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Need to Know: The five pivotal games on the Redskins’ 2015 schedule

Apr 23, 2015, 4:59 AM EDT

Kerrigan-Romo

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

What are the pivotal games for the Redskins in 2015, the contests that could send the season in one direction or the other? Glad you asked, here are five of them:

—Rams, Week 2—The 2012 RG3 trade is going to be a storyline if only because Rams coach Jeff Fisher still wants to make it one. But what really matters here is that this is a home game against a sub-.500 team that embarrassed them 24-0 at FedEx Field last year. And Washington goes on the road for three of its next four games.

—@ Giants, Week 3—It’s a quick turnaround as the Redskins hit the road for a Thursday night game. Last year New York won six games and two of those victories came against Washington. A win in their first division game (they were 2-4 vs. the NFC East last year) would be a good start towards becoming more competitive.

—Bucs, Week 7—This is a similar scenario to the Rams game, a home contest against a bad team that beat them handily in front of the home fans in 2014. If the Redskins are an improved team this year these are games they have to win.

—@ Panthers, Week 11—They’re a playoff team that won a postseason game, even though they finished the season with a losing record. This is a good test for a Redskins team that could be teetering on the brink of either contending or falling by the wayside.

—Cowboys, Week 13 (Monday night)—This is another situation where they are at home before heading out for a stretch of three out of four road games. They managed to split with the Cowboys last year, pulling off a Monday night win in Dallas. A win against the Cowboys at home, whether it’s for the division title as it was in 2012 or just because, always makes the fans happy.


Timeline

—It’s been 116 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 143 days until they play another one.

Days until: 2015 NFL Draft 7; Redskins minicamp starts 54; Redskins training camp starts 98

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. skinsgame - Apr 23, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    My heart says this season has 13-3 written all over it. But my head says it’s likely going to be a tough stretch at the end of the season and we’re probably looking more like 12-4.

    • squadleaderc14 - Apr 23, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      Your kidding right?

    • Skulb - Apr 23, 2015 at 10:02 AM

      Whatever you`re on I want some!

    • renhoekk2 - Apr 23, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      Are you a Dallas fan? Because the Cowboys are the only team in the NFC East with a chance to win 12 games. I almost got sick typing that.

      • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2015 at 10:51 AM

        Not cool. Reading it was worse.

    • cmehustle - Apr 23, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      There are optimistic fans. And then theres this guy ^^^^

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 23, 2015 at 1:53 PM

        Yeah, we’re probably gonna be 11-5. Hate to say it.
        ~

    • wvredskins - Apr 23, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      Anything is possible. I dont think we will be 13-3 material but I think we can win some games. I would be happy with a 9-7 record that would show major improvements and a possible playoff birth. All I know is that we are going to be better than last year. As far as how could we will be will rely (imo) on the QB play and the secondary of the defense. Im just preying that RG can get it right. And if he cant I hope Kirk can. We have the talent on offense to play with anybody the question is do we have the QB that can get the ball to the talent. Garcon last year was open quite alot and I am surprised he kept his composure for the most part. Get Jackson in space and get the ball to Garcon and Reed. I also would like to see a change at WR 3 Roberts. He is good but I think we can get better. I would like to see Grant get his chance or maybe draft a WR in the draft. I just cant wait til Football. Come on August!

  2. redskinscaio - Apr 23, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    Weeks 9 through 11 is going to be tough. At the Patriots. Blow out. At home against the Saints. Loss. At Carolina? Loss.

    But overall, it’s not that bad of a schedule. If the SKins can have a winning record in the division, they should be making the playoffs right?

    • cmehustle - Apr 23, 2015 at 10:30 AM

      No. This season is all about developing a core. Is our future Giffin? Who are we replacing on the line? Is Alf the future back or will we go in another direction? What kind of offensive team will we be, finesse and west coast, or hard nosed battle in the trenches type like the old NFC East? We need to take a step in the right direction this next season and build some momentum. That may look more like 6-10 or 7-9 then the playoffs unfortunately. No one should expect playoffs for this team next year.

      • wvredskins - Apr 23, 2015 at 8:10 PM

        Well I expect it and the team and the coaches expect it. We have the talent to win. Can we right the ship and get on a roll I dont know. Will we win only 6 games or 7? I dont know. and You dont know either. Like I said the talent is there. Just like your first ?. “Is our future Griffin?” Well if we find out that he is then that would mean that most likely we got on a roll and started winning some games. Any team on any giving night can win in the NFL.

    • jonevans511 - Apr 23, 2015 at 3:30 PM

      Why is the Saints game an automatic loss? They’ve gotten worse, not better, this off-season and Brees is another year older. Losing Jimmy G will hurt them (to what extent is unknown), their defense is still abysmal, and they traded away their deep-ball threat in Kenny Stills (not implying he’s a stud, but he certainly stretched the field).

      Aside from “Who Dat” nation being a pretty solid fanbase, only time will tell whether this game will be as difficult as you make it appear. Quite frankly I am not worried about the Saints at all until they show me they can put up 30 points consistently and hold their opponent to under 35 lol.

      • redskinscaio - Apr 25, 2015 at 7:08 PM

        It’s an automatic loss cause I said so sechn! Lol, just kidding. For real though, the Skins are one of the worst teams in the league, and the Saints are above average with an elite qb. They’ve upgraded their offensive line in getting a pro bowl caliber center, Max Unger. They have 2 first round picks this year. Their defense has improved. They’re getting their starting safety back, their first round pick from last year… Didn’t they sign Browner, super bowl champion, and part of the original Legion of Boom. He’s one of the biggest corners in the league. Oh and they have Drew Brees. Go ahead dude, go check the odds that Vegas is giving the Skins over the Saints.

  3. redskinscaio - Apr 23, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    Monday Night game against the Cowboys. That’s f ing awesome.

  4. redskinscaio - Apr 23, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    Finally, we get a decent bye week. I hate getting the bye week after week 4 or 5…

    • brucealmty - Apr 23, 2015 at 5:34 PM

      imo, bye weeks should not even begin until the 7th week of the season and end after the 12th week.

      • redskinscaio - Apr 25, 2015 at 7:10 PM

        I’m with you on that.

  5. redskinscaio - Apr 23, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Woa, Thursday night game against the Giants in New York on 3 days rest…. ouch …

    • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2015 at 10:53 AM

      Better early in the season than later. Everyone plays on a Thursday.

    • ET - Apr 23, 2015 at 11:49 AM

      Does anybody like Thursday games except Gooddell and his army of marketing goons?

      Those games have to be rough on the players. Going up against a physical team like the Giants doesn’t help matters, either.

      • redskinscaio - Apr 25, 2015 at 7:09 PM

        I’m not saying it’s an automatic loss. Maybe an asteroid hits the Earth and the game is never played. Maybe aliens invade and start a war. But if that game is played…. I wouldn’t bet against the Saints.

      • redskinscaio - Apr 25, 2015 at 7:11 PM

        Uh, I love Thursday night games. Are you kidding me? When are they going to start having regular season Saturday games?

  6. colmac69 - Apr 23, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    Interesting note that apart from our three prime tv games every other game is scheduled for1pm (networks must think we not worthy enough for later slot although we dont have any trips out west)..

    Once again start season with 3 out 4 at home b big…..pooor start u then got 3 of 4 away u could b in trouble…..

    But impossible at this stage to consider how season will go

    • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2015 at 12:14 PM

      Low expectations for our Redskins. All the prime time games are against division opponents. All the ESPN beat writers predicted their teams to beat the Redskins – except Saints – most by large margins. Saints’ writer had the team have a let down game against the ‘skins. The Giants writer concedes that he always goes 3-3 in the division and has the Skins winning the second matchup. The other teams’ writers mark this game down as a win and not even close. The Bears writer predicts a 30-7 score for the Bears. The Bears!

      • jonevans511 - Apr 23, 2015 at 3:32 PM

        I think the Bears writer’s prediction of 30-7 indicated total turnover to point ratio for the Bears against us. 20 Cutler picks, 5 Cutler fumbles, and 5 Forte fumbles to 7 total points.

      • skins1970 - Apr 23, 2015 at 3:36 PM

        The Bears writer meant to say Redskins 30 Bears 7 Jay Cutler completes 4 pases to his favorite target DeAngelo Hall who takes 2 of INTs them for scores.

      • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2015 at 4:45 PM

        No fellas. In fact he said something to the extent of “you think the Bears have quarterback issues wait until you see the Redskins, Bears 30 Redskins 7.” I put quotes on it but it’s a paraphrase.

  7. bangkokben - Apr 23, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Week 5 is a pivotal week. It begins a three game stretch against horrible teams from last year. In fact these teams have been on par with the ‘skins recent history.

    Atlanta has lost 10 or more games each of the past two seasons.
    The Jets haven’t had a winning season since 2010.
    Tampa has only won 6 games in the last two seasons.

    In other words, we’re in the same league.

  8. brucealmty - Apr 23, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    Impossible to predict the Redskins potential b4 the draft but if they can add 3 wins to last years record…I’ll be happy.

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