The 2017 NFL
Mike Jones breaks down the upcoming campaign, game by game.
schedule is out, and the Redskins will see plenty of primetime play, including a home game on Thanksgiving night.
Week 1 vs. Philadelphia, Sunday, Sept. 10, 1 p.m.:
Both teams will unveil revamped offenses to kick off the season. Gone are Redskins wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, and instead Kirk Cousins has Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson to go with Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed. Carson Wentz and the Eagles will turn to free agent signings Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to help Wentz take his offense to the next level.
Week 2 at Los Angeles Rams, Sept. 17, 4:25:
New Rams Coach Sean McVay welcomes his former team and mentor Jay Gruden for the first of three West Coast trips. The sidelines will feature a lot of familiar faces. Joe Barry, Aubrey Pleasant and Matt LaFleur all followed McVay to Los Angeles, and Wade Phillips chose the Rams over the Redskins’ defensive coordinator opening.
Week 3 vs. Oakland Raiders, Sept. 24, 8:30:
One of the league’s on-the-rise teams comes cross-country to face Washington on the Sunday night stage. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had his 2016 season ended prematurely by a broken leg, and when he went down, so did the Raiders’ hopes of a deep playoff run. He’s expected to be at full strength in 2017 and should present a good test for the Redskins’ defense.
Week 4, at Kansas City, Oct. 2, 8:30: Prime-time games in back-to-back weeks. Washington also takes on another 2016 AFC playoff team in the Alex Smith-led Chiefs. This represents the Redskins’ first game at Arrowhead Stadium since 2005, a 28-21 Chiefs win. Washington is 1-8 all time against the Chiefs. Week 5, bye, Oct. 8 Week 6, vs. San Francisco, Oct. 15, 1: Another intriguing reunion game. Kyle Shanahan and the new-look 49ers come to town. Shanahan brings with him a number of familiar faces, including Garcon and assistant coaches Bobby Turner, Bobby Slowick, Mike McDaniel, Richard Hightower, Jon Embree and Ray Wright, all of whom were with him during his time in Washington as offensive coordinator.
Week 7, at Philadelphia, Oct. 23, 8:30: The Redskins play their second division game of the season on “Monday Night Football.” Cousins traditionally does well against the Eagles, owning a 4-1 career record while averaging 315 passing yards and 2.4 touchdown passes. Cousins and the Redskins have won their past four meetings. The Redskins will have played the Eagles twice before facing another NFC East opponent.
Week 8, vs. Dallas, Oct. 29, 4:25: Finally facing another division foe, the Redskins welcome the NFC East champions to FedEx Field. Washington looks to avenge a pair of single-digit losses suffered to the Cowboys last season (27-23 at home, 31-26 in Dallas). The Cowboys will be looking to avoid sophomore slumps from last year’s impressive rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Week 9, at Seattle, Nov. 5, 4:05: Another matchup with a playoff team. The Seahawks went 10-5-1 and won their division in 2016. Washington has lost its past two meetings with Seattle (both at FedEx Field, in the playoffs in 2013 and during the regular season in 2014).
Week 10, vs. Minnesota, Nov. 12, 1: Playing the Vikings in mid-November for the second straight year, the Redskins hope to pick up another important victory against an NFC team. Last season’s meeting featured linebacker Preston Smith enjoying a career day with two sacks and a game-clinching interception as Washington pulled off a 26-20 victory.
Week 11, at New Orleans, Nov. 19, 1: Back in the Big Easy for the first time since the 2012 season opener, the Redskins take on a Saints team that seeks improvement after three consecutive 7-9 campaigns and four in the past five.
Week 12, vs. New York Giants, Nov. 23, 8:30: Washington has a short turnaround but at least doesn’t have to travel again. This represents the first Thanksgiving home game in franchise history. Washington previously has played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving eight times and the Lions once, posting a 2-7 record.
Week 13, at Dallas, Nov. 30, 8:25: The rematch with the Cowboys comes exactly a week after Washington’s Thanksgiving game with the Giants. Normally, teams get 10 days in between Thursday night games and their next matchup. The Redskins will get such a break following the Cowboys game, and that mini-bye comes at a good time.
Week 14, at L.A. Chargers, Dec. 10, 4:25: And they’re going, going, back, back to Cali, Cali. The Redskins kick off the final quarter of the season with their third and final West Coast trip, taking on the Chargers (now led by Coach Anthony Lynn) in their new city. This two-game stretch (at Dallas, at L.A.) represents the Redskins’ only back-to-back road games.
Week 15, vs. Arizona, Dec. 17, 1: After two straight road games, Washington gets two home games, the first of which comes against the Cardinals, who handed the Redskins a 31-23 defeat in Arizona last December. This will be the Cardinals’ first game at FedEx Field since 2011. The Redskins won that game, 22-21.
Week 16, vs. Denver, Dec. 24, 1: A year after playing on the road both on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the Redskins catch a break and play at home on both holidays this season. In Denver, Washington faces its fourth team with a first-year coach ( Vance Joseph).
Week 17, at New York Giants, Dec. 31, 1: Here’s a game that could wind up getting flexed to a later time if it carries playoff implications, and that’s certainly possible. The Redskins will try to avoid a repeat of last season when they faced the Giants in Week 17 needing a win to clinch a playoff berth but instead fell, 19-10, and missed the postseason.
Washington hosts Philadelphia and quarterback Carson Wentz in Week 1 and later visits the Eagles on “Monday Night Football.”