Now that we’ve had a few minutes to digest the Redskins schedule, here’s a thought or each game.
Sept. 13: at New York Giants (4:15 p.m.): The Redskins got no favors from the schedule maker. The Giants are the defending NFC East champs and could have Braylon Edwards making his Big Blue debut. Might as well get this road game out of the way.
Sept. 20: St. Louis (1 p.m.): The start of a stretch against teams with new coaches. Almost-Redskins coach Steve Spagnuolo is the Rams coach and the Redskins have to take advantage of this game.
Sept. 27: at Detroit (1 p.m.): Jim Schwartz is the new Lions coach and the Redskins struggled mightily at Ford Field last year. They could be facing Matthew Stafford. The Lions will have new uniforms so we’re really turning the page on 0-16. Again, a must win for the Redskins.
Oct. 4: Tampa Bay (1 p.m.). Raheem Morris is the Bucs coach and D.C. native Byron Leftwich could be starting at quarterback for Tampa. The Bucs will have a far different look — Derrick Brooks has been released along with Warrick Dunn and Jeff Garcia is gone.
Oct. 11: at Carolina (1 p.m.). A tough assignment, especially if Julius Peppers is still with the Panthers. The Redskins defense, if they’re pass rush is improved, could be able to pressure Jake Delhomme into some mistakes.
Oct. 18: Kansas City (1 p.m.). The end of a stretch of four new coaches in five games. Todd Haley is the new boss in KC and Matt Cassel the new QB. This is a key game because if there’s a soft underbelly to the schedule it’s Weeks 2-6 (only one 2008 playoff team).
Oct. 26: Philadelphia (8:30 p.m.). The Redskins’ first prime-time appearance of the year comes in this Monday nighter. Again, an important game because it comes before the bye week. Last year, the Redskins were 6-2 entering Pittsburgh MNF game, were slapped silly and were never the same.
Nov. 1: Bye week
Nov. 8: at Atlanta ( 1 p.m.). Priority A is stopping Michael Turner. The Falcons were the surprise team of 2008 but by this point, we’ll know if Matt Ryan and Co. are for real.
Nov. 15: Denver ( 1 p.m.). Another new coach, Josh McDaniels. This would have been a very interesting matchup if the Broncos agreed to take Jason Campbell as part of the Jay Cutler deal. Now it’s Kyle Orton at quarterback for the Broncos. The Redskins haven’t played Denver since 2005.
Nov. 22: at Dallas (1 p.m.)*. It will take awhile but the Redskins and Cowboys review their rivalry. The Cowboys could be in complete disarray by this point and they’ve done very little to improve on last year’s debacle.
Nov. 29: at Philadelphia (1 p.m.)*. The Redskins are the only NFC East team to play consecutive divisional road games. Last year, Washington won at Dallas and Philly on consecutive weeks. The Eagles, like Dallas, haven’t done much this off-season.
Dec. 6: New Orleans (1 p.m.)*. Old friend Gregg Williams comes to town as Saints defensive coordinator. The Redskins’ big problem will be slowing down Drew Brees. The Redskins beat New Orleans last year in the home opener.
Dec. 13: at Oakland (4:15 p.m.)*. The first of two West Coast trips in the last quarter of the season. I’ll predict — not that I’m going out on a limb — that Jeff Garcia will have replaced JaMarcus Russell at quarterback.
Dec. 21: NY Giants (8:30 p.m.). The second Monday nighter of the year. Should be nice and toasty at FedEx this night.
Dec. 27: Dallas (8:20 p.m.)*. Another night game although it could be flexed back to a day game if either team is out of contention. Might be the last game for Jason Campbell if ownership has its way.
Jan. 3: at San Diego (4:15 p.m.)*. A West Coast finale for the second consecutive year. Last year, the Redskins lost at San Francisco as time expired. Some people will think Norv Turner facing the Redskins is like a big deal or something.
*Subject to flex scheduling.
— Ryan O’Halloran