By Kevin McGuire
The Eagles are looking to win three straight games for the first time since winning four straight to close out the 2011 season. They are also hoping to snap the dreadful home losing streak, which currently stands at 10. Their opponent this week standing in the way will be the long time rival Washington Redskins. These two teams met in a Monday night season opener back in Week 1, with the Eagles winning. Let’s check back in to see how the Redskins have been doing since then.
The Redskins have been scuffling this season and enter this weekend with a record of 3-6. That includes a season opening loss at home in the Monday night season opener against the Eagles and the Redskins are 0-2 in the NFC East. Washington has lost two of their last three and are coming off a Thursday night loss at Minnesota.
In the season opener, the Eagles offense stunned Washington right from the start and the defense took advantage of a Washington offense that clearly was not in sync as Robert Griffin III returned to action.
Redskins on Offense
The Redskins have generally been OK on offense. Washington will enter this weekend ranked fifth overall in team offense with the NFL’s third-best running game and the 10th ranked passing offense. The Redskins have scored 27 points or more in three of their last four games as well. Quarterback Robert Griffin III has struggled at times, which has led some to believe Kirk Cousins should take over under center, but Cousins has played just one game this season. Running back Alfred Morris is the team’s leading rusher with 825 yards and five touchdowns and has broken eight runs of 20 yards or more this season. He has lost just one fumble all season and that was in the season opener against the Eagles.
Redskins on Defense
Washington’s defense has been what is holding back the team the most. Opposing quarterbacks have been having success through the air against Washington. The Redskins are ranked 25th against the pass, so expect the Eagles to take some chances with Nick Foles going deep as they did against the Packers and Raiders the last two weeks. Washington is also ranked 18th against the run. They struggled against the Eagles ground game in week one with LeSean McCoy rushing for 184 yards. Look for the Eagles to get McCoy the football a variety of ways to mix things up.
Redskins Players to Watch
Alfred Morris, Running Back: Morris has rushed for 100 yards in each of the last two games after rushing for 136 yards against the Vikings. He has now rushed for at least 80 yards in each of his last five games and he remains one of the most consistent players for Washington. His worst game of the season was the season opener against the Eagles, when he rushed for just 45 yards.
Perry Riley, Linebacker: In his fourth NFL season, Perry Riley is leading the Redskins in tackles entering the weekend. Riley playing alongside London Fletcher makes for a solid linebacker duo for Washington. The former LSU player has two sacks but is coming off the worst game of his season after recording just three total tackles against the Vikings.
The Eagles and Redskins appear to be meeting this week heading in opposite directions. While it seems the Eagles may have started to find a little bit of a groove, the Redskins continue to stumble their way through the season and are in real danger of not being able to defend their NFC East crown.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.