From matchups with former Redskins players to facing off with division rivals on back-to-back Thursday, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda breaks down the 2017 schedule.
On Thursday evening, the NFL released the regular season schedule for 2017 and the Washington Redskins have a 16-game slate that features five different primetime games along with three separate West Coast trips that are spread out over a three-month span.
Week 1 vs. Eagles
Despite finishing his rookie season with nearly 3,800 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, quarterback Carson Wentz went through his debut campaign with a group of wide receivers that struggled to remain consistent targets.
In the offseason, Philadelphia made it a priority to get Wentz help, signing Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffrey to deals.
The pair will match with the likes of Redskins cornerbacks
Week 2 at Rams
In January, the Los Angeles Rams made former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay the youngest head coach in NFL history.
McVay’s success calling plays for Washington during the 2015-16 seasons made him an attractive candidate to take on a head coaching gig.
After the Rams host the Indianapolis Colts in the regular season opener, McVay will be on the opposite sideline from a lot of familiar faces in Week 2 including his longtime mentor Jay Gruden.
“One of the things that really stood out about Jay that I thought is extremely special, is watching the way that he empowered his assistants,” McVay said at his introductory press conference in January. “The way that he was able to delegate, let his coaches coach, really demonstrated a confidence and a security that he had in himself as a leader. And watching how that created a sense of loyalty and accountability to both him as our leader and our organization, is something that we hope to mimic and emulate here in L.A.”
Week 3 vs. Raiders
Two of the quarterbacks that have really jumped up the position rankings over the last two seasons – at least in terms of on-field success – have been
Since taking over as Washington’s full-time starting quarterback prior to the 2015 regular season opener, Cousins has led the Redskins to a 17-14-1 record behind more than 9,000 yards with 54 touchdowns to just 23 interceptions.
Carr, meanwhile, has been impressive in his own right in Oakland, as the Fresno State product has thrown for nearly 8,000 yards with 60 touchdowns to 19 interceptions.
Week 4 at Chiefs
The Redskins will play at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the first time since Oct. 16, 2005, in a Monday Night Football matchup that will air on ESPN.
Despite earning the No. 2 seed in the AFC last season, the Chiefs struggled at times stopping the run, as the defensive unit allowed more than 121 rushing yards per contest – seventh worst in the NFL. However, despite allowing nearly 2,000 yards during the season, Kansas City was successful at limiting big runs.
The five runs of 20 yards or longer given up was tied for the third fewest in the league.
Kelley burst onto the scene last year with a 45-yard run against the Eagles in Week 5 before taking over the starting gig in Week 8.
The Tulane product finished the season with 704 yards and six touchdowns on 168 carries.
Week 6 vs. 49ers
Garçon’s five-year stint in Washington was one of the most productive for any Redskins wide receiver in franchise history, as the Mount Union product is top-10 in both receptions (376) and receiving yards (4,549). His 21 touchdown receptions are also tied for 12th most in team history.
The Redskins cornerbacks are obviously very familiar with Garçon’s game and will look to that experience to limit his production.
Week 7 vs. Eagles
After losing his first matchup with the Eagles as Redskins head coach back in Week 3 of the 2014 season, Gruden has rallied Washington to five-straight victories over Philadelphia.
In a Week 16 rematch at FedExField, though, the Redskins got their revenge by scoring a 27-24 victory that knocked the Eagles out of playoff contention.
If the Redskins defeat the Eagles in this game – which will be a Monday Night Football tilt at Lincoln Financial Field – Washington will secure its first three-game winning streak in Philadelphia since winning seven straight road games against the Eagles across the 1968-74 seasons.
Week 8 vs. Cowboys
Washington will host Dallas on the frontend of the teams’ season series in 2017.
Last season, the Redskins had a difficult time slowing the Cowboys’ ground game, as Dallas rushed for 265 yards and six touchdowns in the their two meetings. Rookie Ezekiel Elliot rushed for a trio of touchdown runs in the two games and former Redskins running back Alfred Morris recorded the game-winning score in a Week 2 matchup.
The Redskins, however, hope to stunt the Cowboys’ success on the ground with a rebuilt defensive line that included former Dallas defensive lineman
Week 9 at Seahawks
While Wilson has the legs and speed to get out of the pocket and make plays, he’s also been sacked quite a bit over the years. In each of the last four years, Wilson has been taken down at least 40 times.
The Redskins sacked Wilson three times in the most recent meeting in 2014.
Week 10 vs. Vikings
The 2017 contest between the Redskins and Vikings will mark the teams’ seventh meeting in the last eight seasons. Since 2010, the only year in which the teams have not played one another was 2015.
With uncertainty surrounding Teddy Bridgewater’s health, Minnesota’s offense may once again be led by Sam Bradford.
If that’s the case, expect
Week 11 at Saints
The Redskins will look to slow future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees in this Week 11 matchup at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Washington’s defense has been able to frustrate Brees in its last two matchups with him, as he’s thrown four interceptions including a pick-six to Dashon Goldson in 2015.
Week 12 vs. Giants
For the first time in franchise history, the Redskins will host a Thanksgiving game when the Giants travel to FedExField for a primetime matchup that will be televised on NBC.
This will be the 10th time that Washington will play on Thanksgiving but the first time it will take place at home, and not in Dallas or Detroit. Thus, it is the first time the Redskins will face the Giants in this yearly tradition.
The Redskins most recently faced Dallas last year on Thanksgiving in a 31-26 loss at AT&T Stadium, and this season will mark the first time since 1973-1974 that the team has played on Thanksgiving in consecutive seasons.
Week 13 at Cowboys
During last year’s matchup in Arlington, Texas, the Redskins narrowly fell to the Cowboys but Cousins led a powerful offensive attack that registered more than 500 total yards.
Reed could once again be the X-factor against Dallas, as the 26-year-old has caught 42 passes for 411 yards and two touchdowns in seven career games against the Cowboys.
Week 14 at Chargers
The Redskins will look to take advantage of a Chargers defensive unit that gave up nearly 27 points per game in 2016.
Week 15 vs. Cardinals
For the second time in as many seasons, the Redskins will face the Cardinals in the month of December, although this time Arizona will play at FedExField for the first time since 2011.
A tall task, Washington will look to contain All-Pro running back David Johnson after the Northern Iowa product rushed for nearly 85 yards and a touchdown along with nine receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown in the 2016 matchup.
Week 16 vs. Broncos
The Redskins’ offensive line will be tested in this Christmas Eve matchup, as the Broncos feature a potent pass rush led by five-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro Von Miller.
In six seasons with the Broncos, the 2011 No. 2-overall pick has collected 73.5 sacks along with 19 fumbles forced.
Along with Miller, Denver’s defense also features third-year Missouri product Shane Ray. Despite slipping to the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Ray has the potential to be a game changer like Miller.
During the 2016 season, Ray recorded eight sacks along with two fumble recoveries.
Week 17 at Giants
The Redskins will wrap up the 2017 season with a road trip up north to take on the Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Washington will look to frustrate Manning once again on his home turf, as the 14-year veteran threw a pair of fourth quarter interceptions last season in a Redskins Week 3 victory.