The Redskins’ 2018 schedule was released Thursday and the highlights include a pair of “Monday Night Football” games on the road and a game on Thanksgiving Day for the third consecutive year.
My colleague Kareem Copeland offers some analysis of Washington’s slate here, but in keeping with recent Bog tradition, here’s a week-by-week look at how I excited I am for each game on a scale of one to five images of Redskins quarterback Alex Smith carrying a giant rock on the ocean floor. Smith has hauled rocks underwater at least a few times during the offseason as a mental and physical exercise, and he says it’s “kind of fun,” so one rock represents a potential snoozer, while five rocks represent appointment viewing.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9 at Arizona (4:25 p.m.)
The Redskins open the season in Glendale, where the average high temperature in September is 100 degrees. Thankfully, it’s a dry heat … and the Cardinals have a climate-controlled stadium. Assuming new Cardinals QB Sam Bradford doesn’t break during the preseason, Smith’s regular season debut with Washington will be his first of three games in the first six weeks against a fellow quarterback drafted No. 1 overall.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16 vs. Indianapolis (1 p.m.)
Remember when the Redskins sold T-shirts commemorating the “QB Showdown” between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III during the 2012 preseason? Griffin served as the backup to Colt McCoy during the teams’ only regular season meeting since then, a 49-27 Colts win at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2014. This game will be the second of former Maryland quarterback Frank Reich’s head coaching career and a homecoming for former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23 vs. Green Bay (1 p.m.)
Aaron Rodgers might mock this post as clickbait, but I always enjoy watching the dude taken 23 picks after Smith in the 2005 NFL draft play football. Two years ago, Kirk Cousins outplayed him in prime time at FedEx Field, rubbed Scot McCloughan’s head and shouted, “How do you like me now?!” Ah, memories.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30 — BYE
Week 5: Monday, Oct. 8 at New Orleans (8:15 p.m.)
The Redskins will return to the Big Easy with revenge (or possibly beignets) on their minds after blowing a 15-point lead with less than five minutes remaining in New Orleans last season. It was Washington’s second loss in nine trips to the Superdome all-time; the previous one came on “Monday Night Football” in 1992.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14 vs. Carolina (1 p.m.)
This will be Washington’s third meeting with Cam Newton and the Panthers in the past four years. Carolina has won five straight against the Redskins, most recently in December 2016. That game was the worst.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21 vs. Dallas (4:25 p.m.)
Finally, a divisional game, and it comes against the Cowboys, who ran all over the Redskins in a rainstorm in last year’s meeting in Landover. This is the latest in the season the Redskins have played their first NFC East foe since 2012.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28 at N.Y. Giants (1 p.m.)
Will Giants veteran quarterback Eli Manning start against a ninth different Redskins quarterback, or might Washington get its first crack at a rookie QB in 2018? There’s also a chance this could be the Redskins’ first look at Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4 vs. Atlanta (1 p.m.)
The Falcons’ first visit to Landover since 2012 is one of seven 1 p.m. starts at FedEx Field. Washington won’t play a prime time game at home this year. This is a good thing.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11 at Tampa Bay (1 p.m.)
If DeSean Jackson’s performances against the Eagles during his time in Washington were any indication, the wide receiver might have a little extra in the tank for his first game against his second former team.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18 vs. Houston (1 p.m.)
As Redskins teammates and fellow former Alabama stars Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson know firsthand, second-year Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is a nightmare for opposing defenses. If healthy, he’s also a lot of fun to watch.
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 22 at Dallas (4:30 p.m.)
This again? Excluding Thanksgiving Day regulars Dallas and Detroit, the Redskins will become the third team since the merger to play on Turkey Day in three consecutive years. I’m kind of over the Redskins playing on holidays, which is why this game doesn’t get five rocks. (My wife would give it zero if she could.)
Week 13: Monday, Dec. 3 at Philadelphia (8:15 p.m.)
If you’re not still bitter that the Eagles won their first Super Bowl title and then had the Lombardi Trophy delivered to them by Darrell Green, well, I think you should be. When you’re going back and forth with Eagles fans on Twitter, just remember, those Super Bowl ring memes you’ve been using for years are no good anymore.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9 vs. N.Y. Giants (1 p.m.)
This game can’t possibly be any more boring than last year’s stinker against the Giants on Thanksgiving, right?
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16 at Jacksonville (1 p.m.)
The Jaguars, who came within a win of a Super Bowl appearance last year behind rookie running back Leonard Fournette and a nasty defense, will reportedly install a dog park with artificial turf, a pool and palm trees beyond the south end zone this season. Here’s hoping Josh Doctson catches a touchdown pass and then celebrates with a Lhasa apso Leap into the park to pet some good doggies.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23 at Titans (1 p.m.)
A trip to Nashville is one of the better road trip options for Redskins fans looking to catch an away game, but for those of us who plan to watch on TV, this matchup doesn’t offer much intrigue. It will be a chance to see former Redskins linebacker Will Compton, who was apparently mistaken for kicker Ryan Succop by new teammate Malcolm Butler in the cold tub this week.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30 vs. Philadelphia (1 p.m.)
This is the first time the Redskins have hosted the defending Super Bowl champions since 2014 when they lost to the Seahawks. Washington should have John Riggins, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien — the franchise’s three Super Bowl MVPs — serve as honorary team captains for the coin toss.
5: at New Orleans, vs. Dallas, at Philadelphia, vs. Philadelphia
4: vs. Green Bay, vs. Houston, at Dallas, at Jacksonville
3: at Arizona, vs. Carolina, at N.Y. Giants, vs. Atlanta, vs. N.Y. Giants
2: vs. Indianapolis, at N.Y. Giants
1: at Tennessee, at Tampa Bay
Which games are you most excited about?
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