I went to a Washington Redskins game at their former home, RFK Stadium, years ago, and it was a great time even though I was rooting for the other team. It had nothing to do with who won the game (mine didn't) but just the atmosphere there was as close to a big-time college game at Alabama or Ohio State or wherever that you could ask for. Alas, things aren't the same at FedEx Field, but RFK was getting outdated. It's too bad we will never see bandboxes like that or the former Boston Garden or Chicago Stadium again -- now they all cater to corporations.
It should be an interesting year in D.C. because either quarterback Robert Griffin III, the toast of the town when he was a rookie, or Coach Jay Gruden, will not be there in 2016 if the Skins have another losing record. Shoot, maybe the team won' t even be called Redskins then, although owner Dan Snyder (hated in D.C.) says he will never change it.
Washington was 3-5 at home last season, 2-6 against the spread and 4-4 "over/under." The Redskins' 2015 home schedule ranks as the 10th-easiest in the NFL this season with an opponents' combined 2014 winning percentage of .469. Only Philadelphia's is easier in the NFC East.
Here's the schedule with very early (opponent) odds.
Sept. 13 -- Dolphins (-2.5): Washington is the first team to get a look at that new Miami defense that features Ndamukong Suh. It's also a meeting between two of the quarterbacks taken early in the first round of the 2012 draft in Griffin III (second overall) and Ryan Tannehill (eighth). Who would have thought many teams would prefer Tannehill at this point -- and he's the one with the huge new extension. First meeting since a 20-9 Skins loss in south Florida in 2011. Little bit of a less exciting QB matchup that day. Key trend: Redskins have covered only three of past 10 at home vs. AFC East.
Sept. 20 -- Rams (-2): This schedule really sets up for the Redskins to start 2-0, and with three of their next four on the road they better be no worse than 1-1 following this. St. Louis might be rather battered as it hosts Seattle in Week 1. Of course, the Redskins only got Griffin because of that blockbuster trade with the Rams before the 2012 draft. Washington lost at home 24-0 to the Rams in Week 14 last season. Colt McCoy started at QB and threw for 199 yards and two picks while being sacked six times. RGIII made a late appearance when McCoy was injured. Key trend: Skins are 1-9 ATS in past 10 at home vs. NFC West.
Oct. 4 -- Eagles (-2.5): Some extra time to prepare here for Washington, always a good thing before facing Chip Kelly's Eagles, as it is at the Giants on Thursday in Week 3. Philly is off a game at the Jets. The Skins lost seven of their final eight last year, and that lone win was Week 16 vs. the Eagles, 27-24, that essentially destroyed Philly's playoff hopes. The Redskins picked off Mark Sanchez with 1:31 left, leading to Kai Forbath's winning 26-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining. Griffin III went 16-for-23 for 220 yards with one interception. Former Eagle DeSean Jackson had four catches for 126 yards. Key trend: Skins 2-7-1 ATS in past 10 at home as a dog vs. Eagles.
Oct. 25 -- Buccaneers (+4): This follows road trips to the Falcons and Jets for Washington, while Tampa is off its bye week. Seems likely this will be the only rookie QB that the Redskins see in 2015. The Skins lost to the putrid Bucs last year 27-7 at home in Week 11. Even worse: Washington was off its bye. Griffin threw for 207 yards and a score but had two interceptions and was sacked six times. Key trend: Redskins 3-7 ATS in past 10 at home vs. any team as a favorite of at least 3.5 points.
Nov. 15 -- Saints (pick'em): Washington is off a likely loss in New England in Week 9, while New Orleans is home to Tennessee the previous Sunday. Skins won last meeting, 40-32 in New Orleans in Week 1 of 2012. Griffin made his spectacular NFL debut, throwing for 320 yards and two scores and rushing for 42 yards. Key trend: Over/under is 2-8 in Redskins' past 10 at home vs. NFC South.
Nov. 29 -- Giants (-1): Skins start a big two-game NFC East homestand here off a trip to Carolina in Week 11. New York comes off its bye week. These two played at Washington on a Thursday in Week 4 last season, and I remember everyone thought Kirk Cousins was the fantasy pickup of the year that week off a big game in Week 3 (Griffin was hurt). So what happened? The Redskins lost 45-14 with Cousins throwing four late-game interceptions. Washington also lost two fumbles. Key trend: Redskins have covered three straight as home dog in series.
Dec. 7 -- Cowboys (-3): This is Washington's lone Monday night game of the season. Dallas is off a Thursday game (Thanksgiving) in Week 12. This is very late in the season for the first Cowboys-Redskins game. Washington closed last season with a 44-17 home embarrassment to its biggest rival. And Dallas really had nothing to play for. Griffin completed 27-for-41 for a career-high 336 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, both in the Dallas red zone. To make matters worse, he lost a fumble that Anthony Spencer ran 5 yards for a touchdown. Key trend: Redskins 5-5 ATS at home in past 10 in series as a dog.
Dec. 20 -- Bills (-1): Washington is off a trip to Chicago in Week 14 and then closes at Philly and Dallas. Buffalo is in Philadelphia the previous Sunday. The Redskins have lost six straight in this series, last 23-0 in 2011 in Buffalo. Key trend: Over/under is 9-1 in Redskins' past 10 at home vs. AFC teams.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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