TODAY we stand at 8 – 7, at least guaranteed to not have a losing season. While fighting our way into the playoffs is the hope, not finishing at .500 should be the immediate goal.
Making the playoffs requires us to win, and another team to lose. We don’t control whether or not another team loses, but we DO control whether or not we take care of our business. No matter how our playoff hopes shake out, we need to leave the 2018 regular season showing that we have righted our ship.
To be the man, you have to beat the man. Even if we don’t make the postseason, we need to leave the world KNOWING that we were worthy of it, and that whatever team wins the championship this year, they did it without truly having been put to the test.
There is no “looking past” the Redskins this week. We are looking dead at them.
They are the obstacle.
They are what stands in our way.
They are in extreme peril.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Redskins:
1) Run the ball: Whether we make a ton of yards or not, is beside the point. The idea is to keep the ‘skins honest, when QB Nick Foles uses play-action. That’s it. If the ‘skins want to be water-tight vs the run, let ‘em. What they don’t give up up-front, they open up, deep.
2) Make him run: The Redskins QB has some mobility. Usually asking for an opposing QB to scramble is a recipe for disaster, but this week… It’s just what the doctor ordered. So far their QB has been playing better football than he really has a right to. I commend him for that. So bring heat up the gut, and get him running for his life. He doesn’t know the system well enough to ad-lib AND stay within it, at the same time. That leaves his teammates and coaching staff frustrated, and opens up opportunities for key moments in the game, to fail and break due to lack of trust. This is less about outright destroying the Redskins, and more about corroding them.
3) Work the edge: The main reason why the ‘skins can’t beat the Eagles anymore is because their pass rush comes from their OLB’s. When a defense takes an OLB from covering TE Zach Ertz, he’s open earlier than usual. Often on the boundaries.
We can grab and rip the balls clean off the Redskin pass rush, if we force them to cover Ertz with a pass rusher. At which point Foles will have the time to launch missiles to WR Alshon Jeffery.
4) Tackle, tackle, tackle: RB Adrian Peterson has run for 1,000 yards. Not too shabby for a 33 year old, and it’s more than I thought he would do. That said, in 6 of 16 games this year, he’s averaged fewer than 3 yards per carry, and in 4 games he’s averaged fewer than 2. His game by game breakdown reveals a RB who is more of a detriment to his team than an asset. Make sure he gets on the ground when he runs, and put this game in their QB’s hands.
If we do all these things, we’re just about guaranteed to win. Now that we’ve covered what should happen, let’s get into what likely will happen:
The Eagles will come out looking to put this team away. They will watch the scoreboard to see how the Bears/Vikings game is turning out. They will play with pride and passion. They will play for hope and the fulfillment of faith.
The Redskins will come out pumped to make a statement. Then we will punch them in the mouth. At that point they will sober the fuck up and realize that they are a bad team, that releases good players who speak up about being coached by idiots. They will deflate. Especially on defense.
As long at the Bears don’t get blown out by the Vikings, this game should be a cakewalk.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 30 – Redskins 10