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Five Takeaways From The Redskins' 2020 Schedule


The NFL just released the full schedules for all 32 teams. Here are five takeaways from the Redskins slate of opponents in 2020:

1. No. 1 vs. No. 2.

Just two weeks ago, the Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Then, minutes later, the Redskins took Maryland native and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick.

Fans will not have to wait long for the two to face off against the each other with the Bengals coming to the DMV in Week 11.

Both Burrow and Young had tremendously successful endings to their college careers. Burrow claimed the Heisman Trophy and led the Tigers to a national championship win over Clemson while throwing for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns.

Despite all that, most analysts view Young as the best overall prospect regardless of position. He led college football with 16.5 sacks last year to go with seven forced fumbles. He's been called a generational talent, and while he doesn't like to focus on that praise, there's no denying he is clearly a unique talent.

The two top picks didn't get the chance to play against each other last year with Ohio State getting eliminated in the semifinals the College Football Playoff, but there will be high expectations for both Burrow and Young to deliver performances worthy of the top 2 picks.

2. A tough challenge to start the season.

The Redskins have the fifth-easiest strength schedule, according to Sporting News, but there are some difficult tasks littered throughout the season with two games against No. 1 overall picks in Arizona's Kyler Murray and Cleveland's Baker Mayfield. They also play the reigning league MVP in Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

After hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener, they will face Murray, Mayfield and Jackson in consecutive weeks. What's more, they travel in back-to-back weeks to play the Cardinals and Browns.

The Redskins haven't played the Cardinals since 2018, and they'll head to Glendale, Arizona, to play last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year. Murray completed 64.4% of his passes for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. And although Mayfield had a lower completion percentage than his rookie season, he still threw for 3,827 yards and 22 touchdowns and has Odell Beckham Jr. as his No. 1 receiver.

As for Jackson, he finished his second season with historic numbers. He broke Michael Vick's quarterback rushing record with a 1,206 yards, 339 of which came after contact. Ryan Kerrigan said on "Redskins 2020 Schedule Release Live" that it's important to keep Jackson in the pocket because "he's electric" with the ball in his hands.

3. Happy Thanksgiving.

The Redskins played on Thanksgiving for three consecutive years prior to the 2019 season when their Thursday Night game was against the Minnesota Vikings.

But the team will be playing on Turkey Day once again in 2020, and it will be against the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys.

The matchup echoes the Redskins' first-ever Thanksgiving Day game in 1968, and the two teams have put forth some thrillers over the years, including Dallas' 24-23 victory in 1974 and the Redskins grabbing a 38-31 win on the road in 2012 as part of a seven-game winning streak.

This year's contest between the two will be another test for the Redskins with the Cowboys' offense being full of playmakers. In addition to quarterback Dak Prescott, who threw for 4,902 yards in 2019, the Cowboys have Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Randall Cobb, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott.

However, the Redskins have a defensive front that is full of talent. Their selection of Young makes for five first-round picks, including Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Kerrigan on the defensive line. They also have Matt Ioannidis, who led the team with 8.5 sacks in 2019.

4. Four division games in seven weeks.

Speaking of division opponents, the Redskins will play the bulk their NFC East schedule -- four of six, in fact -- during the middle of the season.

The approach is the exact opposite of how the NFL structured division games in 2019. Last year, half of the Redskins' division games came earlier in the season, while the remaining three were played in Weeks 14-17.

This year, the Redskins will face a gauntlet of division game from Weeks 6-12, including two games in four weeks against the New York Giants. The Giants hosted Haskins' NFL debut in Week 4, and then nearly three months later, the Redskins came back from a 14-point deficit before falling in overtime.

It's been two years since the Redskins have pulled out a win against the Giants, but a new regime could bring an end to Washington's losing streak. Head coach Ron Rivera will enter his first season with the Redskins, and history shows that the head coach has a favorable record against New York. His Carolina Panthers played the Giants four times in his nine-year tenure, and he has a 3-1 record against them.

He's also undefeated in the last three games with his teams outscoring the Giants 106-66.

5. The Carolina Panthers come to FedExField in Week 16.

The Redskins second victory of the season against the Panthers in 2019 was what ultimately led to Rivera being relieved of his duties by the organization. With monster performances by Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson, Washington ran over the Panthers with 248 rushing yards en route to a 29-21 win.

Rivera had a long list of success leading the Panthers, including three straight NFC South division titles, four playoff appearances and an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Now, with Rivera starting a new culture in Washington, that team is coming to FedExField.

Rivera is sure the media will hype up the game, but don't expect him to be an active participant in that.

When asked what the Week 16 game will mean to him, Rivera joked, "We play Carolina?"

Then he said it would be "just another game" as he attempts to build a winner in Washington.