Redskins.com previews the Redskins' opponents for the second half of the 2016 regular season. Washington still has three more NFC East games and matchups with some of the conference's best teams.
The Washington Redskins will return to action next Sunday to start the second half of their 2016 regular season schedule with a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField.
All eight of the team's remaining games are against NFC opponents and five of those teams have records above .500.
The Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1) and Carolina Panthers (2-5), meanwhile, were the NFC's top two teams from a season ago and still have a majority of the pieces in place from those rosters.
Week 10: Minnesota Vikings (5-2, 1st place in NFC North)
Top Passer: Sam Bradford (1,442 yards, 8 touchdowns, 1 interception)
Top Rusher: Jerick McKinnon (217 yards, 1 touchdown)
Top Receiver: Stefon Diggs (35 receptions, 466 yards, 2 touchdowns)
Despite losing Teddy Bridgewater before the regular season even began and then Adrian Pederson late in Week 2, Minnesota enters Week 9 action with the second best record in the NFC.
After a trade on cutdown day to acquire him, Bradford took over starting quarterback duties in Week 2 and easily has his best touchdown to interception ratio of his career.
But the offense has struggled recently, as they've managed just 10 points in each of the last two games (both losses) while offensive coordinator Norv Turner stepped aside on Wednesday.
The defense, however, has easily been one of the league's best, as they rank second in total defense (297.1 yards per game). The unit has intercepted nine passes and forced seven fumbles.
Punt returner Marcus Sherels also has two touchdowns so far this year.
Week 11: Green Bay Packers (4-3, 2nd place in NFC North)
Top Passer: Aaron Rodgers (1,742 yards, 17 touchdowns, 4 interceptions)
Check out these top offensive photos from the Washington Redskins' 2015 NFC Wild Card Round matchup against the Green Bay Packers Jan. 10, 2016, at FedExField.
Top Rusher: Eddie Lacy (360 yards, 0 touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Davante Adams (40 receptions, 424 yards, 5 touchdowns)
Green Bay will return to FedExField for the first time since January's Wild Card matchup with Washington later this month.
The Packers, of course, are once again led by Rodgers at quarterback. The California product started the season with inconsistent play, but has had the passing attack clicking over the last two games, as he's thrown for 572 yards and seven touchdowns to zero interceptions.
But while Rodgers continues to add to his Hall of Fame legacy, Green Bay hasn't received much production from the running game, as both of their touchdowns on the ground have come from the quarterback while Lacy (ankle) was recently placed on Injured Reserve.
The run defense has been particularly strong this season, as they've allowed just two touchdowns. But the secondary has fallen victim to the injury bug, as cornerback Sam Shields was placed on Injured Reserve while Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall have missed the last two games.
Week 12: Dallas Cowboys (6-1, 1st place in NFC East)
Top Passer: Dak Prescott (1,773 yards, 9 touchdowns, 2 interceptions)
Top Rusher: Ezekiel Elliot (799 yards, 5 touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Cole Beasley (37 receptions, 443 yards, 3 touchdowns)
After losing their regular season opener to the Giants, the Cowboys have registered off six straight victories to have them at the top of the NFC through eight weeks.
Dallas has benefitted from the rookie tandem at quarterback and running back, as Prescott – a fourth-round pick – has run the offense well while Elliott currently leads the league in rushing.
The Cowboys, of course, also have former Redskins running back Alfred Morris, who had the heartbreaker in a late Week 2 comeback for Dallas at FedExField.
Dallas could be without cornerback Morris Claiborne (sports hernia) and safety Barry Church (broken right forearm) for the primetime matchup between the NFC East foes.
The game will mark the eighth time the Redskins and Cowboys have faced off on Thanksgiving, with Washington winning the most recent meeting back in 2012.
Week 13: Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1, 2nd place in NFC West)
A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals.
Top Passer: Carson Palmer (2,068 yards, 10 touchdowns, 6 interceptions)
Top Rusher: David Johnson (705 yards, 6 touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Larry Fitzgerald (56 receptions, 554 yards, 5 touchdowns)
While Arizona hasn't been able to replicate last season's success – at least yet – they still have quite a bit of talent on both sides of the ball.
Johnson has officially become the team's No. 1 offensive threat in his second season out of Northern Iowa, as he's averaging 4.5 yards per carry on his 156 carries while also hauling in 35 receptions for 407 yards.
Fitzgerald, meanwhile, doesn't look like he's slowing down any in his 13th NFL season, as the Pittsburgh product is second in the NFL in receptions right now.
Arizona boasts the No. 1 total defense in the NFL right now, as the unit allows just 297 yards per game while five different players have forced two fumbles.
Week 14: Philadelphia Eagles (4-3, T-2nd place in NFC East)
Top Passer: Carson Wentz (1,526 yards, 9 touchdowns, 3 interceptions)
Top Rusher: Ryan Mathews (272 yards, 4 touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Jordan Matthews (36 receptions, 419 yards, 3 touchdowns)
After starting the season 3-0, the Eagles have come back down in recent weeks with losses in three of their last four games. Still, the offense appears much more effective with Wentz leading the way.
The second-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft has protected the ball well (three interceptions on 280 attempts) while getting the ball out quickly to the team's receiving threats.
While the running backs aren't exactly churning out yards in bunches – ranking middle of the pack in yards per game and average yards per carry – Mathews has four touchdowns on the season while Sproles sports an average of five yards on his 46 carries.
Defensively, the Eagles' rush defense has dropped off from 1st prior to the team's first matchup with the Redskins (Washington ran for 230 yards) to 20th.
Week 15: Carolina Panthers (2-5, 4th place in NFC South)
Top Passer: Cam Newton (1,508 yards, 8 touchdowns, 6 interceptions)
Top Rusher: Jonathan Stewart (253 yards, 4 touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Greg Olsen (40 receptions, 621 yards, 2 touchdowns)
After going 15-1 during the 2015 season, the Panthers have struggled through the first seven games this season with just two wins (over the 49ers and Cardinals).
Newton – the reigning NFL MVP – hasn't put up the same numbers he did last season when he threw 35 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, as he has just eight passing touchdowns (four of which came against the 49ers) to just six interceptions.
Still, the former No. 1 overall-pick is a top talent that catches defenses off-guard with his powerful running style, as he has 46 career rushing touchdowns.
Olsen has been the league's top producing tight end so far this year, as his 621 receiving yards are 137 more than anyone else at the position.
The game will mark Redskins cornerback Josh Norman's first against the Panthers since the team rescinded his franchise tag in April.
Without the All-Pro, Carolina's passing defense ranks 30th in the NFL.
Week 16: Chicago Bears (2-6, 4th place in NFC North)
Top Passer: Brian Hoyer (1,445 yards, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions)
Top Rusher: Jordan Howard (505 yards, 2 touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Alshon Jeffery (36 receptions, 583 yards, 1 touchdown)
While it looked as if Hoyer was ready to take over Chicago's offense, the Michigan State product – who originally entered the starting lineup in place of an injured Jay Cutler – suffered a broken arm in a *Thursday Night Football *loss to the Packers last month and was placed on Injured Reserve.
So back came Cutler this week, as the Vanderbilt product helped the Bears earn an upset victory over the Vikings.
But the story of that game was the production Howard – a rookie out Indiana – provided an offense that has been in need of a playmaker.
The 22-year-old produced 202 offensive yards propelled by 153 yards on the ground. It marked the third time in his last five games that Howard has rushed for at least 100 yards.
Week 17: New York Giants (4-3, T-2nd place in NFC East)
Top Passer: Eli Manning (1,984 yards, 8 touchdowns, 6 interceptions)
Top Rusher: Shane Vereen (147 yards, 1 touchdown)
Top Receiver: Odell Beckham Jr. (40 receptions, 630 yards, 3 touchdowns)
Depending on how thins shake out down the stretch, this game could have major playoff implications for one or both teams.
After starting the season 0-2, the Redskins scored a big Week 3 road victory over the Giants to start a four-game winning streak.
Manning threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter that day while Jamison Crowder provided a 50-yard punt return and a 55-yard receiving touchdown. The Redskins also stumped the Giants with a perfect fake punt throw by Tress Way.
It was the start of a three-game losing streak for New York, although they've since recovered to string together a two-game winning streak.
The offense will likely continue to run through Beckham Jr., who single-handedly gave the Giants a comeback victory over the Ravens in Week 6.