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Throughout Redskins' 2018 Season, Defense Will Face Top-Flight Quarterbacks


From seeing Carson Wentz twice along with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Marcus Mariota in non-divisional play, the Redskins will face productive quarterbacks throughout the season.

The Washington Redskins will face plenty of talented offenses in 2018, most of which are led by quarterbacks taken in the first round of various NFL Drafts over the years.

Of the Redskins' eight home opponents, seven of the starting signal-callers will be former first-round picks: Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Eli Manning and Andrew Luck. Five of those quarterbacks were taken in the top three picks and three were taken first overall.

This caliber of quarterback will be the ideal test for a Redskins defense that has recently reloaded with healthy playmakers and fresh talent.

In the home opener at FedExField in Landover, Md., in Week 2, the Redskins will face off with the Indianapolis Colts, who are hoping for the healthy return of Andrew Luck, the No. 1-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, after he missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. In his career to date, Luck has racked up 19,078 yards and 132 touchdowns through five seasons with the Colts and adds another level to their offense when he takes the field. However, a Week 2 matchup could mean backup Jacoby Brissett gets the start in Washington if Luck isn't ready.

The Redskins will then get a visit from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 2. Though not drafted as early as some of the other quarterbacks on this list, Rodgers has had one of the most impressive careers in NFL history, racking up 38,502 yards, 313 touchdowns and a Super Bowl victory over 13 seasons. With a bevy of talented receivers and rushers at his disposal, Rodgers and his crew are sure to challenge the Redskins' defense at every turn.

The Carolina Panthers will be the next team to visit FedExField, led by former top-overall selection Cam Newton. A true dual-threat, Newton has 25,074 offensive yards and 158 total touchdowns through seven seasons, and more rushing yards than any other quarterback Washington will face this year.

In their next home field tilt, the Redskins will face the Atlanta Falcons, who boast a high-powered offense headed by Matt Ryan and future Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Julio Jones. Ryan has 5,593 yards and 260 touchdowns over 10 seasons with the Falcons and also has offensive weapons in wideout Mohamed Sanu and running back Devonta Freeman.

Another first-round selection, second-year Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, will head to Washington in Week 11 on the heels of an explosive rookie campaign that was cut short by an ACL injury. A dual-threat signal-caller with a dangerous combination of DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller on either side of him, Watson will be someone the Redskins will have to keep their eyes on.

Week 14 will bring a familiar opponent back to Washington, as Eli Manning and the New York Giants return. Manning, the first-overall pick in 2004, has amassed 51,682 yards and 339 touchdowns in his career with the Giants, along with two Super Bowl wins. The Giants house a dangerous duo of receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, making Manning and his crew a formidable challenge for Washington's defense.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will visit the Redskins in the final week of the 2018 NFL season, returning a healthy Carson Wentz to the helm.

2016's second-overall selection, Wentz has racked up 7,078 yards and 49 touchdowns in two years and was having an impressive sophomore campaign before an ACL tear cut his second season short. Part of a dynamic offense, Wentz and the Eagles will be a fitting final test for Washington to close out the regular season.

In addition to hosting several first-round quarterbacks this season, many of the Redskins road opponents are led by first-round picks. The Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all have first-round signal-callers at the helm.

The 2018 season will shape up to a battle of the first-round quarterbacks, as new Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1-overall pick in 2005, goes head-to-head with some of the top quarterbacks in the league. Washington's retooled defense will be tasked with containing the NFL's top signal-callers as they look to return to the postseason.

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