The 2013 NFL schedule was released this past Thursday. That usually means the Washington Redskins are playing mostly 1pm Eastern Time games shown in the local market, as well as their opponent’s local market. Seeing quarterback Rex Grossman throw four interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars is a sight only for the strong of heart (or diehard Redskins and Jaguars’ fans). Therefore, these escapades are shown early in the afternoon to give NFL fans the opportunity to get their household chores out of the way.
Simply put, the NFL’s national television audience is usually “treated” to one Washington Redskins’ game per season. That’s because the franchise’s recent history has been one of failed free agent signings, as well as overall inferior football in comparison to their NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles.
How times have changed. Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris have brought an exciting brand of football to the nation’s capital. The exploits of the super rookies that are Griffin III and Morris, Washington was able to capture the NFC East title in 2012. With Griffin III, or “RG3” as he’s known in NFL circles, claiming to be fully recovered from his torn right ACL injury, the NFL and its broadcasting partners are sensing a television ratings bonanza featuring the Redskins.
Washington will play five primetime games in 2013, as they open their 2013 season hosting the Eagles on “Monday Night Football”. Astute NFL fans surely remember the last time these rivals faced each other on the primetime stage in 2010. Philadelphia annihilated Washington 59-28 during a midseason edition of “Monday Night Football”.
Washington will face the Minnesota Vikings on the road during a Week 10 Thursday night game. The contest will feature the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and Morris, who respectively finished first and second for the NFL rushing title in 2012. The Redskins will host the San Francisco 49ers Week 12 in Washington’s second Monday night contest in 2013. This contest will feature RG3 and 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick, two of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL. Fans can expect some offensive fireworks in this game.
In addition, the Redskins will face the Cowboys and Giants on Sunday night games in Week Six and Week 13, respectively. These NFC East matchups now have a little more meaning to them because of Washington’s dramatic improvement in 2012. Considering that the Redskins finished 3-1 against New York and Dallas, these two games will serve as a barometer on how the NFC East will shape up in 2013.
Make no mistake: the Redskins can finish 11-5 or 4-12 in 2013 because of the team’s suspect defense. Nevertheless, the NFL schedule makers believe that the Washington Redskins will be something they haven’t been before the addition of RG3: interesting. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.