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What to Watch For – Eagles at Redskins

When the Eagles and Redskins square off at FedEx Field this Sunday eyes from all over the country will be looking towards the nations capital.

Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, New Orleans and Tampa Bay all have a stake in the outcome of this game. So you probably do not need extra motivation to tune in. What you might need is an idea of what to watch for. Look no further, as I will run down four reasons to watch these NFC East rivals go knock heads for the second time this season.

HEAD TO HEAD

Clinton Portis is the NFL’s third leading rusher. He will be going up against an Eagles defense that is the fifth toughest defense to run on. In 14 tries, only three backs were able to eclipse the 100-yard mark. The most successful of the three ran for 145 yards, back in week five. The culprit? Clinton Portis.

HOT AND COLD

The Eagles are on fire, while Washington’s offense is as cold as the northeast winter. Jason Campbell has four touchdown passes and six interceptions in the last six games. Clinton Portis has not done much to cover that up. He has not seen the endzone in seven straight outings and has caught zero passes for scores all season.

Donavan McNabb, on the other hand, has thrown for seven touchdowns and one pick in the last 3 match ups. Brian Westbrook has six touchdowns in the last three games (three running and three receiving) and is getting record-high touches as Andy Reid shifts to a more balanced offense.

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The game time weather forecast is 34 degrees with rainy snow coming down all the way up until kickoff. It should stop, however, around 3:30 or 4:00PM. This is good news for Washington.

A sloppy ground evens the playing field (no pun intended), which means the Eagles will come down to Washington’s level.

Both Eagles defensive ends, Trent Cole and Darren Howard, are in the top 15 on the NFL’s sack list. But the murky field will cool their jets. Snow makes the ground soft, which takes away traction, and in turn, explosiveness, from the ends. This will offer Campbell more time to throw the ball, and even keep the Eagles on their heels when Portis gets the rock.

HISTORY

Currently, the Redskins are not playing well, but historically, the numbers offer a glimmer of hope.

Washington has taken two of the last three bouts. In the past five meetings the Skins have more first downs, third down conversions and sacks than Philly. Washington has controlled the ball and the clock in the recent matches.

Campbell and company have taken 342 snaps compared to just 280 for the Birds. This, obviously, tilts the time of possession greatly in Washington’s favor.

If that is not enough to watch this game, then how about the idea of two rivals playing for their playoff lives? This game is bound to be played with a level of emotion that is hard to match. Make sure you’re watching at 4:15PM EST.


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