The anticipation heading into week four is a bit underwhelming as the Eagles are still an absolute mystery. The win against the Jets stopped the losing streak, and there plenty of positives to take away from the defensive side of the game. The number one factor that was going to make or break the season still remains as quarterback Sam Bradford was unimpressive, which is the biggest storyline leading to the matchup against the Redskins.
There is a very good chance that the weather could dictate how the Eagles attack on offense once kickoff rolls around on Sunday. If the rain becomes problematic, it’s likely Chip would lean heavily on the run game. Prior to the pending forecast being announced, I felt that Sam Bradford would finally have the opportunity against an average defensive secondary to really showcase his throwing accuracy and arm strength.
The Redskins will look to run early and often with veteran Alfred Morris and rookie Matt Jones. This is a team that is committing to the rushing attack, but they have some receiving threats that also need to be accounted for. Garcon has the ability to create separation and rack up yards after the catch and will need to be accounted for. Jordan Reed is an athletic tight-end that will test the middle of the Eagles defense and is often a safety blanket for quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Redskins are not a team relying on the big play to move the chains with Desean Jackson out of the lineup; it’s a ball control offense that tries to minimize mistakes.
The Eagles were finally able to establish the run last week, and will look to do so with their number one running back DeMarco Murray who appears on track to return from the injury that sidelined him week three. The Eagles will certainly look to counter the 1-2 punch of the Redskins back field with their 1-2-3 punch of Murray, Mathews and Sproles. Sam Bradford will face the weakest secondary to date as an Eagle, and he needs to play better. Zach Ertz had a tremendous outing the last time these two teams met, and although the Redskins have made changes in both coaching and their roster, Ertz needs to be featured as does Agholor. Sunday can’t be another afternoon of wheel routes to running backs and starring down Jordan Matthews.
The Redskins have a big defensive line that is going to test the offensive guards of the Eagles. Matt Tobin and Allen Barbre must play like NFL starters; Jason Kelce is likely to have his own issues as an undersized center with a 350 pound nose tackle Terrance Knighton looking right at him. Their secondary is without their best player, but that doesn’t mean much if the Eagles don’t modify their passing attack.
Will the Eagles defense once again hold the opposing running back to under 100 yards? I can’t expect the Eagles to hold the Redskins to under 100 yards rushing total for the team, but they must limit the big runs. Morris is a guy who looks to run through you, whole Jones has the ability to make guys miss in the open field. I really liked the way the front seven played last week, disrupting throws at the line of scrimmage because they knew what type of quarterback they were facing. Cousins is much better then Fitzpatrick, but I believe the players who were on the Eagles defense last season recall how Cousins carved them up pretty good, and that’s all the motivation needed to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
There hasn’t been enough shown by the Eagles to give me the feeling that the score of this game could get out of hand. I do believe the weather is going to impact this football game, but it won’t dictate how the coaches call their plays. I think this is the game where Bradford has enough moments to gain some of his confidence back and gain some of the trust back from the Eagle fan base doubting his future with the team. The defense continues to play well, and another great game by rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks.
-Agholor surpasses his entire 2015 total in receptions, by hauling in six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
-The Eagles rack up 35 rushing attempts as a team
-Byron Maxwell records an interception
Eagles 24 Redskins 17