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Previewing the Eagles’ divisional showdown with Washington

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The Kist & Solak Show #158 & #159!

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NFL: SEP 08 Redskins at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Only a day away from the Philadelphia Eagles divisional game with Washington, there’s still so much to learn about this showdown. I know, it sounds silly. Washington has been a bad football team, hence their 3-10 record, but they aren’t the same team they were in the beginning of the season. Heck, they don’t even have the same quarterback.

On the BGN podcast feed we went through our usual two-part preview series of Eagles-Washington by breaking down each side of the ball. The Kist & Solak Show #158 dealt with the match-up between the Eagles’ defense and the Washington offense. You can hear more thoughts on that from The QB Scho Show #44, but below you find the full discussion regarding that side of the ball for the Eagles (or click here).

Washington’s defense can be easy to dismiss after their early season woes, but they’ve been able to turn it around recently and put in some solid performances. I spoke more about that on The Kist & Solak Show #159 with a loose transcript of my thoughts on the matter from the show below:

“When I watched this defense, from a schematic standpoint, I was really surprised. I mean they got demolished in the very beginning of the season. To start out they allowed 32, 31, 31, 24 and 33 points in the first five weeks, and in our Eye On the Enemy off-season preview of Washington I know I said that we could see a total collapse from this defense, and in the beginning that’s exactly what we saw to start out.

After that they went three straight games under 20 points including holding San Fran to 9 points in a 0 to 9 loss. They held the Vikings to 19 right around the time that they gashed the Eagles. And hey they haven’t been perfect, the Jets lit them up for 34 points in Week 11, but doggonit man, I really liked the plan they had in the Panthers game until they went prevent and they had a pretty successful plan against the Packers.

Against the Panthers you saw a lot of sim pressure, now what does that mean. It means before the snap Washington is putting numbers at the line, they’re showing you blitz, and as such you may have to alter your protection schemes a bit, the Eagles do this a lot when they have Nigel Bradham step into the a-gap then bail, which helps Fletcher Cox get an extra half second to work his man until the slide comes.

As such the Panthers had to keep Christian McCaffrey in as a blocker, and they did so, in fact McCaffrey had the most pass blocking reps he’d seen in a single game since week 2. So they were able to limit his effectiveness as a receiver and they also did a good job winning with 4 guys anyway, Kyle Allen got sacked 7 times that game...

Then against the Packers, there’s a quote out there about the Packers being surprised about how much drop 8 that Washington played, a) they still had 4 sacks even with a lower pressure rate, b) they confused Aaron Rodgers a bit and Rodgers had a bad game, maybe his second worst game of the year, the worst being against a tough San Francisco defense...

So we can point and laugh at this Washington team but they’ve only allowed 19 points per game in the last three outings and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky is cookin’ up some good stuff, I mean we thought this guy would be long fired at this point but he’s coachin’ for a job right now and he’s acquitted himself well after some near catastrophic stumbles early on.”

You can catch the rest of that discussion from The Kist & Solak Show #159 on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen and subscribe to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!