progress over the next few weeks.
Cleveland Browns (A) – September 27
The Browns bounced back from comprehensive 38-6 defeat against the Baltimore Ravens with a narrow 35-30 victory over Cincinnati Bengals last weekend.
Their running game looked in fine fettle against the Bengals, although the fact that they gave up 30 points during that game will offer plenty of encouragement to Rivera’s team.
Washington have won their last three meetings with the Browns, but their defence may struggle to keep pace with the Browns.
Baltimore Ravens (H) – October 4
The Ravens racked up 71 points in their opening two games of the season to highlight that they are serious contenders for Super Bowl glory this season.
They were strongly fancied to win the NFL championship last term, but their defensive frailties were ruthlessly exposed by the Tennessee Titans in the play-offs.
Those issues have been addressed this summer and it would be a big surprise if Washington are able to keep the Ravens at bay in this one.
Los Angeles Rams (H) – October 11
Many pundits predicted that the Rams would struggle this season after losing some key players, but they have looked fairly impressive thus far.
Their offense racked up 871 yards in their first two matches and they will fancy their chances of causing Washington’s defence plenty of problems.
However, the Rams’ own defence has looked a little vulnerable and Washington could capitalise if they produce their best form.
New York Giants (A) – October 18
The Giants have been in freefall over the past few years and two defeats in their opening two matches suggest that they are in for another tough campaign.
They have now won just 12 of their last 50 fixtures and injuries to key players are hindering their hopes of turning things around.
Washington have lost their last three meetings with the Giants, but it would be no surprise to see them come out on top this time around.
Dallas Cowboys (H) – October 25
The Cowboys were narrowly beaten by the Rams on the opening weekend, before bouncing back with a narrow win over the Atlanta Falcons.
However, the Falcons gifted them the victory in spectacular fashion having led 39-24 with just seven minutes remaining.
Dallas have major issues on defence and if Washington can smother their attacking threat, they are perfectly capable of beating the Cowboys.