As the 2019 NFL Schedules were released this week, the Washington Redskins look ahead to the upcoming schedule and ponder what the season ahead holds.
The official NFL schedules were released Wednesday, April 17th at 8 o’clock ET. Of course in the age of technology, many people saw a decent portion of the leaked schedules. The scheduling process has its usual format; eight home games, eight away games, six divisional games, six conference games outside of the division, and four out of conference games. However, there are some things that can be revealed through the schedule. The difficulty, number of primetime games and even the bye week can reveal much of what the NFL thinks of the team.
Most notably, the Redskins only have two prime time games. In 2016, there were four primetime games. The following year, they increased to five primetime games, and in 2018 dropped to three. Again, this season there are only two prime games. This is in stark contrast to the Cleveland Browns who have a total of four primetime games, but three within the first six weeks.
Primetime could be looked at as a privilege. There are no other games playing at the same time; all eyes are on one game. Naturally, more popular teams like the Super Bowl champions or revamped teams like the Browns get more prime slots.
Why? The answer is entertainment value.
The Redskins have ranked across the board in the bottom six in offense and are middle of the pack in defense. Because of this, they reflect their middle of the pack record back-to-back years of 7-9. Not to mention, the Redskins have an abysmal prime time record. Since 2010 they have had 14 Monday Night Football games and have only won two. It is a statistical fact that the Redskins do not perform well under the bright lights.
How will the Washington Redskins use their primetime games this season?
Upon closer examination of the two Redskins primetime games, there is one match that was made for entertainment value. The term “revenge game” is used all the time. The same can be said about Thursday, October 24. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings will be visited by the Redskins for another rematch. With the history of the 2012 draft, the game of franchise tag, and final departure these all make for an interesting storyline. If Cousins prevails, it will be an indictment against the Redskins and how they should have retained Cousins, especially given the terrible quarterback situation they are in. If the Redskins win, the narrative will be that the front office made the right decision.
No matter the result, the storyline possibilities are too sweet to pass up, and will likely have a huge viewing audience.
In conclusion, the question posed is “What does the NFL think of the Redskins?” The answer seems to be not very much. Two primetime games and a rather soft schedule, the perception of the Redskins is that they are a middle of the pack team with very little upside. However, fans should look at this schedule with some sort of optimism. With four conference games and three of the four being divisional, if the Redskins perform well and win, they can put some distance between them and the division. The middle games can be the insurance policy, while the remaining three games are the final playoff push. With draft day a week away, and the remaining offseason leading into the preseason, September 8th can’t come fast enough. The Redskins will be headed to Philly to take on the Eagles at 1 p.m.