- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2019

For the second year in a row, the Washington Redskins will begin their season on the road. But this time, they’ll do so against a divisional rival.

The Redskins open the season Sunday, Sept. 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field for a 1 p.m. kickoff. That’s the start of five-week stretch in which Washington faces four teams that made the playoffs in 2018.

Washington announced its schedule Wednesday alongside the rest of the league. Beyond their early stretch, the Redskins face a 16-game slate that includes a Week 8 matchup against former quarterback Kirk Cousins, a Week 5 showdown against the defending-champion New England Patriots and two prime time games.

The Redskins face Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings on “Thursday Night Football” on Oct.24.

The team’s other primetime game will be earlier than that as it squares off against the Chicago Bears on “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 23.

After Philadelphia, Washington will make its home debut against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 15. Then, the Redskins have another home game against Chicago. In Week 4, they travel to New York to face the Giants. Then, the Patriots come to town.

Once that stretch is completed, the Redskins‘ schedule appears to lighten up. Based on strength of schedule, Washington has the easiest schedule this season — with its opponents combining for a .469 win percentage in 2018.

The Redskins will have their bye week during Week 10 — a significantly later date than previous years. In the last two seasons, the Redskins had their bye weeks in Weeks 4 and 5, which players disliked because they still felt relatively fresh at that point. Washington, of course, has dealt with a heavy amount of injuries over the last two years.

Following its bye week, Washington will have back-to-back home games — the New York Jets on Nov. 17 and the Detroit Lions on Nov. 24 — before it closes the season with three of its last five on the road. The Redskins travel to Carolina (Dec. 1) and Green Bay (Dec. 8), then return home for Philadelphia (Dec. 15) and New York (Dec. 22).

The Redskins end the season in Dallas on Dec. 29.

That also means Washington’s last three games all come against NFC East foes.

This is the first year since 2015 in which Washington won’t play on Thanksgiving. Instead of the Redskins, the following games will be played on the holiday: Bears-Lions, Bills-Cowboys and Saints-Falcons.

Elsewhere, the league changed its approach to its opening kickoff game. Since 2006, the NFL would have the defending champions play in the first game of the season on Thursday night. But with the league’s 100th season, the NFL opted to pit the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers to feature one of the most sport’s most storied rivalries.

By featuring the Bears and the Packers, the Patriots instead begin the season on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

ESPN opens the year with two games: The Houston Texans will travel to face the New Orleans Saints (7:10 p.m.) and the Denver Broncos will play the Oakland Raiders (10:20 p.m.)

Continuing its series of overseas games, the NFL will have four games in London this year: Bears-Raiders (Oct. 6, 1 p.m.), Panthers-Buccaneers (Oct.13, 9:30 a.m.), Bengals-Rams (Oct.27, 1 p.m.) and Texans-Jaguars (Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m.).

The NFL also scheduled another game for Mexico City, a year after a matchup between the Rams and the Chiefs was moved to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions. This year, the Chiefs will play the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City on Monday, Nov. 18.

You can see the Redskins‘ full schedule below:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8 at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15 vs. Dallas, 1 p.m.

Week 3: Monday, Sept. 23 vs. Chicago, 8:15 p.m.

Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29 at New York Giants, 1 p.m.

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6 vs. New England, 1 p.m.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13 at. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m.

Week 8: Thursday, Oct. 24 at Minnesota, 8:20 p.m.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3 at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17 vs. New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24 vs. Detroit, 1 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8 at Green Bay, 1 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15 vs. Philadelphia,1 p.m.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22 vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29 at Dallas, 1 p.m.

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