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NFL Washington Redskins

5 Games That Will Define the Washington Redskins’ 2014 Season

5 Games That Will Define the Washington Redskins' Season

Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
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The Washington Redskins are recovering from a 3-13 disaster in 2013. Can they regain the magic of RG3's 2012 Rookie of the Year campaign and reclaim the NFC East title? Will the team named by George Preston Marshall, the most powerful racist in American sports history, be forced to rebrand itself? One game at a time, Washington will answer these questions, but these five will be the most pivotal contests.

5. Week 3, Sept. 21 at Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles Chip Kelly Nick Foles
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5. Week 3, Sept. 21 at Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles Chip Kelly Nick Foles
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The first division test takes place in the Eagles' house. Washington's defense must control the pace and unpredictability of Chip Kelly's offense. DeSean Jackson will prove if Philly was right or wrong to let him go. The road to winning the division title begins here. Washington must show its own offensive firepower, RG3 style. Was 2012 a fluke or is Griffin truly a franchise leader?

4. Week 4, Sept. 25 vs. New York Giants

Tom Coughlin New York Giants
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4. Week 4, Sept. 25 vs. New York Giants

Tom Coughlin New York Giants
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The pressure stays on as Washington returns home for a Thursday night game against the Giants. Either they can make a statement with two wins in Weeks 3 and 4 or put themselves way behind in the NFC East race. The toughness of the team will be tested here. Do they come together and show grit or does the quick turnaround make them fold? Boys get separated from the men in Week 4.

3. Week 5, Oct. 6 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll
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3. Week 5, Oct. 6 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll
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After the short week between games three and four, Washington is rewarded with 10 days off before a Monday night game. They get a chance to avenge the playoff loss to Seattle two years ago. RG3 played tough through a serious knee injury. Jay Cutler wouldn't have played in that game. Griffin will be healthy this time. Can they achieve the amazing and punch the champ in the eye? If so, the momentum gained could last all year.

2. Week 17, Dec. 28 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones
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2. Week 17, Dec. 28 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones
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The rivalry continues. Both teams could be competing for the NFC East title. This game would mean everything. In 2012, the Week 17 Dallas victory completed a seven-game win streak and clinched the division for Washington. Jerry Jones and Tony Romo could dispel or add to their reputation for choking in big games.

1. Week 9, Nov. 2 at Minnesota Vikings

TCF Bank Stadium Minnesota
Brace Hemelgarn - USA Today Sports

1. Week 9, Nov. 2 at Minnesota Vikings

TCF Bank Stadium Minnesota
Brace Hemelgarn - USA Today Sports

While the Vikings are building their new stadium, they are playing at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium. Claiming the Redskins' title and imagery violate the Board of Regent's policy on affirmative action, diversity and equal opportunity, the school is pushing to ban any use of the team's name or logo. If the university is victorious, it would be a major strike in the battle over rebranding Washington's football team.