Breaking Down the Washington Redskins' 2013 Opponents

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJanuary 14, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers in actions against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

What we still don't know about the Washington Redskins: Who their starting quarterback will be to start the 2013 season and who they'll be playing in any particular week.

What we do know about the Redskins: Who, exactly, they'll play. 

That's the beautiful thing about the NFL's scheduling formula. Eleven of your 13 opponents are predetermined based on an annual cycle, with only two opponents differing from your division mates' opponents based on where you finished the previous season.

And since the Redskins finished in first place in the NFC East, they'll automatically enter 2013 with the division's toughest schedule in non-divisional games.

Every team in the East will play the following teams outside of the division next year: Chicago (10-6), Detroit (4-12), Minnesota (10-6), Green Bay (11-5), Denver (13-3), Kansas City (2-14), Oakland (4-12) and San Diego (7-9). 

But outside of that, the Redskins will have to play two 2012 playoff teams (13-3 Atlanta and 11-4-1 San Francisco), while the Giants will play one (11-5 Seattle) and Dallas and Philly will play zero. 

The good news for the Giants and 'Skins is that they will get to host both of those West Coast-based teams. With San Diego also coming to Landover, the Redskins will only have to travel to the Pacific Time Zone for a single matchup with the Raiders. They will, however, have to travel to Atlanta and Denver for tough roadies. 

As you can see in the second chart to the right, the 'Skins have a particularly tough road schedule ahead. Four of the eight teams they will face on the road outside of Maryland were 7-1 at home in 2012. But only two of the eight opponents they will take on at home had winning road records (San Francisco and Chicago were both 5-3 away from home).

All in all, Washington's 13 2013 opponents went 127-128-1 in the 2012 regular season. Four of them made the divisional playoffs and two (San Fran and Atlanta) remain alive. Since those two play next weekend, that means the 'Skins will automatically draw a team that made Super Bowl XLVII, while the division's other three teams are guaranteed not to. 

Ultimately, though, this is what separates the Redskins from the rest of the division:

Record of non-common opponents:
Redskins: 24-7-1
Giants: 21-11
Cowboys: 17-14-1
Eagles: 9-23

NFC East schedule breakdown:

See also: Opponent analysis for the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles