If the Eagles are to defeat the Washington Redskins today there a few things they will need to do if they plan on winning.
1. Protect the Quarterback: Over the last two weeks the Eagles faced some bad, vanilla defenses and QB Mike Vick still was sacked 8 times. Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has blitzed at a 80% clip in the Redskins first 3 games. Best Believe that LB’s Brian Orapko and Andre Carter will be coming full tilt after Vick all game long. The weakness of the Eagles offensive line is the middle and here’s a wildcard, If DT Albert Haynesworth comes to play today he could makes things real difficult for the Eagles offense.
2. Give McCoy the ball a little more: RB LeSean McCoy has is averaging 6.1 yards a carry and has 4 TD’s through the first 3 games, but he has carried the ball only 34 times. This is the best defense the Eagles will have faced this season and a balanced offense will help out Vick a bunch. You don’t want to get one dimensional against a good defense like this.
3. Maclin and Jackson have to show up: Redskins cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers are one of the best tendems in the league. They play a physical, up in your face brand of ball that can expose the lack of size and toughness of the Birds starting duo. They have to beat press coverage, get open quickly and be prepared to take some big shots from Safety Laron Landry. He is a concussion waiting to happen back there.
4. Stop the run: The Redskins running game has been virtually a mirage and it needs to stay that way. Redskins RB Clinton Portis is a shell of himself and look to see Ryan Torain to see some time today.
5. Get Pressure on McNabb early and often: McNabb isn’t the fleet footed player that he used to be and we all know he’s inaccurate under pressure. The Redskins are last in the league in 3rd down conversions and the Birds could put this game out of reach early if they rattle McNabb’s cage and force some bad throws.
6. Win the special teams and turnover battle: Vick hasn’t turned the ball over yet in ten quarters of football and if he continues that trend, the Eagles will win this game. The Eagles defense needs to force McNabb into mistakes today. He doesn’t take too many risks, but he will overthrow some passes and look for Asante Samuel to jump a route for a pick 6 today. We need a perfect day from the kick coverage units and no fumbles of muffed kicks.
My Prediction: Eagles win 23-14