Redskins schedule analysis

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Breakdown: All three of the Redskins' home games against division opponents will be in prime time. Washington will once again open the season on the road against the Giants. Last season, the Giants were the reigning world champs, so they were guaranteed the first game of the NFL season. I'm sure Jim Zorn's not thrilled to end up in the same spot for the '09 season opener, but there's nothing he can do about it now.

The Redskins' home opener will be Sept. 20 against the Rams. Keep in mind that the Rams walked into FedEx Field last season and knocked off a hot Redskins team. Now the Rams are coached by former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, so I wouldn't chalk this one up as a win. The Redskins have to be happy about a bye in early November. They will have just played back-to-back home games, so there's a chance they could reach the bye in good shape again.

If the Redskins can stay in the playoff race, they have back-to-back home games against the Giants and Cowboys in late December. Overall, not too much to complain about. But we'll do it anyway.

Complaint department: As we've already mentioned, the league didn't do the Redskins any favors by sending them right back to the Meadowlands for a season opener. I also think the Redskins have to hold it together during a late November road trip that sees them playing the Cowboys and Eagles back to back. No three-game road trips here and there's a nice balance to the schedule. Maybe on second glance, I'll find more to complain about.

Knee-jerk prediction: Right now, I'm seeing 9-7. That would put the Redskins a game behind the Cowboys and Eagles. That road trip in late November really worries me. If the Redskins can split one of those games, then I think they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Of course, we're sitting here talking about this on April 14th! I think best-case scenario is 10-6. Worst-case scenario is 8-8. Anyone care to disagree?

Washington Redskins regular-season schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13 at New York Giants 4:15 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20 ST. LOUIS RAMS 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27 at Detroit Lions 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11 at Carolina Panthers 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1 p.m.
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 26 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 8:30 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1 BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8 at Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 15 DENVER BRONCOS 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22 at Dallas Cowboys 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29 at Philadelphia Eagles 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m.
Week 15: Monday, Dec. 21 NEW YORK GIANTS 8:30 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27 DALLAS COWBOYS 8:20 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3 at San Diego Chargers 4:15 p.m.