By Brandon Pemberton
Catch me on Twitter @Bashir28
Today the Philadelphia Eagles season is pretty much on the line in Washington D.C. against the Rex Grossman led Redskins. The Redskins currently lead the division with a 3-1 record and their defense is ranked 3rd in total yards allowed. Last week the Eagles continued to play they same type of football they had been playing in previous weeks, full of turnovers, poor pass protection, missed tackles, bad coaching and scheme. The NFC East division isn’t that strong, I like the way the Redskins have been playing, but I don’t trust Rex Grossman at quarterback. The Giants are up and down and the Cowboys are the same. ESPN’s Sal Palantonio said on Thursday night on his radio show ” If the Eagles beat the Redskins on Sunday, they will win the division. Now I wouldn’t take it that far, but a win on the road Sunday could give this team some momentum towards turning this season around.
Mike Vick is 1-6 in his last seven starts, with 14 turnovers in those seven games. If the Eagles stand a chance at winning today against a very good Redskins defense, winning the turnover battle is a must. Jason Peters will miss his second straight game and his replacement King Dunlap won’t play as well. Todd Herremans will get the start at left tackle and Winston Justice will make his season debut starting at right tackle, which is Vick’s blind side. I will say it again, I need more touches for Shady McCoy running and in the screen and pass game. The Redskins allow only 84 yards a game against the run, but the Eagles still need to run the ball and not become a one dimensional team. The Redskins rush linebackers are Brian Orapko and Ryan Kerrigan and they are at their best when the opposite team is in the position where they have to become pass heavy.
The Redskins offense isn’t spectacular, but it’s balanced and as of right now, they haven’t turned the ball over much. Head Coach Mike Shanahan has designed a offense to put Rex Grossman in a position to succeed. They use a stable of running backs which include: Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain, and rookie Roy Helu. The Redskins are the 8th best rushing team offensively in football and that is clearly the Eagles defensive weakness. Rex Grossamn hasn’t been great, but he also hasn’t been as bad as we’ve seen in the past. If he takes care of the ball and allows the running game and defense to do what they do, the Redskins will win this game.
The Eagles defense has an easier task at hand today, going against the Redskins offense. The Skins rely heavily on the run and use play action pass off of it. I have been saying it since the season started, if the Eagles can stop the run and force the Redskins in 2nd and 3rd and longs, they will beat this team easily. Rex Grossman is due for a bad game and the more pressure he feels, the more likely he turns the ball over three times today. The bottom line is the Eagles defense must play physical and make tackles today. It’s nothing more to say about it. Stop the run, pressure the QB, force turnovers, and make some damn tackles today.
The Washington Redskins defense is completely different from the group that the Eagles scored 59 points on last season. A year later Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett has the right pieces in his 3-4 defense and they are a vicious bunch of players. They have 15 sacks in their first 4 games and they are putting pressure on the QB with a variety of blitzes. The Skins allow only 296.5 yards per game defensively, which is good for 6th in the NFL and like I said earlier, they only allow 84 yards on the ground per contest. Their front seven players is a stout physical group of players who will pose problems for the Eagles light offensive line in short yardage situation.
Now with that being said, the Eagles have lost four straight games and had a closed door meeting among players this week. What does it mean? Not much to me, is a closed door meeting going to make the linebackers and safeties all of the sudden good players now? Has it forced the wide nine out of the door? From what I know, it hasn’t. The opening line for this game was Redskins -1 and now the line has jumped to the Eagles -3. Rex Grossman gives the Eagles this game by turning it over. Eagles 23 Redskins 21