SUNDAY 1:00 FedEx Field Landover, MD
EAGLES fans, we’re about to find out a lot about our team this weekend. This is not the same pushover, “see them on the schedule and write two wins down in ink” Redskins from the last few years. These Redskins plays with a bit of a chip on their shoulder on both sides of the ball. This game will serve as an early season measuring stick for our Eagles.
It’s the same as the last two years. We’re fine against the run (7th), but we still rank among the bottom feeders against the pass (24th). Our defense gets turnovers, but they play too many minutes. (And yes I said minutes, not snaps.)
This week we get an opponent that relies heavily on the run, so unless they decide to give us a big dose of their passing game, or our guys get gassed out there, stopping the opponent should be right in our wheelhouse this week
Guess who the ranks dead last in the NFL in yard per game? That’s right, the Rams (274.3 yards per game). And who is just above them? Us (285.3 yards per game). We are 30th in the NFL at rushing yards per game, and so far we have a 2.7 yards per carry average. Our passing attack is ranked 23rd.
Some blame QB Sam Bradford, some blame our WR’s for the 10-15 drops so far. The truth is it’s the Offensive Line. Specifically the Guards. Notice how last week the O-line played better and we still won, despite a pedestrian 50%, 118 yard performance from our QB? When we committed to a basic power running approach (keeping it simple for our Guards) early on, it set a tone and allowed us to dictate the action. It’ll be interesting to see if we try that again this week or if we try to go back to what wasn’t working two weeks ago.
Keep in mind that while the ‘skins are ranked high across the board, they also have played three offenses that rank very low or have consistency issues. That having been said, this is a feisty bunch. If you were in a bar fight and the Redskins defense had your back, you’d be in good company. Whatever we get from this team we’ll have to take, because they will not give us anything. They have a 69.4% stop rate on 3rd down, and in three games have only given up 4 first downs due to penalty. (We’ve given up 8).
The Redskins have allowed more QB hits (63) than any team in the NFL (even though the Steelers and Ravens have each played one more game). QB Kirk Cousins is nothing special, but he’s a low level starter/high level back-up who can manage a game. Just don’t ask him to put a team on his back. The bread and butter of this unit is the run game. That 4th place run game is no mirage.
This game will be a fight. Two 1-2 teams, who are division rivals looking to avoid the basement. Two QB’s trying to legitimize themselves as starters. Two coaches trying to prove that their way is the right way. Ascension in the division and pride are on the line. However, on the road, in nasty weather…Bad weather doesn’t favor fast paced offenses. In fact it tends to magnify miscues. (Remember how bad we looked for ¾ of the Snow Bowl? Thank god we were facing a dome team!) I think Mother Nature teams up with D.C. this weekend.
Redskins 23 – Eagles 18