By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The last time the Eagles and Redskins met was opening night. The Eagles expect a tougher test in Sunday’s rematch.
On the first week of the season, the Eagles put on a dazzling display on the Redskins’ home turf before holding on for a six-point victory. Washington Quarterback Robert Griffin III was still recovering from a knee injury in the opener, and Coach Chip Kelly expects to see a more mobile RGIII on Sunday.
“He was coming off the injury and didn’t get any live reps in camp,” said Kelly. “He’s a lot different now. Offensively, I think they’re in the top five or ten in the league in rushing and passing and total offense.”
Linebacker DeMeco Ryans and the Eagles defense shut down Washington in the first half of the opener. The Redskins made things close in the second half when Griffin began to settle in, and Ryans believes the latest version of RGIII will be more dangerous than the one they saw in week one.
“We see more design runs for him,” Ryans said. “We see him getting out of the pocket more and creating more plays running the ball and throwing outside the pocket with the bootleg passes and things of that nature. He still has a big arm and he’s still capable of beating you throwing and running the ball.”
The Eagles’ fast-paced offense got off to a blistering start in Washington. The Eagles scored 26 points in the first half as the Redskins got their first look at Chip Kelly’s scheme. Running Back LeSean McCoy knows they will have to play better now that Washington has ten weeks worth of video of the Eagles’ attack.
“A lot has changed since game one,” said McCoy. “We don’t look at that game and this it’s going to be the same result. We’re going to watch tape and game plan together and be ready to execute on Sunday.”
In a year in which a 5-5 record is good four first place in the NFC East, all four teams still have hopes of a division title. The 5-5 Eagles could all but eliminate the 3-6 Redskins from the race, but Ryans says he’s not looking at the division implications of Sunday’s game.
“We’re trying to win the next game,” Ryans said. “That’s our mentality. We don’t focus in on the race and who’s where or what. We have to do our job, and that’s to win this game.”
Mychal Kendricks, Jake Knott and Jason Peters did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Safety Earl Wolff also missed practice with a knee injury and will not play on Sunday.