Week 11: Preview of Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
The Philadelphia Eagles come to FedEx Field to play the Washington Redskins in a hugely important divisional game this week. While Washington are coming off their bye week, the Eagles have lost the three games since their bye week in week seven. Both teams are propping up the NFC East with their records of 3-6.
Both teams have suffered from injuries this season. Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick is doubtful, which should mean a first start for third round pick, rookie quarterback, Nick Foles. While RGIII is fit for the Redskins, Pierre Garçon has been limited in practice this week. Washington, though, could be willing to take the risk to help Griffin out on offense.
The Redskins offense has spluttered recently, with Josh Morgan leading the way with 29 receptions, but no touchdowns. Santana Moss may have five touchdowns, but he has dropped a few of late, in particular against the Steelers. Brandon Banks, although doing a stirling job on kick and punt returns, has yet to register a touchdown and has a measly seven receiving yards, yep, seven. Banks has looked awful when lining up at WR, his confidence is gone. Second year starter Leonard Hankerson needs to add to his one touchdown to take some of the pressure off Moss and Garçon – who could wind up injured again if he tries to do too much, too soon.
Griffin too, has had his issues in the last three games, all defeats. He has been holding on to the ball for too long at times but the offensive line needs to give Griffin far better protection, they allowed four sacks against the panthers in an ugly performance.
Hopefully the deep game can start to open up for Washington, they need to complete on more deep passes, to allow Morris and Griffin to keep running the ball. Moss and the rest of the receivers need to stop those drops, they are becoming costly.
The defense is missing the injured veterans more every single week. D’Angelo Hall can’t stay out of trouble, one potential bright spot is Bradon Meriweather’s likely debut in a struggling secondary on Sunday night. Meriweather, if fit can instantly upgrade the safety position.
The defensive backs will welcome this, particularly as Eagles receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are a real vertical threat. The pair may only have combined for six touchdowns so far in a faltering Philadelphia team, the same as RGIII has run for, but they can take advantage of any weakness shown by Hall and co in the backfield.
LeSean McCoy is producing for Philly, both on the ground and in receptions, the defense need to limit him as much as possible, as although the Eagles have been low scoring this term, the potential for high numbers is there, particularly in the absence of Redskins defensive lynchpins Brian Orapko and Adam Carricker.
The Eagles are on a five game losing streak, going back to the win over the Giants on September 30th. Embattled head coach Andy Reid will be hoping that the slump stops now. A win for either team could take them to two within two defeats of the Giants and one behind the Cowboys, defeat means almost certainly missing the playoffs and is likely to mean ending up with a losing season.
Whatever happens, Sunday night is sure to be interesting in Washington. If this one finishes 7-6 to either team I will eat my hat. I’ll even go out and buy a hat for the occasion.
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