Let's take another look at the Redskins 2010 regular season schedule and try to figure what it means for the team. It's far too early to make sensible predictions about any of these games, but we can draw some rough conclusions about a few things, so let's settle down and have a look. First, the schedule again...
Redskins Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 12, Dallas, 8:20 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 19, Houston, 4:15 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 26, at St. Louis, 4:05 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3, at Philadelphia, 4:15 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10, Green Bay, 1:00 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17, Indianapolis, 8:20 PM
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24, at Chicago, 1:00 PM
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31, at Detroit, 1:00 PM
Week 9: Sunday, Nov 8 -- BYE
Week 10: Monday, Nov. 15, Philadelphia, 8:30 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21, at Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28, Minnesota, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5, at NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12, Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19, at Dallas, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 26, at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2, NY Giants, 1:00 PM
First, the problems. The Redskins have the 8th-toughest schedule in the NFL based on 2009 records. That seems pretty rough for a crappy 4-12 team that traded away almost half its draft picks. There's not much that can be done about that, though. Teams have to play division opponents twice and then have pre-determined AFC and NFC opponents, leaving very few games available to adjust the strength of schedule. In addition, the Redskins play back-to-back road games three times in 2010, which won't make it easy for the Redskins to string together a series of wins the way almost all playoff teams must do some time during the season.
There are some nice things about this schedule. For one thing, the bye week is after 8 games, right in the middle of the season. Doesn't get much better than that. For another thing, the Redskins play four of their first six games at home, so they have a chance to get off to a pretty good start. Maybe that will help the team develop some confidence for the stretch run.
Obviously, the October 3rd game in Philadelphia will be a huge attraction since it will mark the return of Donovan McNabb to Philadelphia. McNabb will be eager for revenge, to prove the Eagles made a mistake by trading to a team within the division. Kevin Kolb will be keen to outplay and defeat McNabb, demonstrating that the Eagles made no mistake at all. Feelings about McNabb are intense in Philadelphia and October 3rd should be as intense a game the two teams have played in many years.
So, what does all this mean? Well, the Redskins play a lot of good teams. Games against the Packers, Cowboys, Vikings and Colts all look very tough, but at least they play four of those five games at home. Right now, the only teams I think the Redskins should be better than are the Lions, Buccaneers, Rams, Bears, and Jaguars. The Redskins don't have a playoff roster right now and this schedule won't make things easier.