Yesterday afternoon we learned that this coming preseason will consist of a trip to Tennessee, home games against the Steelers and Bills, and another late-August trip to Tampa to face the Bucs.
Who isn’t amped up for that?
While the preseason can be fun to watch and full of intrigue as players battle for backup jobs and roster spots, and we all get our first taste of tackling and touchdowns after a long offseason, it’s hard to care a whole lot about the matchups because you mostly focus on your own team and aren’t that concerned about winning.
In the preseason, the NFL tries to avoid long trips and won’t slate the Redskins against its nearby division rivals, because they’ll play twice during the season anyway. So there’s a limited number of usual suspects — the Jets, the Panthers, the Steelers — that make sense for the Redskins to face. Tennessee and Tampa Bay aren’t super long trips, but they aren’t short ones either.
Season-ticket holders might be more interested in the preseason schedule than anyone, because they’re obligated to buy the ninth and 10th home games as part of the package. The Steelers bring some star power and intrigue (although as we discussed on an Opening Kick last year, they are not considered a “rival”), but the Bills? Meh. Maybe if Geno Smith is starting and playing three quarters for them instead of Kevin Kolb.
Then you’ve got factor in that the Redskins are most likely going to be playing it safe with Robert Griffin III, and there won’t even be an RGIII-to-Garcon hookup this preseason to get all excited about.
It seems like a pretty drab preseason schedule, but it doesn’t much matter, because it’s the preseason. You’re more concerned about the Chase Daniels and Marko Mitchells of the world than who the other team throws out there. And plus, as Mike Jones reminded us yesterday, these are the regular season opponents:
The regular season schedule, with dates and times for games, will be released later this month. However, the Redskins know they will host the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.
The Redskins also will play road games against the Denver Broncos, whom Shanahan coached from 1995-2008, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers and at Dallas, Philadelphia and New York.
Now that’s a schedule worth getting excited about. On top of the six division games, the 49ers, Packers Falcons are some of the NFC’s most loaded teams, the Vikings take the Rams place as the annual NFC team the Redskins always seem to play, and fans at FedEx will get a close look at the Andy Reid Chiefs. I’m sure we’ll analyze the schedule five ways to Sunday when it comes out officially.
Remember back when the NFL floated the idea of an 18-game schedule, and almost everyone reacted negatively? I thought it would be cool to get more bang for the buck: The fans are paying for 20 games anyway, might as well make 18 count and reduce the preseason to two. The system is fine as is, but I’m sure you wouldn’t miss the preseason clashes against the Titans, Bills or Bucs.