The 2017 FedExField finale kicks off with a matchup against the Denver Broncos, a team with mile-high defensive hopes but a concerning situation at quarterback.
The Washington Redskins will finish off their 2017 action at FedExField on Christmas Eve against the Denver Broncos.
The home field finale will be televised on FOX with a 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff.
The Redskins will be enjoying a two-week stint of home games, while the Broncos will be in the midst of a two-game road trip. Denver defeated the Indianapolis Colts 25-13 last Thursday, and will be competing in their fourth East Coast game of the season.
In Denver's latest game against the Colts, the still developing quarterback controversy gained another exciting chapter. After quarterback Trevor Siemian, who regained his starting job after a brief period on the bench, injured his shoulder after scrambling in the red zone and was taken down by linebacker Barkevious Mingo.
In his place, head coach Vance Joseph once again brought in Brock Osweiler, the once expected successor to Peyton Manning. After spending time in Houston and Cleveland, Osweiler made his way back to the Broncos earlier this season, and flashed some of his 2015 potential Thursday night, throwing for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
With quarterback Paxton Lynch nursing an ankle sprain and Siemen missing time because of his shoulder, the Broncos will likely turn to Osweiler to lead the Broncos against the Washington defense.
Luckily for Osweiler, running back C.J. Anderson has been healthy and dependable as ever, rushing for 138 yards on Thursday. Denver has also thrown tailback Devontae Booker into the mix, if only sparingly, and Osweiler himself showed off his speed on an 18-yard scamper that ended with a diving touchdown.
At receiver, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have been the top two targets for the Broncos this season. Thomas has the edge downfield, with 849 receiving yards on the season and 14 plays of 20 yards or more. In the slot, the Broncos also have two rising stars in Bennie Fowler III and Cody Latimer. Latimer was the only Broncos receiver to score a touchdown Thursday, and was outgained by Thomas by only nine yards.
Defense has been the name of the game for Denver in 2017, with the Broncos ranking near the top of the fewest yards allowed per game in the NFL. Familiar faces like linebackers Von Miller and Brandon Marshall continue to play prominent roles, with Marshall leading the team with 92 tackles on the year. Miller remains a quarterback magnet with 10 total sacks, which puts him in the top 10 of NFL defenders.
In the secondary, the Broncos took a hit when safety Justin Simmons was moved to injured reserve the day before the team's game against the Colts. Simmons, along with cornerback Aqib Talib, account for Denver's two pick-sixes on the year. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and safety Darian Stewart lead the team in interceptions in Simmons' absence with two each.
Denver and Washington have met only a handful of times, with the Broncos leading the series 7-6. One of Washington's six wins came in 1988, when the Redskins defeated the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. The two teams have not met on the field since 2013, when Denver defeated Washington 45-21.