- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Washington Redskins and New York Giants will resume their NFC East rivalry early again this year, meeting in Week 1 for the second straight season.

The Redskins announced their schedule for the upcoming season Tuesday, beginning with a Sept. 13 matchup against New York that marks the final meeting at Giants Stadium in the long rivalry between the teams. The stadium will be closed next year and demolished after the new $1.3 billion Meadowlands Stadium opens nearby.

The game also represents an unpleasant deja vu for Jim Zorn. The Redskins opened the NFL season last year in a Thursday night contest at Giants Stadium that marked an inauspicious debut for the team's new coach, an embarrassing loss before a national audience.

The balance of the schedule before the Week 8 bye features matchups with four playoff teams - and games against three teams that finished last season a combined 4-44.

The Redskins face the St. Louis Rams (2-14) on Sept. 20 in the first game of the season at FedEx Field, the Detroit Lions (0-16) the next week and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) on Oct. 18.

The early season matchups against playoff teams include the opener against the Giants, an Oct. 11 road game against the Carolina Panthers, a meeting with the NFC runner-up Philadelphia Eagles at home on Oct. 26 and a game against the Atlanta Falcons the next week at Georgia Dome.

In total, seven of the Redskins' games are against teams that made the playoffs last season.

The game against the Eagles at FedEx Field marks one of two appearances on ESPN's “Monday Night Football”; the Redskins appear on the broadcast again Dec. 21 in the return engagement against the Giants at FedEx Field.

The Dallas Cowboys also play at FedEx Field on national television in NBC's “Sunday Night Football” on Dec. 27.

The Redskins' games Nov. 22 at Philadelphia and Nov. 29 at Dallas make them the only NFC East team to play consecutive division road games.

The schedule isn't conducive for a Redskins team making a late-season push to secure a playoff berth. In the final three weeks of the season, the Redskins face the Giants, the defending NFC East champions; the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last season; and the San Diego Chargers, who narrowly won the AFC West last season, then stunned the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs.

The Redskins will make their first visit to Oakland (Dec. 13) in 11 years and San Diego (Jan. 3) in eight years. The Denver Broncos (Nov. 15) will visit for the first time in 11 years.

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