The 2017 NFL

Mike Jones breaks down the up­com­ing cam­paign, game by game.

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY MIKE JONES mike.jones@wash­

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.”

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