First Thoughts: Redskins 2015 Schedule
– The first thing that stood out was the week eight bye week. Essentially this is the perfect week for the bye as it gives the team a true mid-way point to the season. In years past mid-season bye weeks have helped teams heal, adjust and re-focus for the rest of the season.
– Opening the season at home against the Miami Dolphins could prove both interesting and informative in terms of exactly what type of team the 2015-16 Redskins will be. The Dolphins gutted a portion of their roster in order to strengthen their defensive line with the signing of former Lions DT Ndamukong Suh. Suh joins a Dolphins defenses that was already on the rise, week one will be no walk in the park by any means.
It’s still too early to determine which direction these two teams are heading in, but Miami should have a stout front seven on defense, and all reports have stated the Redskins are looking to be more of a power football team next year on offense.
– The Redskins have three prime-time games, and they’re all against NFC East opponents. Not sure that’s a very good thing when you consider how the Redskins have played in prime time in recent years (they were 1-2 last year).
– The Redskins will only face three playoff teams from 2014…the New England Patriots in week 9, the Carolina Panthers in week 11 and the Dallas Cowboys in week 13 & 17.
– The team has one of the lightest travel schedules in the league. The longest distance the Redskins will have to travel will be to Texas when they play the Cowboys January 3.
– No late games scheduled. The Redskins have thirteen 1:00 games on the schedule and three in prime time. It’s been quite awhile since that happened.
– Out of the Redskins first seven opponents, only the Eagles finished above 500 last year (Dolphins were 8-8). This really only matters if you believe things from one season roll over to the next. In reality, most of these teams will look completely different than they did a year ago, so it’s not fair to judge quite yet.
– The Redskins will face the toughest part of their schedule after their week eight bye. After the bye they will face five consecutive tough match-ups; The Patriots on the road, the Saints at home, the Panthers on the road, and then the Giants and Cowboys at home. That five-game run will likely make or break the 2015-16 Washington Redskins season.
– The Redskins will wrap up the year by going on the road to play the Eagles and Cowboys…last year the team hosted the Eagles and Cowboys to end the season. The NFL has gone out of its way in recent years to try and set up late-season drama within each respective division, so this pairing in consecutive years is not a coincidence.
– While it’s way too early to make a schedule prediction, I do believe this team should improve on its four-win total from a year ago. We will re-visit this discussion during/after preseason so that we can make a more accurate assessment.