Breaking Down The Redskins' 2019 Schedule

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On Wednesday evening, the NFL released the regular season schedule for 2019 and the Washington Redskins have a slate that features two prime-time games, starting with a Monday night matchup with the Bears and finishing with a Thursday night reunion with Kirk Cousins in Minnesota.

Washington starts out the season in Philadelphia and hosts the Cowboys for the home opener, while the season concludes with three consecutive games against division rivals.

As we continue to break down the 2019 schedule, here's some matchups and tidbits to look for all 16 games:

Week 1, at Philadelphia

For the past two seasons, the Redskins have played nationally televised games against the Eagles on the road. Not this year.

Lincoln Financial Field is never an easy environment to play in, but the 1 p.m. start time should take off some of the sting of a hostile environment to start the season. The victors of Super Bowl LII are now without their Super Bowl MVP quarterback Nick Foles. They will look for 2016 second-overall selection quarterback Carson Wentz to produce for a full season.

After an injury-riddled start to his career, Wentz will now lead Philadelphia as their unquestioned signal-caller. The Eagles have been active this offseason, bringing back speedster DeSean Jackson to the city of brotherly love. The Eagles additionally boosted their backfield after trading for former Bears running back Jordan Howard.

Week 2, vs. Dallas Cowboys

Quite the home opener.

Splitting the series in 2018, Washington and Dallas will meet for their 119th and 120th matchups starting at FedExField.

The Cowboys tout one of the more agile and productive offensive lines to date, helping to protect Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. With the addition of former Green Bay target in the versatile Randall Cobb, Dallas adds to a receiving core that includes Amari Cooper, whom they traded for prior to the trade deadline in 2018.

Last season the Redskins defended home turf against Dallas, which clanked what would have been a game-tying field goal off the goal post.

Week 3, vs. Chicago Bears

The first ever Monday night matchup between the Redskins and Bears will take place at FedExField.

Under second year head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears won the NFC North in 2018, finishing with a 12-4 record. After the addition of defensive end Khalil Mack, the Bears defense went on to lead the NFL in takeaways (31), rushing yards allowed (1,280), and points allowed (283).

The Redskins are winners of their past seven against the Bears, and 13 of the last 15. Washington is 26-23-1 all-time against Chicago, and 7-2 at FedExField. In their most recent meeting, a 41-21 Redskins win, the burgundy and gold jumped out to an early 17-0 lead before sealing the game on a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by running back Mack Brown, earning the Redskins their eighth win of the season.

Week 4, at New York Giants

Washington will square off twice with its division rival in 2019, but their counterparts will be without the services of wideout Odell Beckham Jr. The perennial Pro-Bowler is now a Cleveland Brown, but the Redskins will have another Giant weapon included in their game plan: second-year, reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year running back Saquon Barkley.

The Redskins held Barkley to just 38 yards rushing in the team’s 20-13 Week 8 win in the Meadowlands, but he proved worthy of his second-overall selection rushing for 170 yards and a touchdown in early December at FedExField.

This game will also be a homecoming for the Redskins’ All-Pro safety Landon Collins, the Redskins' prize offseason signing who will look to not only shut down Barkley, but long-standing New York signal caller Eli Manning.

Washington and New York have split the last four season series, with the Redskins victors in four of the last seven.

Week 5, vs. New England Patriots

The victors of Super Bowl LIII will visit FedExField for the first time since 2011 anchored by long-standing head coach Bill Belichick and six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, entering his 20th season. They won't see tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired in the offseason.

Washington leads the all-time series 6-4 and the series is split 1-1 at FedExField. The matchup will mark the return of former Redskins wideout Maurice Harris, after spending three years in the burgundy and gold.

Week 6, at Miami Dolphins

While no matchup in the near future will amount to the Redskins’ Super Bowl XVII victory over the Dolphins in 1983, Washington and Miami have continued to produce nail-biting action in the past 25-plus years. In fact, all six games played between the two franchises since 1993 have been decided by 11 points or fewer, with one of those games resulting in a Redskins overtime win in 2007 (16-13).

Under center for Miami will likely be newly-signed journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Ryan Tannehill, whose seven-year career as a Dolphin was laced with injuries and limited success after Miami selected him eighth-overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Miami will also debut Brian Flores, their new head coach who spent 15 seasons in multiple roles with the New England Patiots before taking the job in South Florida.

Week 7, vs. San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco travels to FedExField for the second time in three seasons, and the fifth time since 2005.

In their last meeting, a Redskins 26-24 win, current wide receiver Josh Doctson and Samaje Perine both caught touchdown passes and cornerback Quinton Dunbar led the defense with eight tackles (six solo), his career high in one game.

Week 8, at Minnesota Vikings

One year after his departure from the nation’s capital, former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins faces his former team for the first time at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It will also be the first time Case Keenum returns there after his miracle touchdown throw to Stefon Diggs that advanced the Vikings to the NFC Championship game.

The two teams are accustomed to seeing each other on the schedule, as the matchup marks the eighth meeting in the last 10 seasons and 26th overall.

In their most recent matchup in 2017, Case Keenum, Minnesota’s quarterback at the time, led the Vikings into FedExField for a barnburner that saw 68 total points put up on the scoreboard, ultimately ending in a Vikings win. On the day, Keenum recorded 304 yards passing, adding four touchdown passes on his way to a 117.0 passer rating.

Week 9, at Buffalo Bills

The Redskins will travel to Buffalo for the first time since 2011 in what could be an old-fashioned “ground-and-pound” matchup if weather disagrees. The two teams have a longstanding history dating back to Super Bowl XXVI, where the Joe Gibbs-led Redskins defeated the Bills 37-24 after Mark Rypien accumulated 292 yards through the air, adding two passing touchdowns on his way to earning Super Bowl MVP honors.

In their most recent matchup in 2015, Washington built on a 21-0 halftime lead for a 35-25 victory. Jordan Reed led all Redskins pass catchers on the day after recording seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bills are led under center by second-year quarterback Josh Allen, who looks to build off of a Week 17 performance in 2018 where he displayed the talents that earned him his second-overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft by scoring five total touchdowns (three pass, two rush). The career day led to Allen’s selection of AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week Award.

Week 10, Bye

Week 11, vs. New York Jets

After acquiring franchise quarterback Sam Darnold in last year’s draft, the new look Jets fly into the nations’ capital with a new weapon in former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell.

Newly hired head coach Adam Gase will look to right the ship after three consecutive losing seasons in New York. The Redskins could potentially look to attack a Jets rushing defense that allowed the seventh most rushing yards from scrimmage during the 2018 campaign with the return of 1,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson and a healthy Derrius Guice.

Week 12, vs. Detroit Lions

After hosting four of the last five matchups at Ford Field in Detroit, the Lions make their way to FedExField for the first time since 2013, and the second time in almost two decades.

Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will look to improve on a disappointing first campaign as head coach in the motor city, after finishing in fourth place in the NFC North in 2018.

The matchup will mark the 45th meeting between the two teams, with the Redskins leading the all-time series 30-14.

Week 13, at Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Christian McCaffrey, the list goes on. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera enters his ninth season at the helm led by those household names.

The matchup marks the second meeting in as many seasons, with Washington earning the victory in a Week 6 clash in Charlotte, 23-17. Washington built a 14-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Paul Richardson Jr., supplemented with the sure kicking of Dustin Hopkins (3/3 FG, 2/2 PAT) and the Redskins earned their third victory of the season, the first of three straight wins.

Week 14, at Green Bay Packers

Redskins will look to build off their recent success against their NFC-North counterparts, heading into the tundra to face two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Washington will head to Lambeau Field looking for their third consecutive win over the Packers after defeating Green Bay 31-17 in Week 3 of the 2018 season, when running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns.

The Packers lead the all-time series 20-16-1, however the Redskins are 3-2 the last five matchups outscoring the Packers 145-109. This year’s matchup will mark the 38th meeting between the two teams all-time. The teams first met at Braves Field in Boston in November 1932, where the Packers won 21-0 in the inaugural contest.

Week 15, vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Redskins dropped the season finale at FedExField to the Eagles last year, and will look to start a string of three straight division games on the right foot.

After winning five straight matchups from Week 16 in 2014 to Week 14 in 2016, the Redskins will look to build on their all-time series lead of 86-77-5, this time with playoff implications likely on the line.

Week 16, vs. New York Giants

Since the 2014 season, the Redskins and Giants have alternated wins and losses at FedExField. Should the pattern continue, Washington is in line for a victory on the penultimate Sunday of the season.

The Redskins suffered a tough 40-16 loss in early December in 2018, a game in which Josh Johnson subbed in for Mark Sanchez in the second half and sparked life into the offense, eventually leading the team the rest of the season.

Week 17, at Dallas Cowboys

The Redskins ended their last division championship season in 2015 with a trip to Dallas. By then, they had already clinched their ticket to the postseason and faced a Cowboys team led by Kellen Moore. Things have changed significantly in the last three years.

With Derrius Guice returning from injury and complementing 2018’ 1,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson, the Redskins and Cowboys rivalry looks primed again for NFC East smash-mouth, physical football. Like it has in the past, playoff berths could all come down to this final game.

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