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Need to Know: Inconsistent Eagles, Redskins meet with NFC East on the line

Dec 23, 2015, 5:15 AM EDT

Garcon-stiffarm-vs-Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 23, three days before the Washington Redskins travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.

Five early thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

—How good are the Eagles? Are they as bad as they looked against a couple of mediocre teams in the Bucs and the Lions? Or are they as good as the team that beat the Patriots? Sure, they had some good fortune in Foxborough but that’s a tough place to win under any circumstances. Like the Redskins they have been inconsistent from week to week. But unlike Washington, they haven’t alternated good and bad weeks; they have been streaky. That makes them harder to figure out.

—The Philly defense hasn’t been hard to figure out lately. The Eagles have given up over 400 yards of offense in six of their last seven games. They have been gashed on the ground lately, giving up a combined 382 yards to the Bills and Cardinals. It’s probably too much to hope for the Redskins to get their dormant running game going but the opportunity may be there.

—Eagles QB Sam Bradford had an odd day against the Redskins in Week 4. He only completed 54 percent of his passes but he threw three touchdown passes, averaged 9.6 yards per attempt, and posted a 122.6 passer rating. Cornerback Chris Culliver was hurting but he gamely gave it a go that day but he was ineffective. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews had been slumping before last Sunday with an average of just 30 receiving yards per game in his last five. But he broke out of it with eight catches for 158 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals. Sure, a good chunk of his production came in garbage time, especially a 78-yard TD reception when the Eagles trailed 37-10 in the fourth quarter. But he is still a weapon to watch.

—For a while the Eagles were among the better teams in the NFL in terms of turnover ratio. After nine games they had accumulated a plus-six margin. But in their last five games they have given the ball away 12 times and taken it away just four times. Taking out my handy calculator, that makes them minus-two on the year. The Redskins have been in a bit of a takeaway slump with just one in their last two games after getting six in their two before that. We will see of Washington can get a few takeaways.

—I have no idea what to expect on Saturday. I do think that the Redskins will be ready to play. The win over the Bills was one of the least celebrated in recent memory. The players know that it likely means nothing if they don’t take care of business in Philly. There was much more of a determined atmosphere than a celebratory one. For their part, the Eagles were frustrated after their 23-point loss to the Cardinals. Of course, moods can change over the course of the week and we’ll see how things look when Saturday night rolls around.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 3; Redskins @Cowboys 11; start of NFL playoffs 17

In case you missed it

  1. colmac69 - Dec 23, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    If logan missing it b big bonus….he had gd game vs wash in wk. ….sat could b game that running game bursts out….if so eagles banged up defense won’t stop offense…

    Key in my eyes is defensive side of ball….eagles got weapons in Matthews and ertz…Bradford played better recently….defense gets fundamentals correct and keeps focus they should do enough to limit eagles to maybe 17-20 pts

    Like last wk I’m more confident bout sat as wk goes on…..unless we bt ourselves offensively I see us putting up 30+pts…..

    Just gd to b talking bout winning div titles and possible playoffs at this time yr…..

    • garg8050 - Dec 23, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      Agreed. Can’t commit any back breaking turnovers on offense, and can’t give up any big plays to Sproles on special teams.

      Our offense is functioning at a very high level right now, and I see us putting up 27 to 31 points. Bradford will make some plays, but he will also give the DBs a chance to make some plays.

      31-20 ‘Skins.

      • goback2rfk - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:39 AM

        Punt that sh|t out of bounds.

    • troylok - Dec 23, 2015 at 8:01 AM

      Yes, I agree the defense could be the deciding factor, but it could be a track meet it Philly gets its offense on. Getting some early takeaways and capitalizing on them could be the thing to take the wind out of Philly’s sails.

    • ET - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:06 AM

      If the Skins’ run game gets started, it’s Goodnight Eagles. While the Eagles’ run D has been soft lately, I’m not sure the Skins can capitalize on their weakness. Thankfully Kirk has been focused and mostly mistake-free lately. There’s no reason to think he can’t move the ball effectively. Let’s hope the mistake rate is low, as it has been in the past few weeks.

  2. berniebernard666 - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    LOGAN is out? Great….who is LOGAN??? i just checked the NFL PRO BOWL squad which was released today, and I didn’t see anybody name Logan on there. In fact, I didn’t see ANY of the Eagles defensive players on there. Come to think of it, I didn’t see any Redskins players on there either.

    On offense the Eagles put more players on the Pro Bowl squad than the Redskins did. So that should worry you more than somebody named LOGAN.

    • baugh33 - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      The fans/league just know that voting Redskins on to the Pro Bowl squad is pointless because they’ll have it off anyway – due to being in the Super Bowl! BOOM! I SAID IT!

      • wvredskins - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:08 AM

        lol I like it!!

    • colmac69 - Dec 23, 2015 at 1:03 PM

      Fletcher cox made pro bowl squad and he plays defense last time I looked

      Logan is key guy in their run defense so the more of their key guys out the better

      Looks like the corner Rowe b gd to go but maxwell a doubt at this stage

      Without doubt their offense is more to worry bout than their defense

  3. goback2rfk - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Power Rankings have us at 12th! Holy Sh|T. I hope all this success does not goto their heads. Dare I say the Redskins are actually good!?”! Well how about that.

    • baugh33 - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      I don’t know Power Rankings but if I were doing my Power Rankings, I’d have to put flying and X-Ray Vision as my top 2.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:08 AM

        Those are good. Also, the ability to shoot lightning out of your hands.
        ~

    • Skulb - Dec 23, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      You do know they’re only putting them there because it’s the lowest they can possibly put a playoff team right? If they thought people would buy it they’d still have the Skins at #32.

  4. captblood3000 - Dec 23, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    The Iggles self destructed in the third quarter against the Cardinals. They were the gift that keeps on giving. Establishing the run game against them is probably the best way to get that to happen again on Saturday.

    • firesnyder - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      I feel the Skins established the run by starting off with the pass against Buffalo. They need to keep doing that. Please do NOT start with the run against Philly! We will see a lot of EJ Biggars and an injured Maxwell that may or may not play…. how can you not exploit that?

  5. goback2rfk - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    I see no reason to do anything differently on Saturday. The run game is sh|t and will have to be addressed in the off season. In the mean time continue with the pass attack and go for touchdowns instead of field goals. Hopefully can build an early enough lead to carry out throughout the game.
    And dont punt the ball to Sproles. Punt it out of bounds or away from him. Cant get gashed on special teams.

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    There was much more of a determined atmosphere than a celebratory one.
    ———————-

    Good…Good


    ~

  7. berniebernard666 - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    the best things the Redskins have going for them is:

    Number 1 they are UNDERDOGS to the Eagles. Yes the Eagles are FAVORED.

    Number 2 the Redskins have no Pro Bowl Players outside of Trent WIlliams. Even Jordan Reed was left off.

    Number 3 Kirk Cousins and his Contract is up in the air, and this game will have a huge affect on him.

    Number 4 The Eagles fans are unhappy and will turn on their team QUICKLY if the Skins take the lead.

    • Skulb - Dec 23, 2015 at 11:28 AM

      Agreed. Another fast start would be awesome. Long TD drive, a stop and then another long TD drive and the Philly crowd will turn on their team and on Chipedidoodah.

  8. gasngo14 - Dec 23, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    D Jax needs to cook some yard bird Saturday night in Philly!!!!

  9. YOU LIKE THAT - Dec 23, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Wow, and I thought 6-10 was the very best record they would get. Kirk tells Brady he study’s him.Gruden pisses off all Griffin fans. Danny ain’t been heard from. D-Jax ain’t no blood or Crypt. Reed is not made of glass.Courts over rule Trade mark bs. Saturday Night belongs to my Skins.This division isn’t as bad as its been made out to be. 9-7 is where we end up. God bless the Washington Redskins! God bless Redskin Nat ion….

  10. JOHNNY B - Dec 23, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    I will tell you that when the Redskins lose the coin toss and the Eagles defer first play should be a deep ball to Djax for a td. That will shut down the fans and the defense all in one blow. O wait a minute what was I thinking we always run on the first play of the game. Well I guess I can hope. The Eagles win against the badly injured Patriots meant nothing. They are a good team with no stability. Wondering if you will be cut or traded next year does nothing for moral. As long as chip is in charge of player’s they will not be a winning team. So with that in mind. Hail to the Redskins the NFC EAST CHAMPS.

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