The team had posted a 10–6 record and a postseason berth the previous season (up from 6–10 in 2004). In 2006, however, the Redskins posted only five wins and finished last in the division.
The 2007 Pro Football Prospectus (later Football Outsiders) explained that the 2006 Redskins had "not a few injuries, but an astonishing cascade of injuries, affecting nearly avery [sic?] unit on the field. ... The injuries started in the the [sic?] preseason and never ended. Combine that with bickering between coaches and players, coaches and coaches, and between the team and the media, and the Redskins crumbled." Pro Football Prospectus goes on to explain that the Redskins had a terrible defense on third down: "Washington wasn't the worst third-down defense overall, since they were reasonable against the run, but 'second-worst third-down defense of the decade" is not something [Redskins defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams wants to put on his business cards."
The 2006 Redskins set an NFL record for fewest takeaways in a (non-strike) NFL season, with only twelve.
The Redskins finished the 2006 preseason with a record of 0–4, losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 19–3, the New York Jets 27–14, the New England Patriots 41–0 and the Baltimore Ravens 17–10. Starting running back Clinton Portis was injured in the first game of the preseason. The Redskins scored the fewest points of any team in the preseason.
The Redskins started the regular season against the Minnesota Vikings at home on September 11, in the first game of an ESPN Monday Night Footballdoubleheader on opening weekend. The Redskins defense allowed Minnesota quarterback Brad Johnson and the Vikings' offense to convert often on third down, and the Vikings won the game 19–16 after a failed field goal attempt by John Hall late in the fourth quarter quieted any chance of a Redskins comeback. With the loss, the Redskins were 0–1.Stats
The Redskins traveled to Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas to take on one of their NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys in a Sunday Night match-up. The Redskins trailed early, as Dallas kicker Mike Vanderjagt completed a 26-yard field goal and Drew Bledsoe completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Patrick Crayton in the first quarter. In the second quarter, kicker John Hall would get Washington a 39-yard field goal, but Dallas responded with RB Marion Barber's 1-yard TD run. RB Rock Cartwright would return a kickoff 100 yards for a TD, but that would be the last time in the entire game that Redskins would score a single point. Even though there wouldn't be a single point scored in the third quarter, the Cowboys sealed the win with a 40-yard TD pass to WR Terry Glenn and a 50-yard field goal by Vanderjagt. With the loss, the Redskins dropped to 0–2. Stats
The Washington Redskins defeated the Houston Texans by the score of 31–15. Washington quarterback Mark Brunell set a new NFL record for consecutive completed passes in one game by completing his first 22 pass attempts against the Texans' defense. Brunell finished 24 of 27 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown. Newly signed Redskins receiver Antwaan Randle El scored his first touchdown of the season. Clinton Portis rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Ladell Betts finished with 124 rushing yards and one touchdown. With their first win of the season, the Redskins moved to 1–2.Stats
The Redskins welcomed Byron Leftwich and the rest of the Jacksonville Jaguars to FedEx Field. Mark Brunell passed for 329 yards, three touchdown passes (all to WR Santana Moss), and one interception. The Redskins came up with 153 total rushing yards, as Clinton Portis led the team with 112 rushing yards and one touchdown. The defense forced one interception from Leftwich, logged four sacks, and allowed only 33 rushing yards. John Hall was 3 for 3 on field goals and extra points. The game ended in overtime when Brunell threw a 68 yard game-winning touchdown pass to Moss. With the win, the Redskins moved to 2–2.Stats
Mark Brunell and the Redskins marched into Giants Stadium with a victory in mind. It ended up being misery within three hours, as they lost to a team who, at the time, had a poorly rated defense. Clinton Portis rushed for 76 yards. Santana Moss caught 3 receptions for only 39 yards, while Chris Cooley beat out Santana Moss with 4 receptions for 41 yards. Total offense for the Redskins was 164 yards, while the New York Giants put up 411 yards. The Redskins defense ended up with no sacks, interceptions, or turnovers. John Hall was 1/2 on field goals with no PATs. With another loss, the Redskins dropped to 2–3. Stats
Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Giants, the Redskins returned home for a Week 6 fight with the Tennessee Titans. In the first quarter, Washington trailed early as Tennessee kicker Rob Bironas kicked a 32-yard field goal. RB Clinton Portis got a 10-yard TD run to help the Redskins regain the lead. In the second quarter, the Skins increased their lead with QB Mark Brunell completing a 24-yard TD pass to TE Chris Cooley. However, the Titans regained the lead with Bironas nailing a 26-yard field goal and QB Vince Young completing a 3-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Jones. In the third quarter, the Redskins continued to dig themselves a huge hole, as RB Travis Henry got a 2-yard TD run. Afterwards, the Titans got a safety on a blocked punt that rolled out the back of the end zone. In the fourth quarter, Washington tried valiantly to fight back, as Portis got a 4-yard TD run, but in the end, Bironas got a 30-yard field goal for Tennessee and a late interception by Free Safety Lamont Thompson killed any chance of a comeback. With the loss, the Redskins fell to 2–4. Stats
The Redskins started the game looking to prevent Peyton Manning from overwhelming their defense, and hoping to drive the ball in a more effective manner. What was a close game at the half however quickly degenerated into a blood bath in the 3rd quarter as Peyton Manning connected on 3 touchdown passes to seal the deal. Overall, the offense again looked confused, and surprisngly it was the defense of the Redskins that ended up giving up big running plays on a regular basis. With the loss, the Redskins dropped to 2–5 for the season. Stats
Coming off their Bye Week, the Redskins avenged their Week 2 loss by defeating the Dallas Cowboys after a wild final minute of the fourth quarter which ended with a game-winning 47-yard field goal by kicker Nick Novak. With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, Dallas kicker Mike Vanderjagt's field goal was blocked by newly signed Redskins cornerback Troy Vincent, and recovered by Redskins free safety Sean Taylor, who ran the ball down to the Dallas 45-yard line with no time remaining. During the runback by Taylor, Dallas offensive lineman Kyle Kosier was flagged for a 15-yard facemask penalty, which moved the ball down to the Cowboys 30-yard line. The NFL Rulebook states that a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, thus, Washington was awarded one un-timed down. With the playclock at 0:00, Novak completed a 47-yard field goal to win the game, sending FedEx field into pandemoneum and improving the Redskins record to 3–5. Stats
In their first game against the Eagles, the Redskins lost in convincing fashion, 27–3. Although they dominated the time of possession in the first half and had several long drives, they came away with only three points. On the other hand, the Eagles had several big plays which resulted in scores, including a second half interception for a touchdown. With the loss the Redskins fell to 3–6.Stats
On the Monday after this game, it was announced that quarterback Mark Brunell was being benched in favor of second-year quarterback Jason Campbell.
New starting quarterback Jason Campbell played his first game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only field goal points took the first half, with both teams tied at halftime 3–3. In the second half Jason Campbell threw a three-yard touchdown pass to TE Chris Cooley, then Bruce Gradkowski threw a three-yard touchdown pass intended for Galloway but instead bounced off him into Becht's hands, making the game tied in the third quarter 10–10. Though the Redskins performed fairly well in the fourth quarter, Jason Campbell throwing another touchdown pass to Yoder, the Buccaneers had already pulled ahead by ten points. The final score was 20–17, Bucs, dropping the Redskins to 3–7. Stats
In his first game at home as the starter for the Redskins, Jason Campbell, again, had an encouraging game completing 11 of 23 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. A rather dull first half for both teams saw the scoreboard read 6–3 in favor of Carolina. In the second half Jason Campbell threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Antwaan Randle El and the Redskins took the lead at 10–6. In the fourth quarter Steve Smith scored on an 8-yard pass from Jake Delhomme to give Carolina a 13–10 lead. Later in the fourth quarter Jason Campbell threw to Chris Cooley for a 66-yard touchdown giving the Redskins the lead for good. Carolina threatened near the end of the game, but a Jake Delhomme pass was intercepted in the endzone by Redskins Safety Sean Taylor. With the 17–13 victory, the Redskins record stood at 4–7. Stats
Coming off their impressive victory over the Panthers, the Redskins stayed at home a Week 13 fight with the Atlanta Falcons. In the first quarter, the Redskins started strong with RB Ladell Betts getting an 8-yard TD run, while QB Jason Campbell completed a 42-yard TD pass to WR Santana Moss. In the second quarter, the Falcons started catching up with kicker Morten Andersen's 34-yard field goal and QB Michael Vick's 16-yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler. In the third quarter, Washington lost its lead with Vick's 22-yard TD pass to WR Michael Jenkins for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Redskins fell when RB Jerious Norwood ran 69 yards for a touchdown. With the loss, Washington fell to 4–8. Stats
Coming off a disappointing home loss over the Falcons, the Redskins stayed at home for an NFC East rematch with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the first quarter, Washington struck first with kicker Shaun Suisham nailing a 31-yard field goal. However, the Eagles struck back with QB Jeff Garcia getting a 10-yard TD pass to TE L.J. Smith. In the second quarter, things got worse for the Redskins as strong safety Michael Lewis returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown, while Garcia hooked up with WR Donte' Stallworth on a 3-yard TD pass. Afterwards, Suisham would kick a 45-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Washington started to come back with Suisham kicking a 32-yard field goal, while QB Jason Campbell completed a 34-yard TD pass to WR Antwaan Randle El. However, in the fourth quarter, the only thing left of the Redskins' comeback was Suisham's 35-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Eagles' offense squashed any hope of a Washington comeback. With the loss, the Redskins fell to 4–9. Stats
Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Eagles, the Redskins flew to the Louisiana Superdome for a Week 15 intraconference fight with the New Orleans Saints. In the first quarter, Washington started off strong as kicker Shaun Suisham nailed a 37-yard field goal, while QB Jason Campbell completed a 31-yard TD pass to WR Santana Moss. In the second quarter, the Saints started to fight back as RB Deuce McAllister got a 1-yard TD run. Suisham increased Washington's lead with a 37-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, New Orleans crept closer with kicker John Carney's 41-yard field goal. After Suisham's 22-yard field goal, the defense wrapped up the victory. With the win, the Redskins improved to 5–9. Stats
at the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
Coming off a surprising road victory over the Saints, the Redskins flew to the Edward Jones Dome for a Week 16 fight with the St. Louis Rams. In the first quarter, the 'Skins struck first with RB T.J. Duckett's 5-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Rams took the lead with QB Marc Bulger completing a 10-yard TD pass to WR Isaac Bruce and a 27-yard TD pass to TE Dominique Byrd. Washington responded with RB Ladell Betts getting a 6-yard TD run and QB Jason Campbell completing a 9-yard TD pass to TE Chris Cooley. In the third quarter, the Redskins' lead increased with Betts' 7-yard TD run. However, St. Louis started rally with Bulger completing a 64-yard TD pass to RB Steven Jackson and a 10-yard TD pass to RB Stephen Davis. In the fourth quarter, the Rams took the lead with kicker Jeff Wilkins nailing a 21-yard field goal. The Washington forced overtime with kicker Shaun Shisham's 52-yard field goal. However, the 'Skins fell in overtime as Stephen Jackson delivered the game-winning 21-yard TD run for the Rams. With the loss, the Redskins fell to 5–10. Stats
Hoping to end their lackluster season on a high note, the Redskins went home for an NFC East rematch with the New York Giants on Saturday night. In the first quarter, the G-Men drew first blood with kicker Jay Feely's 34-yard field goal. The 'Skins would respond with a trick play, as QB Jason Campbell handed the ball off to WR Antwaan Randle El who completed a 48-yard TD pass to WR Santana Moss. However, in the second quarter, New York began to fight hard with RB Tiki Barber getting a 15-yard TD run and a 55-yard TD run. Afterwards, Feely would wrap up the half with a 31-yard field goal. In the third quarter, the Giants increased its lead with QB Eli Manning completing a 6-yard TD pass to WR Tim Carter. The Redskins responded with Campbell's 7-yard TD pass to RB Ladell Betts. In the fourth quarter, the 'Skins crept closer with RB T.J. Duckett's 1-yard TD run. However, New York responded with Barber's 50-yard TD run. Even though Washington responded with Campbell completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Mike Sellers, the 'Skins fell short of a comeback. With the loss, the Redskins ended their season at 5–11. Stats