The Eagles will look to win their first back-to-back games of the season as they host the Redskins on Monday Night Football under the lights at the Linc. This game is an absolute MUST-WIN to keep the Eagles hopes of winning the NFC East and making a run in the playoffs alive. Let’s take an in-depth look at how the Birds matchup with the ‘Skins in this week’s Tale of The Tape.
In The Air:
Eagles: The Eagles will bring their 13th ranked passing attack into the Linc and look to carve up the Redskins 23rd ranked passing defense.The Eagles have averaged 253.1 yards per game through the airand will need to take advantage of the Redskins struggling passing defense to secure a win on Monday. The Redskins have given up an average of 260.9 yards through the air a game, but are one of the best at creating interceptions. They are tied for the 6th most interceptions in the NFL with 11, averaging almost 1 a week.
Redskins:Even before Alex Smith went down, the Redskins only had the 22nd ranked passing attack in the NFL. Now that Colt McCoy has been under center for a game and a half, Washington has dropped to 25th, with an average of 213.7 passing yards a game.McCoy is coming off a pretty rough Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys in which he threw 3 INTs. He did have 268 yards and 2 TD’s, but most came as the game was put away already. However, this week McCoy will be going against an already struggling Eagles pass defense, that now is dealing with more injuries than ever. The Eagles will bring their 28th ranked pass defense (which is 4th from last) and look to hold the Redskins to less than their average yardage given up in 276.5.
On The Ground:
Eagles: While the Eagles running attack had one of their best games on Sunday against the Giants, they may have their hands full on Monday Night. The Redskins have the 8th ranked rushing defense in the NFL, giving up an average of just 100.3 yards a game on the ground.The Eagles have the 24th ranked rushing offense in the league, averaging 100.8 yards on the ground.However, since Josh Adams has been recognized as the feature back, the run game seems to have developed new life. Adams carried the ball 22 times for 84 yards, this is the first time an Eagles RB had 22 carries since the Ryan Mathews era. Corey Clement also stepped up big time last week with 45 yards on just 5 carries. They will need to show up like this again to help take down a tough run D like Washington.
Redskins: Adrian Peterson and the Redskins will bring their 13th ranked rushing offense into the Linc averaging 117.7 yards a game. The Eagles and their 11th ranked rushing defense, giving up an average of 103.6 yards on the ground a game, will look to neutralize the future first-ballot Hall of Famer. Peterson is coming off of a pretty weak game in Dallas in which he only rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries. Let’s hope the Eagles are poised to hold AP to similar numbers on Monday.
5 Things To Watch For:
#1) Just how “real” is Josh Adams? : The Eagles are coming off one of their best rushing games of the season thanks to the emergence of a local undrafted stud of a running back in Josh Adams. Adams and the coaching staff have a tough task at hand in battling the 8th ranked rush defense of Washington. If they can continue to produce this week against a very solid defense, it can be a good indicator of things to come this season.
#2) Carson Wentz’s continued bounce-back:After the worst game of his career in New Orleans, Wentz had a much needed bounce-back game against New York, which included a clutch drive down the field to put Jake Elliott in range to kick a game winning field goal. While his stat-line wasn’t very flashy he was a very efficient 20/28, and threw for 236 yards and a touchdown. Last season when the Eagles faced the Redskins on MNF, Wentz had one of the most prolific games of his career. He threw for 268 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 25 attempts. This game included some of the most incredible plays of his career, including “The Escape.”
#3) Will this finally be the week Golden Tate emerges?: Since joining the Eagles, Tate has only had 9 receptions for 97 yards in three games. With now over a month in the system, I can not see any reasonable explanation for him not to begin to become a key factor in the offense. No matter how much our OC Mike Groh says he’s “struggled to get [Tate] integrated into the offense,” it has to click eventually, and hopefully this is the week it finally does.
#4) Can Zach Ertz continue his historic pace? Eagles TE Zach Ertz is not just having a great season, he’s having an HISTORIC season. Ertz is currently on pace to catch 122 passes this season, if he accomplishes this, it will be the highest number of receptions by a tight end in NFL History. He currently has 84 receptions, 895 yards, and 6 touchdowns. He’s also averaging 10.7 yards per catch. These are Hall of Fame type numbers, let’s hope he continues this pace.
#5) First Place? : If the Saints defeat the Cowboys on Thursday as all are expecting, and the Eagles can win this game on Monday, the Birds will find themselves tied for first place in the NFC East. With another Redskins matchup in Week 15, and a Cowboys matchup in Week 16, this game is the first of three absolutely critical divisional games that the Eagles MUST win.
Prediction: The Eagles will recognize the magnitude of this game and come out and stomp the Redskins. I’m very confident in this one. I just don’t see a way the Eagles can lose this game. I expect the Eagles defense to gain a much needed confidence boost that they can ride for the rest of the season. Eagles 27, Redskins 14.
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