There can be very little doubt about it, Andy Reid led Eagles teams love the primetime spotlight. The team is 18-8 in primetime games under Andy. They also like playing the Redskins, having won 9 of their last 11 against Washington. To take it a step further, Andy is 23-11 coming off a loss...
What will all that history mean when the ball is kicked tonight? Probably not all much. So let's check out how these teams matchup. Also be sure to check out my more position by position analyis I did over at Hogs Haven. Speaking of Hogs Haven, Will gave us a position by position scouting report on the Skins.
It's hard this early in the season to really say what to expect from each team after only game. The Redskins defense held what looked like a pretty poor Miami team to 13 points last week, then Miami seemed to further prove against Dallas that they really aren't very good. I would have said the same thing after last week about the Eagles that they lost to a poor Green Bay team and their defense looked good in part because Green Bay's offense was so bad. Then, Green Bay put up 30+ on the Giants. So maybe the Eagles D is pretty good after all? We should get a much clearer picture after tonight.
Eagles on defense
While Skins may be no offensive juggernaut just yet, they can run the ball. Last week their tandem of Portis and Betts combined for nearly 160 yards rushing and they will provide the first real test for the Eagles "new and improved" run defense. Make no mistake about, the Redskins will run early and often against the Eagles and will likely keep hammering away even if the front 7 are doing the job. Unless the Eagles offensive puts up a ton of points, the Redkins aren't going to put their young QB in a position where he needs to throw alot to win this game.
Against the Skins passing attack, it's going to be all about pressure. Jason Campbell is a talented but young QB, and Jim Johnson has had tremendous success in his career confusing young QBs with alot of exotic blitz packages. However, with Washington's starting RT, Jon Jansen, out for the year the smart move may be to try to create pressure with only the front four. If Kearse and JT can't have a big game against former Texans tackle, Todd Wade... we need to look at other options at DE. If the front four can bring pressure on their own, it would free up the LBs and secondary to focus on stopping the run rather than risk big plays on the ground when blitzing.
Eagles on offense
Last year the Eagles led the NFL with 74 "big plays," which are plays of over 20 yards. However, in week one they managed only 2 such plays with none from the teams' most dangerous weapon Brian Westbrook. In other words, this Eagles offense is due for an explosion.
McNabb, who will be starting his 100th game by the way which is the 3rd most in franchise history, not doubt looked a bit rusty in week one. The whole offense did and frankly I thought they looked a bit gassed. That happened to more than a few teams in week one as they tried to play themselves into game shape, but there will be no such excuses in week two. McNabb has 7 of his last 8 starts against the Skins passing for 11 TDs in his last 5 games against them. Brian Westbrook terrorized the Skins D last year rushing for 201 yards and adding 75 receiving in both of last years wins. In other words, I wanna see points. Alot of points.