- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Washington Redskins 2007 schedule was released around 1 p.m. today and not one but TWO networks devoted entire programs to breaking down the NFL slate. It’s yet another example of why professional football - not baseball - is this country’s national past-time.

Sept. 9 Miami (1 p.m.)

Sept. 17 at Philadelphia (8:30 p.m.)

Sept. 23 NY Giants (4:15 p.m.)

Sept. 30 Bye

Oct. 7 Detroit (1 p.m.)

Oct. 14 at Green Bay (1 p.m.)

Oct. 21 Arizona (1 p.m.)

Oct. 28 at New England (4:15 p.m.)

Nov. 4 at NY Jets (1 p.m.)

Nov. 11 Philadelphia (1 p.m.)

Nov. 18 at Dallas (1 p.m.)*

Nov. 25 at Tampa Bay (1 p.m.)*

Dec. 2 Buffalo (1 p.m.)*

Dec. 6 Chicago (8:15 p.m.)

Dec. 16 at NY Giants (8:15 p.m.)*

Dec. 23 at Minnesota (1 p.m.)*

Dec. 30 Dallas (1 p.m.)*

* Game time subject to change through flex scheduling.

After examining the schedule for a few minutes, here are some knee-jerk thoughts:

1. The Week 1 game against Miami — the sixth consecutive year the Redskins have opened at home — is a must win. It is vital for the Redskins to get off to a quick start so quarterback Jason Campbell can get some confidence and the team as a whole can generate some momentum. The Dolphins would seem to be a good opponent to face, what with a new coach (Cam Cameron) and a muddled quarterback situation (possibly Trent Green?). It is also a must win because the next two games are at Philadelphia and home against the New York Giants.

2. The Week 4 bye stinks. Granted, the players, coaches and media dorks may be ready for a weekend off following 10 straight weeks of work. But playing 13 straight games to end the season isn’t ideal. Then again, in 2005, the Redskins had a Week 3 bye and made the playoffs.

3. A minimum of four wins in the first six games is required for a playoff drive. Home games against Miami, the Giants, Detroit and Arizona. The Redskins will be favored to win all four. Road games at Philadelphia and Green Bay.

4. Here’s why they need to be 4-2: Starting on Oct. 28, the Redskins have four straight games against 2006 playoff teams - at New England, at NY Jets, vs. Philadelphia and at Dallas. They are likely to be the underdog in all four. Manage a split and the Redskins could be back in the postseason; an 0-4 stretch would end any hopes.

5. The Redskins’ first Thursday game since 2002 — Dec. 6 at home — is against the defending NFC champion Chicago, meaning they realistically have only two days to prepare for the Bears. That’s going to be a tall order.

6. The Redskins will face several young quarterbacks: Eli Manning, Matt Leinart, Tony Romo, J.P. Losman, Rex Grossman and Tavaris Jackson. The defense has traditionally done pretty decent against young quarterbacks. They also face Messrs. McNabb, Brady, Favre, Garcia and Pennington.

7. A brief review of the schedule gives a best-case scenario of nine wins.

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