The Philadelphia Eagles will be looking to put an end to their two-game losing streak this week as they travel down to Washington to take on the Redskins. An Eagles win in D.C. will keep Philadelphia's playoff hopes alive, if only temporarily. The Birds will also need some help from other teams. For now, the Eagles focus is on beating the team in front of them.
The Eagles already beat Washington once this season in a Week 3 matchup. It was a high-scoring affair that featured a slew of big plays for both sides. Washington dropped to 1-2 with that loss and they've only won two games since. They'll be looking to play the role of spoiler against the Birds.
Starting at quarterback will be fallen star Robert Griffin III. Griffin is forced to play due to an injury to journeyman signal caller Colt McCoy. Griffin's rookie performance in 2012 had many thinking he was going to be a superstar, but injuries and drama have since derailed his path to being one of league's best.
Despite Griffin's struggles, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had some high praise for the young quarterback. Here's a look at what Eagles head coach Kelly had to say about the team's Week 16 opponent.
What does Washington do well?
I think they're a talented football team. When you look at their players, if you're not aware of where RGIII [QB Robert Griffin III] is, he can hurt you with his legs and his arm. We got to be really sharp in our contain when we rush the quarterback because he's a different element than we've seen except for [Seahawks QB] Russell Wilson and you saw what happened to us.
I thought we did a really good job at times in defending Seattle, and then all of a sudden Russell just extended plays and continued to make things happen.
I think they’ve got talent. I think [RB] Alfred Morris is one of the better running backs in this league. We have said it all long: he's a handful. He's a great zone runner. He's got great patience. He can run the football.
I think their front seven is really, really, really good. [LB] Ryan Kerrigan and [LB Trent] Murphy on the edges of it. Even though they lost [LB Brian] Orakpo, they have Murph. Their two inside linebackers are really good players. They're stout on the defensive line. There's a lot of talent on that football team.
What does RG3 show on tape?
I mean, I know he can run and I know he can throw. That's what we're preparing for. We're preparing for the best.
But we don't look at tape and try to evaluate players. We know what they can do. He can run the zone-read play and you better be conscious of the guy coming off the disconnect. It’s different than [Dallas QB] Tony Romo; when Tony Romo turns and hands the ball off to [RB] DeMarco Murray, you're not worried about Tony running out the backside.
When RGIII turns and hands the ball off, you better be worried about him running out the backside.
Is RG3 the same player he was in the past?
I saw him in high school. I never saw him in college; we never played Baylor.
Is he athletic? Yeah. And if you sleep on that guy, trust me, you guys will be sitting here after the game going, ‘Boy, he went for a hundred yards against you, how did that happen?’
That kid is athletic as heck and he can run really, really well. Trust me; we have to understand where he is on every single play.
Thoughts on Washington's pass protection issues (2nd most sacks allowed)?
I think they've had some struggles just from a personnel standpoint on the offensive line because they've had a lot of injuries. I think sometimes that ends up adding to that. It depends on what group you’re going to run out there. I don't think that's different than anybody else in this league. When you start to lose offensive linemen, all of a sudden the success of the offensive line isn't what it was when you had the regular guys in there.