Redskins versus the Eagles. I can’t lie, I thought this game was scheduled for Monday Night Football. With D-Jax going back to Philly, I figured the league would, dare I say, get it right. Honestly, I saw a fan post on Aldrick’s Instagram something about Monday night and I assumed. (We all know what assuming leads to. Ass. U. Me.)
These two NFC East foes will square off at the Linc in Philly. “Fly, Eagles, Fly” may be their theme song, but that wont be the only thing getting airborne on Sunday afternoon. The forecast calls for beer showers, single-finger salutes, and the over/under is set at 3.5 fights….in the stands.
Visiting Washington is coming off of their best full team performance in awhile by throttling Jacksonville, dominating with time of possession, as well as throwing and running the ball. J.J. Watt happened in week one, but they are past that.
Philly is coming off of another comeback victory which has to make Eagles’ fans blood pressure go up a bit. The offense hasn’t caught up to last years pace, but Chip Kelly has a brand new Ferrari in Darren Sproles to cruise on Sunday
Kirk Cousins has the keys to the ship up in D.C. or um, Virginia, err uhh, Maryland? He is filling in for the injured Robert Griffin III (out with a dislocated ankle), and is coming off a stellar performance against the Jaguars. The kid looked damn good too. He was decisive throughout the majority of the game, and stood in the pocket to make sure he could deliver his throws in rhythm.
Second year tight end, Jordan Reed, is out with a hamstring injury, and former Husker, Niles Paul, has stepped up in a big way. Not only is he a great special teams player, he is flexing his value as a consistent performer on the offensive side of the ball. He gives offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, a versatile weapon that will create mismatches for any defense.
The Redskins leaned heavily on three wide receiver sets to spread the Jaguars out, and to get their stable of talented pass catchers on the field. Expect to see more of the same on Monday night.
When the electrifying DeSean Jackson went down with a shoulder, free agent pickup, Andre Roberts stepped up big with the defense paying more attention to Pierre Garcon.
The running back tandem of Alfred Morris and Roy Helu is as good of a 1-2 punch you will find in the league. Morris is a one cut running with the ability to run through and over defenders, and Helu will showcase his speed to break off long runs. Their effectiveness will be key against Philly by keeping the Nick Foles led offense off of the field.
The strength of the Jim Haslett’s defense is the front seven. The D-Line in addition to Rak and Kerrigan aka HBK are vicious. They put pressure on O-Lines by forcing 1-on-1 matchups which leads to QB hits and coverage sacks. Jason Hatcher is continue the dominance he showcases last year with Dallas and is proving that he is worth every penny.
Baccari Rambo is out, and Brandon Meriweather gets to patrol the skies along side Ryan Clark. The safety position has gotten its much needed boost. (Rambo took a horrible angle with led to a catch and run for a TD by Marcedes Lewis.)
If you thought Chip Kelly’s offense was scary with LeSean McCoy and the crew, be forewarned that this year’s version with the diminutive, yet dangerous, Darren Sproles is straight nasty. They are the only team in NFL history to trail by 14 and still begin the season 2-0, but on tape the matchups that are created via personnel are downright scary.
The 2013 Eagles would use 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, and 3 WRs) more often. Against the Colts, Philly would line up in a 22 personnel (you guessed it, 2 RBs, 2 TEs, and 1 WR). That set usually signifies a run heavy formation, but with Sproles lining up at WR, it makes defenses think twice before they deploy the jumbo defense.
Napoleon Dynamite look-a-like, Nick Foles, is still at the helm this year. 2013 top target D-Jax is in burgundy and gold, but Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper remain. Zach Ertz has been a big play tight end to patrol the middle of the field.
This offense works at a blistering pace, snapping the ball with roughly 25 seconds remaining on the play clock. The quick tempo wears on the opposing d-line and pass rushers, as well as making the defensive calls more vanilla. Teams don’t get much time to scan the offense and devise complicated attacks.
The Eagles defense welcomes Cary Williams at CB, and Malcolm Jenkins manning a safety position. DeMeco Ryans is a tackling machine, and Mychal Kendricks has been ruled out of Sunday’s matchup.
The LBs are the strong point, with Conner Barwin and Trent Cole now playing outside linebackers (originally defensive ends). The secondary is improved from last year with the free agent additions.
1) Washington Front Seven vs. Philadelphia Pace of Play: The Redskins won huge last week led by 10 total sacks and constant pressure from their big guys, but Philly plays so fast that fatigue sets in quickly. Can Jim Haslett come up with a plan to keep the pressure on Nick Foles despite the Eagles’ fast paced attack?
2) Cousins vs. Foles: Captain Kirk is coming off of a lights out performance against the Jags, can he duplicate that output? Nick Foles has willed his team to back-to-back come-from-behind wins, do they have any more comeback Kool Aid left? Whatever QB can have less mistakes will get the W.
3) How do you handle Sproles and McCoy?: After Sproles’ one-man-show last week, I’m sure everyone in Ashburn is thinking the same thing.
I have literally went back and forth over the past week trying to decide which team will win this game. I’ve come to the conclusion that the key components to the win will come to both defensive units. Whichever team can force more turnovers will win. I can hear it now, “Thanks, Captain Obvious. Tell me something I don’t know!”, but in all seriousness.
The Eagles offense is extremely efficient, and cannot be counted out until the clock reads 0:00. On the other hand, Washington pummeled their last opponent behind a mean run game and timely big plays from their pass catchers.
Philly’s defense did allow over 150 yds rushing to Indy, and that has to look appealing to Alfred and that O-line. Meanwhile, Philly has has success of late vs. Washington’s defense.
Its literally a coin flip decision. This will be a high scoring game, but the home team will prevail.
Wait, not so fast. I woke up last from my slumber and I feel like Captain Kirk will lead the Redskins to a come from behind win. It’ll be close though.
Washington wins 31-28