- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sun, Sept. 11 vs. New York Giants (4:15 p.m., Fox)

A fitting matchup for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, this also is an opportunity for Washington to catch banged-up New York at less than full strength. The Redskins have lost nine of their past 10 against the Giants.

Sun, Sept. 18 vs. Arizona Cardinals (1 p.m., Fox)

RB Tim Hightower gets a shot at the team that traded him in July for a late 2012 pick and a 35-year-old defensive end. This is QB Kevin Kolb’s second start for a Cardinals team he joined in late July, so perhaps the Redskins can take advantage of his relative inexperience.

Mon, Sept. 26 at Dallas Cowboys (8:30 p.m., ESPN)

The Redskins are 2-9 on Monday Night Football over the past 10 seasons, but one of those wins was a heart-stopping comeback at Dallas in 2005, made possible by two long touchdown catches by Santana Moss in the final minutes. Washington split with its archrival last season.

Sun, Oct. 2 at St. Louis Rams (1 p.m., Fox)

Rams QB Sam Bradford took a major step forward as a rookie by beating the Redskins 30-16 in Week 3 last season. Atoning for that loss on short rest is essential for Washington to enter the bye week at least at 2-2 and with any hopes of contending.

Sun, Oct. 16 vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m., Fox)

No more Donovan McNabb intrigue here. That’s for Week 16. Instead, there are memories of last year’s nationally televised nightmare: Eagles QB Mike Vick embarrassed Washington at FedEx Field on Monday night, accounting for six touchdowns in a 59-28 rout.

Sun, Oct. 23 at Carolina Panthers (1 p.m., Fox)

The schedule really opens up here. If the Redskins are at least 3-2 at this point with some divisional wins, they can build momentum entering a brutal home stretch. Cam Newton is not as refined as Bradford was last year; no way the Redskins can afford to let a rookie quarterback beat them again.

Sun, Oct. 30 vs. Buffalo Bills at Toronto (4:05 p.m., Fox)

The Redskins catch a bit of a break here. Although Buffalo is only 90 minutes from Toronto, this is an attractive game for Redskins fans to travel to, and thus the Bills’ home-field advantage will be weakened. It’s a homecoming of sorts for FS Oshiomogho Atogwe, who grew up in Windsor, Ontario.

Sun, Nov. 6 vs. San Francisco 49ers (1 p.m., Fox)

This is a must-win game if the Redskins are to contend. New 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh can relate to the Redskins’ quarterback conundrum. He juggled former No. 1 pick Alex Smith, veteran Josh McCown and rookie Colin Kaepernick in the preseason.

Sun, Nov. 13 at Miami Dolphins (1 p.m., Fox)

You think QB John Beck might have this one circled? The Dolphins drafted him 40th overall in 2007, but he fell out of favor when the front office and coaching staff were overhauled after a 1-15 season. Beck would love to stick it to a team that still hasn’t solved its quarterback situation. Of course, his revenge motive may be moot as long as Rex Grossman is the starter.

Sun, Nov. 20 vs. Dallas Cowboys (1 p.m., Fox)

Coming off four straight games in which the Redskins could be favored, they have to protect home field against a division rival. DE Stephen Bowen gets a second crack at his former team, which never thought enough of him to make him a regular starter.

Sun, Nov. 27 at Seattle Seahawks (4:05 p.m., Fox)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more difficult finishing schedule than the Redskins’. Four of their final six opponents made the playoffs last season, and the Giants went 10-6. The noise at Century-Link Field makes Seattle’s home-field advantage among the best in the NFL.

Sun, Dec. 4 vs. New York Jets (1 p.m., CBS)

This is the Redskins’ first game against the quarterback they coveted in the 2009 draft. Mark Sanchez might have worn burgundy and gold. Instead, he’s played in the AFC championship game in both of his NFL seasons.

Sun, Dec. 11 vs. New England Patriots (1 p.m., CBS)

This one is for those who love a good chess match. Mike Shanahan and Bill Belichick have five Lombardi trophies between them. Shanahan and Belichick are friends, and Shanahan even visited Patriots practices during his hiatus in 2009.

Sun, Dec. 18 at New York Giants (1 p.m., Fox)

The Redskins have beaten the Giants only once in their past 10 meetings. New York typically runsthe ball well and pressures the quarterback against Washington. NT Barry Cofield’s defection to the Redskins could help change that.

Sat, Dec. 24 vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m., Fox)

If you don’t want to relive Donovan McNabb’s disastrous season in Washington, you might want to leave town early for your holiday vacation. Imagine if either team is in playoff contention. This one will be personal for McNabb, and he stuck it to Philly in a similar situation last October.

Sun, Jan. 1 at Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m., Fox)

Not exactly the easiest finishing matchup. The Eagles loaded up on high-profile free agents in the offseason. Washington will have a say in how it’s remembered among free agent-heavy teams: The 2000 Redskins, who flopped, or the 1994 49ers, who won it all.


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