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Eagles vs. Redskins 2014: Game Predictions

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It's Eagles-Redskins game day. Who are you taking to win?

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

This week would be as good as ever for the Philadelphia Eagles to finally play a complete 60 minutes of football. No more sluggish first half starts; it's time for the Eagles to show they can jump out of the gate and never look back. The Eagles have shown they can bounce back, but now they need to show they can start strong.

The season is young and it is only Week 3, but this is a big game for the Eagles and the Washington Redskins. The winner of this game will take an early lead in first place of the NFC East. If Philadelphia wins, they will also be 3-0 for the first time since 2004, which is the year they last went to the Super Bowl.

As always, it might not be easy. Washington did not look very good at all in Week 1 against the Houston Texans, who are now 2-0, but the team from D.C. absolutely demolished the Jaguars in Week 2. Washington's pass rush may give the Eagles' offensive line some fits. That is a concerning thought when you consider Nick Foles has already looked a little shaky.

Speaking of, this would be a great game for Foles to quiet the skeptics as well. He needs to identify open wide receivers and deliver a crisp ball. His struggling corps of wide receivers also need to help him out: stop the drops. It is scary to think how good the Eagles could be if they don't have to rely on only Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz to carry their league-leading offense.

Washington comes to down with a rushing attack that will challenge Philadelphia's defense. The Eagles have looked good against the run in the past but oddly struggled against the Indianapolis Colts' running backs. Philadelphia will have also to deal with mighty Washington backup quarterback Kirk Cousins. Note that in four career starts, Cousins' stat line looks like this: 95/167 (56.9%), 1076 yards (6.4 yards/attempt), 6 TD, 6 INT, 3 fumbles, 1 win, 3 losses.

Making matters for tough for Philadelphia is that starting inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks is out due to a calf injury. It appears Emmanuel Acho will likely start in his place. This is a big opportunity for Acho. The much-maligned Casey Matthews may also get some snaps. First round draft pick rookie Marcus Smith II, who has been cross-training as an inside linebacker, may finally get on the field for the first time in his career after having not played a single snap in the first two weeks.

Another major storyline, of course, is that DeSean Jackson will make his first return to Philadelphia since being unceremoniously dumped in the offseason. There is no doubt that Jackson is motivated to play. But will he be healthy enough? It sounds like Jackson's shoulder injury could be prohibitive. He has been ruled questionable for the game and we will just have to stay tuned.

It should be a fun game. The stakes are high and it is a classic NFC East match-up. Will the Eagles come out on top?

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My predictions:

Score prediction: Eagles 30, Redskins 24
Bold prediction: Brandon Boykin pick-six