A home opener in Week 1, the franchise’s first Thanksgiving game on its own turf and five prime time matchups highlight the Washington Redskins’ 2017 regular season schedule.
Although locations and opponents had been determined long before, the NFL officially revealed the games’ order and times Thursday night.
The Redskins will open the season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 10, and in the following week, make the first of three West Coast trips to take on the Los Angeles Rams.
Back-to-back prime time games follow — at home against Oakland on “Sunday Night Football” and at Kansas City on “Monday Night Football.”
The bye falls in Week 5, and another “Monday Night Football” game (at Philadelphia) comes in Week 7.
Washington hosts the New York Giants on Thanksgiving with an 8:25 p.m. kickoff. It will be the first time the Redskins have played a Thanksgiving game at home. Washington lost, 31-26, at Dallas on Thanksgiving in 2016, and hasn’t played consecutive Thanksgiving games since the 1973 and ’74 seasons.
The next week, Washington travels to play Dallas on Thursday night for their final originally scheduled prime-time game. The NFL could flex one of the final games of the season to a later time if Washington’s contests feature playoff implications, making for a more compelling matchup than another previously scheduled prime-time game.
Here’s a more detailed week-by-week look at how Washington’s schedule plays out.
Week 1 vs. Philadelphia, Sunday, Sept. 10, 1 p.m.
The Redskins and Eagles each unveil a pair of revamped offenses as the 2017 season kicks off. Gone are wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, and instead, Kirk Cousins has Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson to go with Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz and the Eagles turn to free agent signings Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith as the second-year quarterback tries to take his offense to the next level.
Week 2 at Los Angeles Rams, Sept. 17, 4:25 p.m.
Newly minted Coach Sean McVay and the Rams welcome his former team and mentor Jay Gruden to town for the first of Washington’s three West Coast trips. The sidelines will feature a lot of familiar faces: Joe Barry, Aubrey Pleasant and Matt LaFleur all followed McVay to Los Angeles, and Wade Phillips chose the Rams over the Redskins’ defensive coordinator opening this offseason. It’ll be interesting to see who has the edge when it comes to knowledge of the other opponent.
Week 3 vs. Oakland Raiders, Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m.
One of the league’s young, on-the-rise teams comes cross-country to face Washington on the “Sunday Night Football” stage. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had his 2016 season ended prematurely by a broken leg, and when he went down, so too did the Raiders’ hopes of a deep playoff run. He’s expected to be back at full strength in 2017, however, and should present a good test for the Redskins’ defense, which will feature a line anchored by former Raider Stacy McGee, who signed with Washington in free agency.
Week 4 at Kansas City, Oct. 2, 8:30 p.m.
Prime time games in back-to-back weeks, this one on “Monday Night Football.” Washington takes on yet another 2016 AFC playoff team in the Alex Smith-led Chiefs. This represents the Redskins’ first game at Arrowhead Stadium since 2005, when the Chiefs beat them, 28-21. Washington hasn’t done well against Kansas City, owning a 1-8 record against the squad all-time.
Week 5, Bye, Oct. 8
After a West Coast trip and two prime-time games, the bye probably comes at the right time for Washington, which has a travel-heavy remaining slate.
Week 6 vs. San Francisco, Oct. 15, 1 p.m.
Another intriguing reunion game: Kyle Shanahan and the new-look 49ers come to town. Shanahan brings with him a number of familiar faces, including wide receiver Pierre Garcon and assistant coaches Bobby Turner, Bobby Slowick, Mike McDaniel, Richard Hightower, Jon Embree and Ray Wright, who were all with him during his time as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator. Of course, Shanahan and Garcon will enter this game with great motivation to remind their former team what they parted with.
Week 7 at Philadelphia, Oct. 23, 8:30 p.m.
The Redskins return to “Monday Night Football,” playing their second NFC East game of the year. Cousins traditionally does well against the Eagles, owning a 4-1 career record while averaging 315 passing yards and 2.4 touchdown passes per game. Cousins and the Redskins have won their last four meetings in the series. The Redskins will have played the Eagles twice before facing another NFC East opponent.
Week 8 vs. Dallas, Oct. 29, 4:25 p.m.
Finally facing another division foe, the Redskins welcome the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys back to FedEx Field. Washington looks to avenge a pair of single-digit losses suffered against the Cowboys last season (27-23 at home, 31-26 in Dallas). It’ll be interesting to see if the Cowboys can continue to build on last season’s success. Or, will last year’s impressive rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott fall prey to the sophomore slump?
Week 9 at Seattle, Nov. 5, 4:05 p.m.
The Redskins head out West once again, this time to take on the Seahawks. It’s yet another matchup with a playoff team. The Seahawks went 10-5-1 and won their division in 2016. Washington has lost its past two meetings with Seattle (both at FedEx Field, in the playoffs in 2013 and during the regular season in 2014), but won its past two games at Seattle (2011, 2008).
Week 10 vs. Minnesota, Nov. 12, 1 p.m.
With the Vikings a mid-November opponent for the second straight year, the Redskins hope to pick up another important victory against an NFC foe. Last season’s meeting saw linebacker Preston Smith enjoy a career day with two sacks and a game-clinching interception as Washington pulled off a 26-20 victory over Sam Bradford & Co. to earn their first victory in a month.
Week 11 at New Orleans, Nov. 19, 1 p.m.
Back in the Big Easy for the first time since the 2012 season opener, the Redskins take on a Saints team that seeks improvement after three consecutive 7-9 campaigns and four in the past five seasons. Washington last played New Orleans in 2015 and rolled to a 47-14 thumping of Sean Payton’s team. The Redskins have won their past four games at the Superdome dating back to 1994.
Week 12 vs. New York Giants, Nov. 23, 8:30 p.m. (Thanksgiving)
Washington has a short turnaround, but at least doesn’t have to travel again, instead hosting the Giants. This represents the first Thanksgiving home game the Redskins have ever played. Washington previously has played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving eight times and the Lions once, posting a 2-7 record. The Redskins’ defense braces for another tough test as they face Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and offseason addition Brandon Marshall for the first time this year.
Week 13 at Dallas, Nov. 30, 8:25 p.m.
The rematch with the Cowboys comes exactly a week after Washington’s Thanksgiving game with the Giants. Normally, teams get 10 days in between Thursday night games and their next matchup. But that’s not the case here. However, the Redskins will get such a break following this game, and that mini-bye comes at a good time.
Week 14 at Los Angeles Chargers, Dec. 10, 4:25 p.m.
And they’re going, going, back, back to Cali, Cali. The Redskins kick off the final quarter of the season with their third and final West Coast trip, taking on the Chargers (now led by Coach Anthony Lynn) in their new city. The Redskins and Chargers meet for the first time since 2013 when Washington edged visiting San Diego 30-24 in overtime. This two-game stretch (at Dallas, at L.A.) represents the Redskins’ only back-to-back road streak of the season.
Week 15 vs. Arizona, Dec. 17, 1 p.m.
After two straight road games, Washington gets a pair of home games, the first of which comes against an Arizona team that handed the Redskins a 31-23 defeat in Glendale last December. This will be the Cardinals’ first game at FedEx Field since 2011. The Redskins won that game, 22-21.
Week 16 vs. Denver, Dec. 24, 1 p.m.
A year after playing on the road both on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the Redskins catch a break and play at home on both holidays this year. In Denver, Washington faces its fourth team with a first-year head coach (Vance Joseph). Denver owns a 7-6 record against Washington and won the last meeting, 45-21, at home in 2013. The Redskins last hosted the Broncos in 2009 and won that game, 27-17.
Week 17 at New York Giants, Dec. 31, 1 p.m.
Here’s a game that could wind up getting flexed to a later time if it carries playoff implications, and that’s certainly possible. The Redskins will try to avoid a repeat of last season when they faced the Giants in Week 17 needing a win to clinch a playoff berth, but instead fell, 19-10, and missed the postseason.