After a loss in the final week to the New York Giants, the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention. Despite missing the playoffs, the Redskins finished the season with a record of 8-7-1, which was the first consecutive winning seasons for the team since the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Along with the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington was the only team in 2016 that played seven regular-season games against teams that would reach the playoffs: four games combined against Dallas and the New York Giants, games against Green Bay and Detroit (as the NFC North was the only division besides the NFC East to send more than one team to the 2016 postseason) and a game against the sole AFC North 2016 playoff team (Pittsburgh); the Redskins' 2-5 record in these contests was a major reason they did not return to the playoffs.
All 2015 contracts expired to coincide with the beginning of the 2016 NFL League Year at 4:00 EDT on March 9, 2016. However, before that date, all teams had until March 1 to place the franchise tag on a player, and could begin negotiations with a player's agent on March 7.
The 2016 NFL Draft occurred from April 28 to April 30, 2016. Going into the draft, the Redskins had eight selections, two of which were from another team: the additional seventh-round (#232) selection from the Dashon Goldson trade in 2015 and a sixth-round selection (#187) from the New Orleans Saints (the Redskins sent their sixth-round selection to Tampa Bay as part of the Goldson trade).
During the draft, the Redskins swapped first-round selections (#21 for #22) with the Houston Texans in exchange for their 2017 sixth-round selection, traded their 2016 fourth round selection (#120) to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the Saints' fifth-round selections in 2016 (#152) and 2017, and traded their fifth-round selection (#158) to the New York Jets in exchange for their 2017 fourth-round selection.
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
The Redskins entered this Week 1 matchup against the Steelers having lost five consecutive games against Pittsburgh dating back to 1991. They scored an average of 8.2 points per game in those five losses. The Redskins' 22-point defeat was their worst in a Week 1 game in 15 years. It was also their worst opening day home loss since 1966.
The Redskins defense had a very hard time containing DeAngelo Williams as he exploded for 143 rushing yards and the Steelers explosive receiving corps of Antonio Brown and Eli Rogers who would go on to have strong performances.
With the win, the Redskins improved 1-2 and won at MetLife Stadium for the first time since 2011.
The Redskins rallied with a late touchdown run by Cousins, but the Lions responded with Matthew Stafford throwing the game winner to Anquan Boldin, thus ending the Redskins winning streak.
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Detroit Lions, the Redskins played in the third and final game of the year in London against the Cincinnati Bengals. With a few minutes left in overtime, Dustin Hopkins missed a game-winning field goal and allowed the Bengals to take over. After that, Bengals' Andy Dalton fumbled and allowed the Redskins to take back the ball. A Hail Mary attempt failed, making the Redskins tie for the first time since 1997 when they tied 7–7 against the Giants.
After their tie against the Bengals and their bye week, the Redskins came back home to host the Minnesota Vikings on Homecoming Weekend. After allowing the Vikings to score 20 unanswered points to end the first half, the Redskins shut out the Vikings 12-0 in the second half, improving to 5-3-1 on the season.
The Redskins avenged their 35–18 loss to the Packers in the wildcard round of last season's playoffs by beating them 42–24. They also were the last team to beat the Packers, as they went on a 6-game winning streak to finish the season.
An attempted rally by the offense did not pay off. The Redskins dropped to 6–4–1 and were swept by the Cowboys for the first time since 2013.
Kirk Cousins attempted to drive down the field but was intercepted by Patrick Peterson to seal the second straight loss for the Washington Redskins. With the loss, the 'Skins dropped to 6-5-1 and allowed the Cowboys to clinch a playoff spot by virtue of the loss.
The Redskins rebounded from a disappointing loss at Arizona to break their two-game losing streak. Chris Thompson scored the game-winning touchdown, while Ryan Kerrigan sealed the game with a strip sack of Carson Wentz.
Josh Norman's revenge against his former team came up short in an abysmal Monday Night performance by the Redskins.
With their playoff hopes on the line, the Redskins hosted the 10-5 New York Giants. The Redskins were pressured all day and two picks by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made the Redskins miss out on the playoffs.