The Eagles and Skins will rekindle their NFC east rivalry this weekend at the Linc. The Eagles have won 7 of the last 9 meetings with the last two losses coming last year.
In his career McNabb has enjoyed some very big games against the Skins with 22 career TDs in those meetings. On the other side, Washington QB Mark Brunell is 4-0 in his career vs the Eagles.
Newly extended Reggie Brown had maybe the 2 best games of his rookie year against the Redskins totaling 12 catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns in those contests. Washington RB Clinton Portis has 5 TDs in his last 3 meetings with the Eagles.
Eagles offense vs Redskins defense
To be honest, this should be a complete mismatch in the Eagles favor. The Eagles come into the game with the 5th ranked scoring offense in the NFL scoring nearly 26 pts/g, whereas the Redskins have the 24th ranked defense giving up about 24 pts/g.
More good news for the Eagles is that Washington has the 3rd worst pass defense in the NFL. Part of that has been due to injuries in their secondary, which is getting healthier this week, but it has also been due to their complete lack of ability to pressure the passer. They have the second least sacks in the league with only 12.
With a fully healthy Stallworth(who played sparingly in his first game back against Jax) starting, Reggie Brown buoyed by his brand new deal, LJ Smith in the midst of his best season... McNabb and Co should have plenty of success. Joe Gibbs had this to say about McNabb
Against the run, the Redskins are an average team and I hope that for once Andy tries to run the ball. Controlling the ball and time of possession is going to be very important. I do not believe this is going to be one of those games where the Eagles can make a late run and win. They need to come out very fast, which they should coming off a bye and at home, and establish the run as the game goes on. I do think they will come out fast, but I unfortunately doubt they will look to establish the run. Which leads me to...
Redskins offense vs Eagles defense
The Redskins look as if they are going to be getting some help back in the form of Santana Moss, who was upgraded to probable from a hamstring injury that has held him out of the past few games. If he is indeed back, it's unclear how much he'll play or how effective he'll be. Hamstring injuries, as we know, are very hit or miss.
That said, the plan for the Skins should be simple. Run the ball and keep running it. The Eagles offense looks like a clear mismatch against the Skins D, and there's no doubt that the plan should be to keep McNabb and co off the field. Obviously with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts the Skins certainly have the personell to establish the run. The Eagles defense is giving up 117 yards a game and the Skins are rushing for 127. If the Eagles offense doesn't put up points fast and the Redskins' defense rns all day to control the clock I doubt the Eagles front 7 will stop them.
One interesting stat is that the Eagles lead the NFL in forced fumbles and Mark Brunell will put the ball on the ground with 5 fumbles so far this year. The Redskins have done a good job protectin Brunell, but I have a feeling that if the Eagles get an early lead and the Redskins are forced to pass alot the game could out of hand. The Skins best shot at this game is to pound the ball, wear down the Eagles D and keep McNabb off the field.
I'm going to go the Les Bowen route pick the Eagles here because I don't want to think about the prospect of writing about a sub .500 team every day for the rest of this season...
Eagles come out fast, big game for McNabb & Reggie Brown, plus at least one big play from Westbrook forces the Redskins to try and play catch up where Brunell will struggle.
Eagles 31 Redskins 17