Here's my quick take on what talking heads will be talking about going into each week. Of course, if the Redskins are actually doing well, the talking heads will have a chance to talk about that, as well, but let's just assume a 0-0 record for each game.
Week 1: Dallas @ WAS, Sunday Night: This one pretty much writes itself. Shanny's return to the NFL. Cowboys-Redskins. Dallas' newly found swagger now that they have won one playoff game. The rivalry has lost a lot of national attention in recent years, but it'll be relevant for at least one night as Mike Shanahan returns to the NFL against the NFC East favorites (as much as I hate to write that). If the Redskins show up and there's a legitimately exciting game taking place, that'll do a lot to put the Skins and the rivalry back on the national map.
Week 2: Houston @ WAS: Kyle Shanahan's new offense against the offense that he built in Houston. Not much going on with that one, but everyone will be watching Houston for the first few weeks to see if Matt Schaub is elite material even without Shanny's system. Possibly Haynesworth's first game against an AFC South opponent since signing with us, if he doesn't get traded.
Week 3: @ St. Louis: Haslett against his most recent NFL employer. Again, not that I'm all that interested in seeing the coordinators facing teams who once employed them for brief stints, but it's something. Also, this will be the third year we've faced the Rams, and in each of the past two years, the game has served as a wake-up call to all of us stubbornly-optomistic fans (losing to them when we were on top of the world in 08, barely beating them when we were convinced we were better than all that in 09).
Week 4: @ Philly: Do I even have to write it? McNabb's return to Philly. Mcnabb v. Kolb. The ovation for McNabb from the crowd before the game, and the heckling and general traditional Philly behavior during the game. yadda yadda yadda
Week 5: Green Bay @ WAS: Really, unless the Skins are playing well, this one will fly under the radar. Best thing I see is two of last year's best rookies in Matthews and Orakpo (hey, they played together as LBs on the Pro Bowl team!) facing each other for the first time.
Week 6: Indianapolis @ WAS, Sunday Night: The Redskins have been truly awful in prime time games lately, and if they don't win their game against Dallas in Week 1, that'll be a big storyline at least for local media. Other than that, again, the Redskins will have to be playing well for this game to have any good stories behind it. Although it could be Haynesworth's first primetime game against an AFC South team since leaving the AFC South... if he's actually playing for us by then.
Week 7: @ Chicago: Mike Shanahan vs. his former protege, Jay Cutler. That'll be a pretty subdued matchup, as they both respect each other. One storyline that has an outside chance of happening, though:
We all know Donovan McNabb rarely plays all 16 games. If we still have JC and if McNabb happens to be out for this game, it'll be a nice matchup of polar opposites. Cutler, the guy whose team mentioned him in trade talks, who responded by selling his house. Campbell, the guy whose team tried to replace with said crybaby, who showed up for work every day regardless. Neither had outstanding years last year, but I think Campbell's was slightly better.
Week 8: @ Detroit: Again, another crappy team we'll be facing for the third year in a row. Will we avoid laying another egg against the Lions? Will Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch be on the same field for the first time since 08? Will anyone outside of the DC area watch this game? Will fans be able to afford tickets to come see it?
Week 9: BYE: How will the Redskins fare against the bye week, the only team in the league that doesn't ever give up yards or points?
Week 10: Philly @ WAS, Monday Night: Another Philly-McNabb matchup. Everything with that will be rehashed, plus there will be clips of that Monday Night Abortion against the Eagles from last year.
Week 11: @ Tennessee: Haynesworth against his old team (again, if he's still here). Hell, even if we trade him, this might still be Haynesworth against his old team. Possibility of 3 black QBs suited up for this game (Young, Campbell, and McNabb). That'll make for some good photo ops.
Week 12: Minnesota @ WAS: Old Man Favre vs. Old Man McNabb. West Coast vs. West Coast. Adrian Peterson looking across to the other sideline and seeing his future self in 3 different persons. God, I hope we're still relevant at this point. Otherwise, I foresee a disgusting afternoon to be a Skins fan.
Week 13: @ NY: Seriously? It took us this long to face the Giants? By this point, you might be seeing two losing teams butting heads against one another. Or you might see two resurgent teams butting heads against one another. One thing's for sure: the Giants and Redskins don't play the finesse game very well when they face one another, so a lot of head-butting should ensue. Our first game in the new Medowlands, or whatever they call it. Will it suck as much as the old one?
Week 14: Tampa Bay @ WAS: Haynesworth against the team that almost hired him? Honestly, even if the Skins are playing well late this season, if the Bucs aren't this game will be a snooze-fest from the national perspective. Bruce Allen vs. the team he sorta built up doesn't exactly sell ad time.
Week 15: @ Jacksonville: I know I'll be sick of any possible Haynesworth stories about six weeks before this, so knowing ESPN, they should make a pretty big deal about how he's done so far against the AFC South. Like the Tampa game, if either team isn't doing well, this game will fly under the radar.
Week 16: @ Dallas: One of these teams will be looking for revenge from Week 1. I really hope it's Dallas. At least one of us will be jockeying for playoff position and, if it's only one, the other will be happy to play the role of spoiler. The rivalry, as usual, sells itself, at least in DC.
Week 17: NYG @ WAS: Will either of us still have playoff goals at this point? Will this become like the late-season Philly-Dallas games of the past couple of years, with the teams battling for the last playoff spot and/or the division crown?