January 23, 2020

Redskins schedule announced; highlights and matchups

The Washington Redskins schedule for the upcoming 2014 season has been released. The highlights are:

  • The first opportunity DeSean Jackson has to play against his former team will be September 21 at Philadelphia

  • The Redskins host a Thursday night home game against the Giants on September 25

  • The Redskins will host a Monday night home game on October 6 against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks

  • The Redskins will play on Monday night against Cowboys in Arlington on October 27

  • The Redskins will be playing the Vikings on the road in an outdoor game for the first time since 1972. Fortunately, it’s only November 2.

  • Many eyes will be on the November 30 Colts game in Indianapolis featuring the first matchup between the top two picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III

  • December 20 is a nationally televised Saturday home game against the Eagles, which will be DeSean Jackson’s second crack at his old team.

It would be difficult to project wins and losses from the schedule right now, especially given that in some previous years, the NFL Draft would have already been held by now.

On paper, the schedule looks favorable, as it should for a last-place team. There are only five games against last year’s  playoff teams: the Seahawks, 49ers, Colts and the Eagles twice. The Redskins get the Seahawks and Eagles the first time before the bye, and the 49ers, Colts and Eagles again after the bye.

As the last-place team in the NFC East, the Redskins play the Vikings and the Bucs. They are lucky to get the Bucs instead of the Falcons, who also finished 4-12 in the NFC South. The Falcons were a playoff team that was ravaged by injuries last season, and are a prime candidate for a bounceback season, even though the emergence of the Panthers makes it more difficult. The Bucs are in rebuilding mode with new coach Lovie Smith and an unproven Mike Glennon at quarterback. The Bucs hope that a more professional approach from Smith will garner more of a response than the former college coach Greg Schiano.

The NFC West boasts the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks and the NFC champions from two years ago in the 49ers. But the Redskins also play strong non-playoff teams in the Cardinals and Rams. The Cardinals had the talent of a playoff contender for years but was missing a quarterback until they got Carson Palmer. The Rams have steadily stockpiled draft picks and will have finally stopped feasting on the RG3 trade with the Redskins that gave them the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft.

The Colts are the defending division champions from a weak AFC South. The Colts are set at quarterback with Andrew Luck for the next decade and beyond. But the effort to surround him with a supporting cast still needs work, with Reggie Wayne past his prime and coming off injury, while the Trent Richardson trade has not panned out as hoped.

You can’t make a judgment on the opener against the Texans because you don’t know what they will do with the No. 1 overall pick. The Texans are a solid team in many areas, especially their defense, but the bottom fell out of their season with their quarterback and coaching situation last year. The Texans are perfectly capable of a rebound season with stability with their new coach Bill O’Brien and whomever they draft at quarterback.

You can be at liberty to make a judgment about the Jaguars in the Week 2 home opener. They need help in a lot of areas. The Titans can’t resolve their quarterback situation until they keep Jake Locker healthy enough to make an evaluation, and will be moving past the Chris Johnson era at running back.

The only schedule analysis I can offer is to split the season into two halves at the bye week. Given the Redskins’ new tradition of winning out to make the playoffs, we should take a look at the second half of the season and ask ourselves if running the table if the Redskins get into a hole again is feasible.

The road looks much tougher playing against playoff teams like the 49ers, Colts, and Eagles. But should that situation occur again, the 49ers game is key. If they win that one, they can win the other remaining games on their schedule. This is the first year the NFL is stacking the second round of divisional games in consecutive weeks for the Redskins to close the season.

About Derek Norin

Derek Norin is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He is also the Washington Capitals correspondent for Pro Hockey News and is a contributor to Talk the Red. Derek was a copy editor for three different student publications at Ohio State and was a founder of the newspaper, the OSU Sentinel, that would become the OSU Rubicon today. Derek has been a member of SABR, SIHR, and PFRA. Derek put together www.capshistory.com, a history of the Capitals franchise told in Youtube videos. You can follow Derek on Twitter @dereknorin.

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