Washington has played 10 Thanksgiving Day games before, all of them on the road at Dallas or at Detroit, including a 31-26 loss to the Cowboys last year.
The schedule is chock full of interesting reunions and intriguing opponents and there are five national television games on either Sunday, Monday or Thursday night football. Here’s a full breakdown and analysis:
Sept. 10 – PHILADELPHIA (1 p.m., FOX)
The Redskins host the opener on Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field against the rival Eagles. These are always big games early in the season to set the tone inside the NFC East. Washington has won five consecutive games against Philadelphia. But the Eagles helped quarterback Carson Wentz by adding weapons on offense (WR Alshon Jeffery). Could be a ton of points put up in this game.
Sept. 17 – at Los Angeles Rams (4:25 p.m., FOX)
An old friend makes an appearance on the schedule. Well – old is a poor choice of words there. Sean McVay is still just 31, after all, and was Washington’s offensive coordinator the past two seasons and on staff since 2010. But he so impressed the Rams this January that they overlooked all that and made him one of the youngest head coaches in NFL history. No one who knows McVay is surprised he’s running his own team. He was always going to interview well. The problem? The Rams aren’t good. Not yet. McVay can lean on an experienced defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips and Los Angeles brought in a veteran offensive lineman (Andrew Whitworth) to protect second-year quarterback Jared Goff. Former Redskins assistant coaches Matt LaFleur (offensive coordinator), Joe Barry (assistant head coach/linebackers), Aubrey Pleasant (cornerbacks) and Shane Waldron (tight ends) are also on McVay’s staff. This is a road game the Redskins probably need to win.
Sept. 24 – OAKLAND (8:30 p.m., NBC)
The Redskins get to host a prime-time game on NBC against the Raiders. Oakland hasn’t played a game in Washington since 2005 due to a quirk in the schedule. The Redskins played in the Bay Area in both 2009 and 2013. The Raiders were a surprise playoff team in 2016-17. They are moving to Las Vegas in a few years so this is the last time they will represent Oakland in Washington. The two teams met in the Super Bowl in 1984. Thatâ?¦didn’t go so well for the Redskins in a 38-9 loss to the Raiders, who were then based inâ?¦Los Angeles. This is all so confusing. The first of four AFC West opponents on the schedule.
Oct. 2 – at Kansas City (8:30 p.m., ESPN)
The flip side to the Raiders visiting Washington for the first time since 2005 is that the Redskins haven’t played at Arrowhead Stadium since 2005, either. For some reason during the last NFC East-AFC West scheduling cycle those teams stayed put in 2009 and 2013 (road games in Oakland, home games vs. Kansas City). If you were at the last Chiefs game in Washington you are a glutton for punishment. It snowed and sleeted the entire game in an unspeakably ugly 45-10 loss before hundreds of fans who for some reason stayed through the second half. This is a tough one. Kansas City is rolling now under Andy Reid. The Chiefs won the AFC West last year and were a wild card in 2015. They haven’t made it to the AFC title game yet, but they are a contender and are 18-6 at home over the past three seasons. Hard to see Washington winning this one at Arrowhead. Oh – and it’s on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Oct. 8 – BYE
Can’t lose this one. It’s the law. Comes a bit earlier than coaches normally like, but a quarter of the season will be down and the Redskins get some time to heal any injuries from the first month. Better than flying home from London and heading into the bye like last season.
Oct. 15 – SAN FRANCISCO (1 p.m., FOX)
Kyle Shanahan is back, too! Sensing a theme to this season. There’s a lot of references in this schedule to the Shanahan era, which began with high expectations in 2010 and skidded into a ditch by 2013 as Kyle …
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