From here on out every game will be a big game for the Eagles. They are tied atop the division with the Cowboys and have 6 games left to take control of the division.
The Eagles played the Redskins week 1 to start the season and came out with a victory. There were two main factors in that game that gave the Eagles an advantage before the game was even played. Redskins quarterback RGIII was returning from a torn ACL that he suffered in the playoffs last season and many suggested he returned prematurely it looked it. Griffin was simply not ready and not up to game speed week 1. The other factor was that no one knew what to expect from this Eagles offense under Chip Kelly. When the ball was snapped it was out in a hurry and before the Redskins players could take a breath they were scrambling to line back up into position. If there ever was a way to blitz on offense the Eagles did it in that game. It was certainly exciting for all football fans to watch, well except for Redskins fans. The Eagles ended up winning that game 33-27.
Since that game RGIII has made significant improvements each week and since 4 games ago vs the Bears he has really turned it on. Griffin is carrying the ball less this year compared to last year emphasizing the need to stay healthy. One of the big reasons why Griffin has started to settle in is because Alfred Morris is running well again. Morris leads the NFL in rushing the past 6 weeks.
In the teams first match-up the Eagles halted Morris to 45 yards on 12 carries and were able to force a fumble on him plus he fumbled the ball in his own end-zone for a safety.
This week will be interesting because the Eagles will have Nick Foles starting and not Vick. The offense is ran differently under Foles so the Redskins can’t rely heavily on the week one game film but they can take some things away.
LeSean McCoy had 31 carries for 184 yards, both a career high. If you watch the film or highlights of the game you’ll see huge running lanes for McCoy that let him get to the second level of the defense for one-on-ones with defensive backs that have no business trying to tackle McCoy. A big part of that was 1) the blocking and 2) the threat of the read option with Vick at quarterback. Since Vick has gone down so have McCoy’s rushing yards with exception to last week and the game against the Buccaneers.
If the Eagles want to end the “stink at the Linc” then they will have to prove the ability to run the ball. We all know that the battle starts up front and the running game opens up the pass, at the least it makes it a lot easier. Foles will need to continue his good play and not turn the ball over and make the smart reads.
On defense containing Alfred Morris like they did the first game will go a long way. By doing that they will be able to key on the Redskins passing game. They know RGIII doesn’t want to run so forcing him out of his comfort zone will be key. The Redskins do have fast WR so the will look for a lot of crossing routes and take shoots deep. They also have an emerging TE in Reed that Eagles linebackers and safety can’t ignore.
If I had to make a prediction for this game it would be that the Eagles win but because at what point does the law of averages kick in with regards to the home losing streak? Also the team who wins a division usually sweeps at least one divisional opponent.