Like players, there are games that fans circle on the schedule once it is released. Whether it is a primetime matchup, a rivalry game or looking forward to seeing your favorite player on another team visiting town, the NFL schedule release has become a highly-anticipated event in football circles. Here at Hail Republic, we're no different. Here are the games we're most looking forward to seeing this fall.
#16 -- Week 7: vs. Tennessee, Sun., Oct. 19, 1 p.m.
Jake Locker? Kendall Wright? Shonn Green? Meh. Not much about this game excites me except it being in mid-October and breaking out the Samuel Adams Oktoberfest.
#15 -- Week 9: at Minnesota, Sun., Nov. 2, 1 p.m.
The Redskins game last year in Minnesota was one of the worst losses of the Shanahan tenure. No more Shanahan & no more Metrodome. The Redskins will have to deal with play-makers Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson up at TCF Stadium, but have little else to make this game intriguing. Can't say I am super psyched to see Christian Ponder/Matt Cassel slinging the ball in November, but a measure of revenge could be very satisfying up in the Land of 1,000 Lakes.
#14-- Week 15: at New York, Sun., Dec. 14, 1 p.m.
It'll be cold. It'll be windy. And for some reason, the Redskins always save their least impressive performance each year for the Meadowlands. This late season matchup could have playoff implications for both squads. And when the Redskins proverbial back is against the wall, MetLife Stadium is not a place they'll want to be.
#13 -- Week 2: vs. Jacksonville, Sun., Sept. 14, 1 p.m.
This game is just like the Tennessee game. Not a lot of star power on the Jacksonville sideline, nor is it a rivalry game for us. And while I do think the Jags will be WAY better than a lot of people think, this matchup just isn't doing it for me. The only thing that keeps this out of the bottom of the list is that it is the Redskins home opener.
#12-- Week 14: vs. St. Louis, Sun., Dec. 7, 1 p.m.
A lot of people are picking the Rams as their sleeper team this season, as they should. They have talent all over the field, but especially on defense. I am looking forward to watching Robert Quinn, who is arguably the NFL's best young pass rusher (19 sacks last year). He will draw Trent Williams' best effort. Whether he sacks RGIII or not, I am looking forward to that isolated showdown.
#11-- Week 16: vs. Philadelphia, Sat., Dec. 20
This won't have the same pizzazz as the week 3 game, but it'll be a huge game nonetheless. This time, it'll be at the friendly confined of FedExField before a national Saturday afternoon audience. With how tight the NFC East finishes have been over the past several seasons, there is reason to believe that this game between the past two division champs will have some meaning.
#10 -- Week 11: vs. Tampa Bay, Sun., Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
Tampa Bay North versus Tampa Bay South.
When Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Raheem Morris & company welcome their former employers to Washington, a tough-fought game should be in the cards. Since 2004, the Bucs and Redskins have played eight times (which each team winning four), and the largest margin of victory was seven points. And with several shiny new toys on both sidelines (DT Jason Hatcher & WR DeSean Jackson for us; CB Alterraun Verner, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, DT Clinton McDonald, DE Michael Johnson for them), another tight game is likely.
#9 -- Week 4: vs. New York, Thurs., Sept. 25, 8:25 p.m.
The Redskins first primetime game of 2014 comes when they host the Giants on a Thursday night. This will the one of the stiffer tests the Skins new gang of receivers will have to face early on. The Giants loaded up with defensive back this spring, reeling in Walter Thurmond III from Seattle & Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Denver, in addition to incumbents Prince Amukamara, Antrel Rolle & Stevie Brown.
Weird side note about this game is that it falls during Rosh Hashanah. Considering NYC and DC have two of the highest Hebrew populations on Earth, the scheduling committee may soon realize their error putting of putting this game during the Jewish New Year. Oy vey…
#8 -- Week 6: at Arizona, Sun., Oct. 12, 4:25 p.m.
Remember what I said about the Giants being one of the stiffer tests? Well, the Cardinals’ secondary will probably pose the stiffest test for the Redskins’ passing game. I would put the Cardinal’s DBs on par with the Legion of Boom, only with less fanfare. Talent and speed everywhere, with uber-athletic Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and (assuming he is healthy) Tyrann 'Honey Badger' Mathieu.
Oh yeah, did I mention that they still have Larry Fitzgerald and no one on the Redskins will be able to guard him?
#7 -- Week 17: vs. Dallas, Sun., Dec. 28, 1 p.m.
Could this be another win-and-you’re-in season finale featuring Dallas? Certainly has a chance to be. If it is, there is nothing I’d like more than to see the Redskins expel the Cowboys from post-season contention for the fourth year in a row. If we’re lucky, we may even get a season-ending interception from Romo (and then a subsequent crestfallen Romo GIF) and we can all have a Merry Christmas
#6 -- Week 12: at San Francisco, Sun., Nov. 23, 4:25 p.m.
Along with Seattle, San Francisco represents the class of the conference. If you want to be the best, you’re going to have to beat the best, even if that makes traveling cross country in late November to do so. The Niners have whooped the Redskins in each of their last two meetings, but this Redskins team should be better than the 2011 & 2013 teams.
This game also kick-starts a hellish six-game stretch to close the regular season.
#5 -- Week 1: at Houston, Sun., Sept. 7, 1 p.m.
The Redskins season opener comes on the road & features 2013’s two worst teams. Rookie head coaches Jay Gruden & Bill O’Brien will get their first NFL tests against each other. Could this also be a matchup of former Heisman winners in RGIII v. Johnny Football? Or maybe a matchup of Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Williams v. rookie phenom Jadaveon Clowney?
#4 -- Week 8: at Dallas, Mon., Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m.
Cowboys. Redskins. Monday Night Football. No explanation needed. Next.
#3 -- Week 13: at Indianapolis, Sun., Nov. 30, 1 p.m.
Andrew Luck & Robert Griffin III will forever be linked & compared to one another. After two long seasons, the first & second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft finally will square off against one another. Expect a lot of fireworks when these two quarterbacks & their high-powered offenses go head-to-head in Indianapolis.
#2 -- Week 3: at Philadelphia, Sun., Sept. 21, 1 p.m.
DeSean returns to Philly to what (I’m sure) will be a day filled with drunken Silver Lining's Playbook-esque Eagles fans burning Jackson jerseys in the Link parking lot. The newest Redskins wide receiver said “There's going to be something special about those [Eagles] games for sure,” on the Arsenio Hall Show last week. Not sure what that means, but I am sure Jackson is looking forward to exacting some revenge on the team that unceremoniously released him last month.
#1 -- Week 5: vs. Seattle, Mon., Oct. 6, 8:30 p.m.
FedEx will surely be rocking for this Monday Night match-up with the defending champs. Let’s take it back to the last time these two teams met. RGIII tore his ACL & MCL, Trent Williams punched Richard Sherman and Seattle would knock Washington out of the playoffs for the third straight time. A year later, the Seahawks would go on to become Super Bowl champions, while the Redskins suffered their worst season in two decades.
Also add to the fact that these two teams straight up hate each other. The disdain may not reach Dallas levels, but I would go as far to put Seattle in the same breath as Philly & New York in terms of current rivals. Only different is we only see Seattle once in a while instead of twice a year.Absence makes the heart (or hate in this situation) grow fonder.