Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Redskins vs Eagles: Gameplan

Brian Orakpo pressures Mike Vick. (Photo: hailmagazine.com)
I know that the "Dream Team" has started 1-4, but that is no reason for the Redskins to think that this Sundays against the Eagles will be any walk in the park. To be clear, I am NOT trying to defend the Eagles in ANY way.

The Eagles only win this season has come against the St Louis Rams week one 35-13. The Redskins just recently managed a 17-10 win against the same team. The rest of the Eagles season has gone like this (record is of time they played them): Atlanta (0-1), New York Giants (1-1), San Francisco (2-1), and the Buffalo Bills (3-1). The Eagles haven't exactly had the easiest schedule in the NFL.

The Redskins have had a fairly favorable schedule up to now playing the Giants, Cardinals, Cowboys, and Rams. The Redskins have gotten through this part of the schedule with a 3-1 record. Not too shabby.

The Eagles have an offense that ranks 8th in passing and 6th in rushing overall in the NFL. Their pass defense is ranked 7th in the NFL, as well.

The Redskins offense is ranked 19th in passing and 8th in rushing overall in the NFL. Their pass defense is ranked 8th in the NFL.

These two teams are very evenly matched. Where does one or the other have an advantage?

The running game.

The Redskins will win this game by putting the ball on the ground. The Washington running game is ranked 8th in the NFL and the Philadelphia run defense is ranked 30th in the NFL. Philadelphia's running game is ranked 1st in the NFL but the Redskins have the 6th best run defense in the NFL.

The Redskins cannot afford to think that this game will be a piece of cake. Anytime that Mike Vick, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and DeSean Jackson are on the same team that team is lethal. The Redskins definitely have the advantage on paper. This Sunday they need to back up the numbers and shut down the lethal Philly offense.

The Redskins backfield should anticipate an opportunity for a statement game this weekend. Tim Hightower, Roy Helu Jr, and Ryan Torrain should all be able to have breakout games against this floundering run defense.

It comes right down to the offensive and defensive lines for the Redskins. If the offensive line can be aggressive off the ball they will surely open some holes for the running backs. The defensive line needs to be able to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage and contain Mike Vick and force him to throw the ball.

This game will be closer than most people expect it to be. I expect the Redskins to win in a good ol' fashion game of hard nosed football.