On Thursday, the NFL released the schedule for the 2013-2014 season. Soon after, radio personalities, journalists, and fans alike began tearing schedules apart, mining for the winning formula that results in a 10-6 season and entry into the playoffs. While this thought experiment is a fun spring time activity, it also has little basis in reality. It is nearly impossible to predict which teams will be formidable opponents come November and which ones will be named the Kansas City Chiefs. For example, going into last season, a match-up with the previously 4-12 Redskins would have been considered an “easy victory.”
With that in mind, the Redskins schedule is still noteworthy for a number of reasons:
1) The Redskins are a hot commodity. Washington has five prime time games, the maximum number a team can receive in an NFL season. The Skins open with a Monday night match-up against the rival Eagles, a game that figures to be among the most watched of the regular season. Let’s face it: the public is interested in watching the Redskins and Robert Griffin. RG3 has the highest selling jersey in the NFL, and networks are more than happy to take advantage of the quarterback’s emerging star power.
2) The NFL thinks RG3 is “All In For Week One.” The fact that the Redskins are featured in the first Monday Night Football telecast of the season indicates that the league believes Griffin will be healthy enough to start week one. There is no way the Redskins are in that spot if it looked like Kirk Cousins was in position to start. Does the league have insider information? I find it hard to believe a call wasn’t put into James Andrews before the schedule was released. Take it to the bank: RG3 starts week one.
3) The team has a week four bye. Usually teams hope for later byes to break up the rigors of the season. However, the Redskins might be pleased to be see an early week of rest for RG3 (whom we established will be ready in week one). October also figures to be a tough stretch for Washington, as the team plays at Dallas, Chicago, and then travels to Denver. The bye will allow the team to get organized for this critical stretch. Or at least will give you a weekend to stock up on Vitamin D.
4) The Redskins will have the opportunity to defend the NFC East in December. If the Skins are within striking distance of the division lead, they will have the ability to play themselves into the playoffs in December. The team begins and ends the month with games against the Giants, and faces the Cowboys December 22nd in the home finale. No way to know how the season will shake out, but the Redskins will have control of their own destiny in the NFC East come December.
5) It’s a good season for road trips. Who wants to travel with me to Green Bay in September? Should be beautiful in Wisconsin that time of year. I might skip Oakland though.
The Redskins’ full season schedule can be found here. Post your schedule thoughts in the comments section.