The Washington Redskins will have plenty of spotlight shining on them during the 2017 season. The NFL released the upcoming season’s schedule, and the Redskins will be featured in a maximum five nationally televised games in primetime.
The Redskins will open their regular season at home at FedEx Field when it faces the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. From there they’ll travel for the first of two trips to Los Angeles, when they face the Rams at the L.A. Coliseum.
Washington will then embark on their first of two back-to-back primetime games. In Week 3 they’ll host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football on NBC. The following week the Redskins will be at the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 2 for Monday Night Football.
The Redskins will be at Philadelphia in Week 7 on Monday Night Football. Five weeks later, they will embark on back-to-back Thursday night games. First, they’ll host the New York Giants on Thanksgiving in the primetime slot. It will be the first time the Redskins hosted a Thanksgiving Day game. The following week they’ll play the Dallas Cowboys in Jerry’s World on Thursday Night Football.
In addition to the five primetime games, the Redskins’ Week 2 trip to the Rams is slotted in the 4:25 pm timeslot normally dedicated for the National Game of the Week. They’re first meeting against the Cowboys on Oct. 29 at FedEx Field also is a 4:25 kickoff.
The Redskins enter the 2017 season with a retooled roster with a plethora of one-year deals. The team placed the exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, which will pay him close to $24 million for 2017. Cousins will have Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year deal with the Redskins after both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson — the team’s top-two receivers in 2016 — departed via free agency.
Not only will Cousins need to get use to his new targets that will include wide receiver Brian Quick, he will have to do under a different style of play calling. Head coach Jay Gruden is expected to assume to calling plays for the offense as Sean McVay left his offensive coordinator position to become the Los Angeles Rams head coach.
The Redskins also have cornerback Josh Norman, one of the most charismatic players in the NFL. The defense appears to be retooled with key additions such as inside linebacker Zach Brown, defensive linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain. Their biggest defensive grab is safety D.J. Swearinger, who immediately upgrades a position Washington has been searching to upgrade since the death of Sean Taylor.
Su’a Cravens will be switching from Will Linebacker to safety after just one season in the NFL. By addressing their need at safety, the Redskins hope they will form one of the best secondary’s in the league with Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, and Quinton Dunbar at cornerback. Washington also got a new defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, after Joe Barry was fired in January.
Of course the season, at least in the beginning, will be marred by the off-the-field drama. From firing their general manager, who depending on whom you ask within the organization, may or may not have struggled with drinking alcohol. Team president Bruce Allen has an approval rating in D.C. worse than President Donald Trump.
The Redskins may be one of the more intriguing teams for the upcoming season. They can easily have a golden season if the offense continues to thrive under Cousins and his new weapons, and Manusky restores the defense to being good. Then again with all the various factors and new faces in place the season could easily go south. Either way the schedule plays out, all eyes will be on Washington thanks in large to the numerous primetime games.