The Washington Redskins now have the complete picture of what lies before them in 2014.
The NFL on Wednesday evening released the full schedule (complete with dates and times after only the opponents and locations were known since this winter), and Washington will open the year at Houston.
The Redskins, coming off a 3-13 season and now under the leadership of first-year head coach Jay Gruden, will play three prime-time games — against versus the Giants, Seahawks and at Dallas.
Washington doesn’t get its bye until Week 10, then returns for a
six-gameseven-game stretch that concludes with back-to-back home division games against Philly and Dallas.
Here’s a complete rundown of the 2014 schedule:
Week 1: at Houston, Sun., Sept. 7, 1 p.m.
The Redskins open the season on the road. Since the Texans have the first overall pick in the draft, will this be a shootout between quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel, or a showdown between Trent Williams and rookie pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney? It will be the first of several matchups that feature first-year head coaches as Jay Gruden faces off with Bill O’Brien.
Week 2: vs. Jacksonville, Sun., Sept. 14, 1 p.m.
For their home opener, Washington takes on the Jaguars, who haven’t had a winning season since 2007, and look to change their fortunes in Gus Bradley’s second season at the helm. Washington’s defense could enter this game licking its chops at the prospects of facing a rookie quarterback.
Week 3: at Philadelphia, Sun., Sept. 21, 1 p.m.
DeSean Jackson scanned the schedule for this date and circled it seconds after the league released the slate. The wideout joked that he will need someone to show him how to get to the visitors’ locker room. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the usually unforgiving Eagle fans. Also, a year after going 0-6 in the NFC East, the Redskins seek their first division victory since 2012.
Week 4: vs. New York, Thurs., Sept. 25, 8:25 p.m.
For Washington’s first prime-time game, Eli Manning and the Giants come to town. Washington’s revamped receiving corps will get a stiff test from an overhauled New York secondary, which added Walter Thurmond III and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Prince Amukamara and Antrel Rolle.
Week 5: vs. Seattle, Mon., Oct. 6, 8:30 p.m.
The second of back-to-back nationally televised games is a rematch of the 2012 playoff meeting, on the same field where Griffin tore two knee ligaments and saw Seattle end his team’s season. Russell Wilson, who has now set the bar for fellow 2012 draft picks Griffin and Andrew Luck, looks to lead his team to a win on the way back to the Super Bowl. And as a sidebar, the game will feature two of the better cornerbacks/trash-talkers in the league in DeAngelo Hall and Richard Sherman. It’s just a shame that they won’t line up opposite each other at some point in the game.
Week 6: at Arizona, Sun., Oct. 12, 4:25 p.m.
The Redskins make a trip to the desert, and Andre Roberts, a wide receiver who signed with Washington in free agency, aims to come up big against his former team. Hall, David Amerson and their fellow defensive backs will have their hands quite full with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
Week 7: vs. Tennessee, Sun., Oct. 19, 1 p.m.
New head coaches engage in a chess match as Gruden welcomes Ken Whisenhunt to town. Both are tasked with saving the careers of young quarterbacks and ending years of struggles; QB Jake Locker is trying to get the Titans back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 . This marks the second head coaching stint for Whisenhunt, who last season served as offensive coordinator for San Diego after six seasons as Arizona’s coach.
Week 8: at Dallas, Mon., Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m.
In Washington’s third prime-time game, defensive lineman Jason Hatcher gets his first crack at making his former team regret its decision to let him leave as a free agent. The game also will mark the first of two showdowns between Hall and Dez Bryant, which always proves highly entertaining.
Week 9: at Minnesota, Sun., Nov. 2, 1 p.m.
In the game before the bye, Jay Gruden & Co. will face off with fellow former Bengals assistant in Mike Zimmer, who also is in his first season as a head coach. Familiarity could serve both coaches well. It’s also a matchup between Pro Bowl running backs Alfred Morris and Adrian Peterson.
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: vs. Tampa Bay, Sun., Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
As they return from the Week 10 Bye, the Redskins host Tampa Bay in what represents the last of four meetings with a team led by a new head coach. Lovie Smith will try to rebuild Tampa Bay after Greg Schiano’s run lasted just two seasons. Quarterback and Northern Virginia native Mike Glennon, who enters his second season, looks to put on a strong performance in front of family and friends.
Week 12: at San Francisco, Sun., Nov. 23, 4:25 p.m.
This could make for another quality matchup as talented, young QBs Griffin and Colin Kaepernick and bruising backs in Morris and Frank Gore face off. But the 49ers’ stingy defense could give Washington’s offense fits. In last season’s meeting, Morris managed just 52 rushing yards and Griffin threw for only 127 yards and an interception while getting sacked four times.
Week 13: at Indianapolis, Sun., Nov. 30, 1 p.m.
Luck and Griffin — the quarterbacks that went first and second overall in the 2012 draft – meet for the first time in the regular season. Luck looks to continue his ascension after leading his team to back-to-back postseason appearances (and his first playoff win this past season), while Griffin looks to rebound from a trying 2013 and lead Washington back to their 2012 contender form.
Week 14: vs. St. Louis, Sun., Dec. 7, 1 p.m.
Williams, a left tackle, draws the task of holding defensive end Robert Quinn, a fellow 2013 Pro Bowler, in check. Quinn last season racked up 19 sacks (half a sack behind league-leader Robert Mathis of the Colts) and will aim to register his third consecutive double-digit sack campaign. Meanwhile, St. Louis’s quarterback picture currently remains cloudy as Sam Bradford continues to recover from a torn anterior crucial ligament that limited him to seven games in 2013. The specter of the 2012 draft trade always hangs over Redskins vs. Rams as well.
Week 15: at New York, Sun., Dec. 14, 1 p.m.
It’s another late-season matchup between the longtime foes. In 2013, neither team had anything beyond pride to play for at this point in the season. In 2012, both squads were battling for postseason bids. Will both return to that form this season?
Week 16: vs. Philadelphia, Sat., Dec. 20, 4:30 or 8:15 p.m.
In what could represent a crucial late-season NFC East matchup, Washington hosts the Eagles. A year after helping Philly win the division, Jackson will try to do the same for Washington versus his old team.
Week 17: vs. Dallas, Sun., Dec. 28, 1 p.m.
The Redskins face the Cowboys for the final game of the season in a game that could carry playoff and division-title implications. Could this game wind up being flexed to prime time?
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Post Sports Live’s reactions to the schedule:
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