The Eagles hit the road this weekend for a game that could be they’re most important one yet. This weekend’s matchup against the Washington Redskins will be Carson Wentz and the new look Philadelphia Eagles first test against a division opponent. It wont be an easy matchup, but after three straight losses to the Redskins, things look good for the Eagles.
First and foremost, the Eagles will be looking to get the run game going against the 31st ranked running defense that is allowing 130 yards per game on the ground. After Ryan Mathews game costing fumble last week, fans are screaming for both Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood to get more carries and it makes sense that the two backs averaging the most yards per carry on the team will see plenty of opportunities tomorrow.
Carson Wentz and the Eagles passing game faces a much tougher challenge, as Washington’s passing defense, lead by Ryan Kerrigan and Josh Norman, is very stout. The Eagles should have an easier time than most because Washington’s defense is suffering heavily due to injuries. Both starting safeties are out, and rookie linebacker Su’a Cravens, who had the game winning interception against the Giants, may also be out. Expect Wentz to target Zach Ertz early and often, as he has a knack for recording record breaking performances against the Redskins. Jordan Matthews should also have a good game, because while Josh Norman should be effectively able to limit plays on the outside, the Redskins are nowhere near as strong in the middle of the field.
After an absolutely dismal first half against the Lions, the Eagles defense got back to form and should come out strong against the Redskins. Tight end Jordan Reed, who has caused nightmares for the Eagles in the past, probably wont play due to the sixth concussion of his career. However, Washington still boasts an impressive wide receiver core, and the Eagles will have their hands full trying to contain DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder. The Eagles D-line will need to be dominant, and get to Kirk Cousins quickly if they want to win this game.
Division games are tough and playing the Redskins doesn’t make anything easier, but the Eagles are in a good position to win this game. It’s a necessary win too, as the Eagles schedule picks up, and they need to win matchups like this if they want to have any shot of making the playoffs this year.
Photo Credit: Tim