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Schedule analysis: Redskins will have opportunity early and late in 2017

Schedule analysis: Redskins will have opportunity early and late in 2017

Here are some notes and highlights from the Redskins’ 2017 schedule:

—The Redskins open at home for the third straight year. They are 0-2 in their last two home openers, losing to the Dolphins in 2015 and to the Steelers on a Monday night last year.

—They have three trips to the West Coast and the schedule makers spread them out through the schedule. They travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams in Week 2 in September, visit the Seahawks in Week 9 on November 5 and then they visit the Chargers, also now based in Los Angeles, in Week 14 on December 10.

—Their bye week comes early, in Week 5. The last two years the bye has fallen around midseason so they were due to get it early.

—For the second straight year, the Redskins will play on both Thanksgiving Day and on Christmas Eve. Both of those holiday games were on the road last year. This year they both are at home. For the first time, ever they will host a game on Thanksgiving Day. It will be against the Giants with an 8:30 start. On the day before Christmas they host the Broncos with a 1:00 start.

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—Last year there were some complaints by the Redskins because they played a Sunday night game at home prior to facing the short week and hitting the road to Dallas. This year they are on the road before their Thanksgiving game but it is a relatively short trip to New Orleans.

—In another first, the Redskins will play back-to-back Thursday night games. A week after that Thanksgiving encounter they travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on November 30.  

—The Redskins alternate home and road games for the first 11 weeks of the season. Then that November 30 game in Dallas is followed by the trip to play the Chargers. Right after those trips they get back-to-back home games against the Cardinals followed by that Christmas Eve game with the Broncos. They finish the season at the Giants on New Year’s Eve.

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—In addition to the two Thursday games the Redskins have three other prime time games. The first one comes in Week 3 when they host the Raiders. The following week the get a Monday night game at Kansas City. Then in Week 7 they go to Philadelphia for another Monday night game.

—The schedule starts and ends with relatively easy games (in as much as a team that has been around .500 the last two years can call anything “easy”). Their first two opponents, the Eagles and Rams, finished 2016 with losing records. And three of their last four opponents finished out of the playoffs last year.

—The meat of the schedule is in the middle with six of their 10 games coming against playoff teams. But they don't play more than two games in a row against 2016 postseson participants. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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The details on Alex Smith's gruesome injury are even worse than you expected

The details on Alex Smith's gruesome injury are even worse than you expected

When Alex Smith went down in Sunday's loss to the Texans, the injury looked bad. From his reaction and the instant reaction of his teammates and coaches, it became obvious the severity of the situation. 

As soon as the video replays showed Smith's leg bend in the way it wasn't intended, the whole world knew bones were broken. 

Now, though, as details begin to emerge after Smith had successful surgery on the injury, it sounds even worse than it looked. 

On Monday, Jay Gruden explained that Smith faces a recovery time of six to eight months. That timeline puts Smith on pace to return for training camp in 2019, but that also assumes no complications from surgery and a full recovery. Smith will be 35 in May.

The Redskins acquired Smith via trade during the 2018 offseason, and immediately agreed to a contract extension with the quarterback. That deal includes $71 million guaranteed for injury.

In his first season as Redskins starter, Smith was completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,180 yards to go with 10 TDs against five INTs in 10 games before the injury. Smith guided the Redskins to a 6-3 record before leaving the Texans game and eventually landing on the injured reserve list. 

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed. 

 

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