PRO FOOTBALL: ’Skins’ slate offers visit from champs
The Washington Redskins will open their 2014 season at the Houston Texans (presumably with the overall first selection of next month’s NFL draft), host the world champion Seattle Seahawks in October and will close out their season at home with an NFC East encounter against their old nemesis, the Dallas Cowboys.
The Redskins learned their slate Wednesday night along with the rest of the teams in the league as the NFL released the schedule for the upcoming season.
Included in the schedule are home games against Jacksonville, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and St. Louis. The Redskins will play at Arizona, Minnesota, San Francisco and Indianapolis. Washington will also play its regular home-and-away series with NFC East rivals Dallas, the New York Giants and Philadelphia.
Around the league, coaches and players reacted to their schedules.
Mike McCarthy promises there won’t be any bad memories plaguing his Packers when they open the season on Sept. 4 at Seattle.
The last time Green Bay visited CenturyLink Field was in Week 3 of the 2012 season, a 14–12 Seahawks victory clinched on what now is often dubbed the “Fail Mary.” Russell Wilson’s desperation pass on the final play was called a touchdown reception for Golden Tate by the replacement officials.
A few days later, the lockout of the regular officials ended.
“This game won’t be about the past,” he said. “It will be about the 2014 Green Bay Packers.
It’s the third straight season the Packers have traveled to face the defending Super Bowl champions.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for our football team,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We have experience playing in the kickoff opener three years ago, and we will draw on that. Obviously, being the visiting team this time presents new challenges. It will help sharpen our focus even more during training camp and the preseason.”
That Thursday game is the first of four prime-time games on opening weekend. Also at night will be a Sunday matchup of AFC champion Denver and Peyton Manning hosting his former team, Indianapolis; and a Monday night doubleheader with the New York Giants at Detroit, followed by San Diego at Arizona.
The NFL will play three games in London: Dolphins–Raiders on Sept. 28; Lions–Falcons on Oct. 26; and Cowboys–Jaguars on Nov. 9. The Detroit–Atlanta game will kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET in an experiment to test the NFL’s audience draw on a Sunday morning.
A Saturday doubleheader in Week 16 has San Diego at San Francisco and Philadelphia at Washington.
For the first time, games in Weeks 5 through 10 can be flexed from Sunday afternoon to night, with a limit of two. Beginning with Week 11, a Sunday game can be moved to prime time each week. Also, a select number of Sunday afternoon games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and Fox to potentially draw more viewers.
The Thanksgiving tripleheader features three strong division rivalries: Chicago at Detroit, Philadelphia at Dallas, and Seattle at San Francisco, a rematch of the memorable NFC title game last January.
That game will be played in 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., which opens in Week 2 when they host Chicago in a Sunday night match.
Looking for the latest installment of Manning vs. Tom Brady? The Patriots host it on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 2.
Sept. 7—at Houston, 1 p.m.
Sept. 14—Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Sept. 21—at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Sept. 25—N.Y. Giants, 8:25 p.m.
Oct. 6—Seattle, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 12—at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.
Oct. 19—Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Oct. 27—at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 2—at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Nov. 16—Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Nov. 23—at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.
Nov. 30—at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Dec. 7—St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Dec. 14—at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.
Dec. 20—Philadelphia, 4:30 or 8:15 p.m.
Dec. 28—Dallas, 1 p.m.