Poll: How many prime time games will the Redskins play?

Dwayne Harris

The Redskins have a shaky recent history in prime time games, many of which have been played against division opponents. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

openingkicklogoThe NFL schedule is supposed to be released this week, which means the Redskins’ opponents, which we already know, will be ordered into a full-fledged schedule.

As you probably remember, the Redskins played and lost five prime-time games last season. In 13 prime-time games over the past five seasons, on Sunday, Monday or Thursday nights, the Redskins have just two wins. Ten of those 13 games were at FedEx Field. So maybe fans would rather avoid prime time altogether and have Washington stick to playing on Sunday afternoons.

The NFL schedule-makers usually lean heavily on the previous season’s results to create attractive matchups, which explains how the Redskins played one prime-time game in 2012 and ended up a 10-win division champion and playoff team. That season set the stage for the five prime-time appearances in 2013, and the Redskins finished 3-13. That record would normally lead to none or a maximum of one prime-time appearance, but Washington still has a potentially dynamic quarterback that fans would tune in to watch, in Robert Griffin III. Fans across the league would probably be interested in seeing how offseason addition DeSean Jackson, a former Philadelphia Eagle, blends in with Washington. I’d bet the first Redskins-Eagles game is in prime time for that alone, and I wouldn’t rule out additional appearances by Washington, since they have a new coach in Jay Gruden and enough talent to reasonably be expected to rebound from three wins, if not challenge for the division title.

How many prime-time appearances do you see the Redskins making?

Personally, I’ll say three. One Redskins-Eagles game, one more against either the Cowboys or Giants, and one random marquee matchup against an NFC opponent.

Later in the day, I’ll list the opponents and we can guess individually who the Redskins will play in prime time.

For reference, and to jog your memory, here’s the Redskins’ recent prime-time history. If you changed the definition to “nationally televised” instead of “prime time,” you could include games like Washington’s 2012 Thanksgiving Day win at Dallas, but as night games go, here’s the history:

2013:
Week 1, Mon. Sept 9: L 33-27 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 6, Sun. Oct. 13: L 31-16 at Dallas Cowboys
Week 10, Thu. Nov. 7: L 34-27 at Minnesota Vikings
Week 12, Mon. Nov. 25: L 27-6 vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 13, Sun. Dec. 1: L 24-17 vs. New York Giants

2012:
Week 13, Mon. Dec. 3: W 17-16 vs. New York Giants

2011:
Week 3, Mon. Sept. 26: L 18-16 at Dallas Cowboys

2010:
Week 1, Mon. Sept 12: W 13-7 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 6, Sun. Oct. 17: L 27-24 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 10, Mon. Nov. 15: L 59-28 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

2009:
Week 7, Mon. Oct. 26: L 27-17 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 15, Mon. Dec. 21: L 45-12 vs. New York Giants
Week 16, Sun. Dec. 27: L 17-0 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Opening Kick engages regular readers with a morning conversation starter, quick observation or poll. Click here for previous installments.

What’s ahead:

Mike Jones’s preview of the tackles available in the NFL draft.

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