It’s time to take a look at the Washington Redskins 2012 Schedule and see what lies ahead:
Nondivision Opponents (with 2011 records)
New Orleans Saints (13-3)
St. Louis Rams (2-14)
Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
Minnesota Vikings (3-13)
NY Giants (9-7)
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Carolina Panthers (6-10)
Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
Cleveland Browns (4-12)
From the Starting Line: The Washington Redskins will have two weeks to get Robert Griffin III into some kind of groove and to do it away from home. The Saints are facing a meltdown as “Bountygate” continues along with the Drew “Show Me The Money” Brees. The Rams however, should not be ignored. The Redskins beat them by a touchdown last year. Up to that point, the Rams hadn’t won a game. If RG3 wants to set a pace, he needs to beat the Rams convincingly.
Defining Stretch (Weeks 7,8) “The Two Towers”: The Washington Redskins’ claim to fame last year was beating the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants twice. This year they will face the Giants and the Steelers back-to-back. This is where the Redskins will make their stand and take their position in the league. If they can pull off a double win over two very tough teams one known for their defense (Pittsburgh: No.1 in 2011) and the other with a top 10 offense (N.Y.: No.9 in 2011) then the pace will be permanently set for a playoff run.
Revenge Matches: The Philadelphia Eagles took great pleasure in beating the Redskins on their final game, and that game has lingered all offseason. The Redskins will surely be looking for redemption. To make it even better, the Hogs will face Dallas a week later on Thanksgiving. These rivalries are a cornerstone in the NFC East, if not the NFL. No one will miss the first bout of RG3 vs. Michael Vick, or RG3 vs. Tony Romo.
Possible Trap: (Week 9 vs. Carolina): Cam Newton will not go quietly into the night, especially when he’s playing a Heisman Trophy winner and a rookie who has had just as much hype. This will be for bragging rights. “The Smile” vs. “The Socks.”
Sleeper: Cleveland has a lot to play for, but this game, which is at Cleveland, will be a so-so type of matchup.The only interesting storyline will be how they will look when they see RG3 slowly tear them to pieces and wished they hadn’t criticized him for being “too small” and only having his quickness to sell. Oh they should hope he didn’t read those articles…Otherwise, this could easily turn into a 24-7 game at the half and have me playing Monster Hunter Tri by the middle of the Third Quarter.
Final Analysis: The most important game will indeed be the first. The Saints are already wounded mentally. The only thing RG3 will need to do is finish them off. This schedule is well balanced with good storylines and analysis that will keep you talking in the months to follow. What the Redskins will need to prove has nothing to do with RG3. He has to etch his own career. However the team as a whole needs to prove that there is something truly different about this year than before. For the Redskins, this is a historic run. Celebrating their 80th, this schedule can prove to be an epic year, or the greatest disappointment of the NFC East. That would surely mean everyone would be playing “NFL Survivor” next off season. The home games should be good as well, because their fan base is just as crazy about their team as ours.
Ricky Allen is a Washington Redskins Blogger with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Ultimate Redskin