The Eagles will face the Redskins tonight for the second time of year. Coming off of a big win, the Eagles will look to keep the momentum going. The Redskins are coming off the bye so, they’ve had some extra time to reflect upon their last game as well as look forward to the rematch with the Eagles.
This is only the second divisional game for the Eagles this year, and they need to get a win if they want to keep making a push towards the playoffs. The good news is that I really like the match-up this week, and here are five reasons I think the Eagles will beat the Redskins.
1. It’s time for revenge
As I mentioned, the Eagles have already played the Redskins once this year. It was a very disappointing game, and neither team really played that well. This was the return of Donovan McNabb to Philadelphia, and he was able to head back to Washington with a game.
It’s hard to say that McNabb really beat the Eagles, but he left with the win and that’s what counts. This time around, the Eagles will be looking to come in as the road team and leave with a win.
No one likes losing at home, especially to a division rival. The Eagles will have their shot at revenge tonight and need to take it.
2. Confidence is building
This season has been a roller coaster ride for the Eagles. They have experienced a large number of injuries, and it hasn’t really provided them with a feeling of stability. It seems like there’s a different line-up out there every week, but the team has still managed to win football games.
A lot of the player change has come at the quarterback position. We’ve seen Kevin Kolb start a number of games as well as current starter, Michael Vick. Both have led the team to wins, but we now have Vick healthy who will start the remainder of the year.
In his first game back, Vick came out swinging and made a ton of plays in the Eagles win against the Colts. Everyone knows that Vick gives the team the best chance to win, and after beating the Colts, everyone has a lot of confidence in this team moving forward.
3. Match-ups favor the Eagles
When you look at this game on paper, the match-ups are definitely in the Eagles favor. The biggest one that jumps out to me is our passing offense against their passing defense.
Currently, the Eagles are 13th in the NFL in passing offense. That’s not outstanding, but you have to admit we have some serious weapons through the air. However, the thing that really jumps out is the Redskins ranking against the pass. Heading into Monday’s match-up, the Redskins are 31st in the NFL against the pass, or second to last. That’s just awful.
They’re also 18th against the rush, while the Eagles rank 5th in the league running the football.
Defensively, the Eagles rank just outside the top 10 against the pass and rush. The Redskins offense is pretty much in the middle of the pack and has proven to be very mediocre.
4. The Eagles protect the ball
Vick and McNabb have both thrown for seven touchdowns this year. However, McNabb has thrown eight interceptions while Vick has thrown none. You can argue that McNabb has been on the field much more because Vick has missed time with the injury, but at the end of the day, Vick has done an amazing job of not turning the ball over when he has played.
Turnovers can have a huge impact on a game. For example, look at Asante Samuel last week. His first interception led to the Eagles taking a 10-0 lead very early in the game while his second interception essentially ended the game, sealing an Eagles win.
Vick will continue to be smart with the football, using his legs to make plays when nothing is available through the air.
5. It’s the beginning of the end for Washington
Throughout the first half of the season, the Redskins have been playing extremely mediocre but still remaining to be in the thick of things because of the down year in the NFC. I think it’s the beginning of the end now for the Redskins.
We saw what happened between McNabb and Mike Shanahan which can’t be a good thing for two guys spending their first year with a new team. Both individuals have had a lot of success in the NFL before this, so when they were brought together it was supposed to be magical. However, it’s been far from that. The relationship is on the rocks, and I can’t see things getting much better.
The second half of the Redskins schedule does not look very promising, and if they can go 4-4 to finish the season, I think they should be happy. However, 8-8 isn’t going to get you into the playoffs (at least it shouldn’t), so there is going to be a lot of interesting talk surrounding the Redskins in the offseason.
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