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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

Nov 13, 2013, 5:25 AM EDT

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DeMeco-Ryans

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 13, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here are five things you need to know about the Redskins-Eagles matchup:

1. The Eagles would be last in the league in yards allowed if the Dallas Cowboys’ defense wasn’t even worse. The pass defense is ranked 31st but that’s not as bad as it looks. They are only 13th in opponents’ passer rating and that’s generally a better measure of pass defense. You can run on them a bit; they are 19th in allowing 4.0 yards per attempt.

2. But the Eagles can put up some points and they can do it in a hurry. According to my man Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, the Eagles have had 25 touchdown drives this year (that’s drives, not counting any special teams or defensive scores) and the average time of those drives is 1:38. By comparison, the Redskins’ 23 offensive TD’s come at the end of drives that average exactly 4:00. The fast TD drives aren’t necessarily always a good thing, especially if it puts the defense back on the field quickly. But it’s the kind of offense that Chip Kelly wanted to install so in that he has been successful.

3. It remains to be seen if Nick Foles is really a stud QB in the making or if he’s just having a few good weeks. Seven touchdown passes in a game is not necessarily a mark of greatness. Yes, luminaries such as Peyton Manning and Y. A. Tittle have done it. So did career nonentity Adrian Burk, coincidentally a former Eagle. I suspect that Foles is more Burk than he is Manning but that doesn’t mean that he can’t light up the Redskins on Sunday.

4. It seems like you see inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans every time an Eagles highlight, grabbing an interception (he has two) or sacking the quarterback (two of those, too) or making a key stop. In the Eagles’ win over the Packers, he had 13 tackles.  You didn’t see too much out of him last year, his first season in Philly after coming from Houston in a trade but maybe that’s because the Eagles were a 2-12 nonentity. In 16 games last year, he had 81 tackles; in 10 games in 2013 he already has 74. Perhaps it was the shift back into at 3-4 defense, the scheme in which he made two Pro Bowls in six year with the Texans, that made the difference. In any case, Ryans is playing some good football.

5. The Eagles have lost an incredible 10 straight home games and receiver DeSean Jackson doesn’t like the boo-birds that Philadelphia is so well know for voicing their displeasure with the events. “We have a nasty trend going at home so whatever we need to do to fix that – all support, everybody in the stands just really encouraging instead of the opposite,” he said, via Sheil Kapadia of the Birds 24/7 Blog. That’s really more of what I meant by it. Just trying to get that energy to be on our side and not feel like it’s against us sometimes.” Might I suggest winning a home game or two?

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Stat of the day

—In the last two games, Pierre Garçon has caught 14 passes for 291 yards. The yardage is a Redskins team record for the most receiving yards in two consecutive games.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 4; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 12; Giants @ Redskins 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00); news conferences streamed line on CSNwashington.com.

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