Tale Of The Tape: Washington Redskins At Philadelphia Eagles
- QuarterbackThe Redskins are not the explosive team on offense that they were for the large majority of the offseason, but they are at least trending in the right direction as RGIII seems to find his stride a little more each week. After getting destroyed by the Eagles in the season opener, look for the Redskins to push the Eagles hard on their home turf. RGIII will throw for at least 250 yards and three TDs.The Eagles had hit bottom when they were held without a touchdown in their Week Eight loss to the Giants. Nick Foles has lit the fuse of Chip Kelly’s offense with 10 touchdowns in the last two games, both road victories over the Raiders and Packers. Perhaps Foles’ most important statistic is that he did not throw an interception in either game.
- OffenseThe Redskins want to hit the Eagles – and every opponent – with a heavy dose of smashmouth football. Running back Alfred Morris runs with a heavy, sledgehammer style and he is capable of wearing down the Eagles’ defense. Pierre Garcon is a dependable receiver who knows how to get open and won’t drop the ball. Tight end Jordan Reed is an improving player who can catch the ball in the red zone.The Eagles have options on the offensive side. Riley Cooper was the most despised man in the NFL when his racist country music rant was exposed in the summer, but he has turned it around with five TD catches in the last two games. DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest receivers in the league, while LeSean McCoy is as dangerous catching the ball as he is running with it.
- DefenseThe Redskins have struggled badly on the defensive side of the ball as they made Christian Ponder look like a Pro Bowler in Week 10, and that’s not easy to do. The Redskins rank 27th overall on defense as they simply don’t have the speed to keep up with fast teams like the Eagles. Linebacker London Fletcher is an excellent tackler who is second on the team with 67 stops.The Eagles have shown some improvement on the defensive side against the Raiders and Packers the last two weeks, but they still rank 31st overall. This area could still be Philadelphia’s undoing the remainder of the season. Inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans is the best player on this unit with 89 tackles, two interceptions and 2.0 sacks this season.
- Special TeamsThe Redskins have been a disaster on special teams, having given up four punt returns for touchdowns. Josh Morgan is not a threat returning the ball for the Redskins. Kai Forbath is an ordinary placekicker who has made just 7-of-11 FG attempts this season.The Eagles have struggled with their special teams and their coverage teams have had lapses, just not as many as the Redskins. Jackson is capable of a huge return when the game is on the line. Placekicker Alex Henery is ordinary (16-of-21 on FG attempts) and so is punter Donnie Jones.
The Eagles are a very unusual team in that they win regularly on the road, but they can’t buy a win at home. They beat the Redskins in the season opener, so don’t be surprised if Washington returns serve here. However, the red-hot Foles would like to end the Eagles’ home winless skein. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor