The Eagles face their first divisional test today at the Redskins, where a win could see them alone in first place and a loss could drop them to third.
On paper, the Eagles have some advantages. First is health. The Redskins are missing some key players in tight end Jordan Reed and defensive rookie of the year candidate Su’a Cravens out, and Trent Williams, Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Trent Murphy and Chris Baker nursing injuries as well. The Eagles are relatively healthy with the status of Fletcher Cox (likely to play) and Leodis McKelvin (anyone’s guess) to be determined. And of course the suspension of Lane Johnson means the offense will be missing one of it’s best players.
More importantly, this match up simply favors the Eagles. The Redskins defense is once again a poor unit, in particular their run defense has been abysmal, ranking 32nd in DVOA and yards per attempt, and have given up the most rushing TDs as well. The Eagles run game has struggled with consistency so far this season but should be in store for a good game. That would give the offense the balance it seeks, and set up Carson Wentz for another Rookie of the Week type performance. On the other side of the ball, Kirk Cousins has thrown an interception in four of his five games and the Redskins run game is once again struggling. If Jim Schwartz returns to his normal player usage, his unit should play very well.
But as we saw last week, games aren’t won on paper. Still, it’s hard to pick against the Eagles here. The mood in the Eagles locker room after the Lions game was probably best described as “pissed”, meanwhile after three straight wins over the lousy Giants, Browns and Ravens, the Redskins are probably feeling over confident. The Eagles have coaching and talent advantages, and while that doesn’t win every game, it wins most games.
Score prediction: 27-13 Eagles
Bold prediction: Carson Wentz rushing TD
Leave your own predictions in the comments.