No one said making the playoffs two years in a row would be easy. The Washington Redskins have not accomplished that feat since heading to the postseason three times in a row between 1990 and 1992 with that memorable Super Bowl sandwiched in between.
Now that we know the order in which Washington will be taking on their 13 opponents, play division rivals twice, we can start diving into the nuances of the schedule.
The Redskins will participate in four games with national audiences including 2 games on ESPN's Monday Night Football, 1 on NBC's Sunday Night Football, and finally one game on FOX's Thanksgiving Day slot. This can be compared to only three prime time opportunities given to the Burgundy and Gold before the start of their 2015 campaign.
Washington will start the season at home, as they did last year, but under the bright lights of Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Also like last season, three of the first four games are at FedEx Field, which means a quick start is key.
The second half of the season includes some tough and quick turnarounds. The Redskins will have a rematch of their Wild Card matchup against the Packers on Sunday Night Football in late November before traveling to Dallas for a Thanksgiving day bout four days later.
Washington will also have their chance at a measuring stick game against the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers in Week 15 on Monday Night Football followed by a Saturday game at the Chicago Bears.
In Week 4, the DC area will warmly (hopefully) welcome back Robert Griffin III to FedEx Field as a member of the Cleveland Browns. With the Los Angeles Rams swooping in to the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2016 draft, presumably to select a quarterback, RG3 may be the odds on favorite to start against the Redskins in early October.
Outside linebacker Junior Galette will be showing no mercy to his former teammate.
The 2016 season is split perfectly in half by the bye in week nine. The first half will be the easier of the two where the Redskins take care of their AFC duties as well as playing the Lions and division foes once. Those opponents were a combined 54-74 (0.422) in 2015.
The second half comes fast in furious with a matchup with the two NFC North playoff teams, Minnesota and Green Bay, before three straight road encounters starting with a quick turnaround to play on Thanksgiving in Dallas. The only relatively easy game will be against the Bears in the penultimate week of the year as the post-bye opponents combined for a 72-56 (0.563) last year.
The Redskins will not play any teams who are coming off a bye this year after being at the mercy of multiple teams fresh and prepared last season.
Washington will have played all three of the division rivals once about one month into the season.
All three of Washington's NFC East division mates share the same opponents for all (six match ups with division rivals, four games against the NFC North, and four inter-conference games with the AFC North) but two games differing as follows:
- Philadelphia Eagles: Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks
- New York Giants: New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams
- Dallas Cowboys: Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers
While the Redskins do battle with the Giants in the final week of the regular season, the Eagles and Cowboys will do the same. There is a good chance there will be division title implications on the line.
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