Two NFC East teams go head to head Monday night in an attempt to keep pace in a wide open division. The Redskins lead the all time series 85-76-6, but the Eagles won both matchups a year ago.
The Redskins have lost 3 of their last 4, most recently a 31-23 loss to the Cowboys. In week 10, they beat the Buccaneers 16-3, and lost 23-21 to the Texans in week 11.
The Eagles defeated their rival Giants last week 25-22. In week 10, they lost 27-20 to the Cowboys, and were demolished 48-7 by the Saints in week 11.
BetOnline have the Eagles as 6 point favourites with an O/U of 45.
The Redskins have dealt with a ridiculous amount of injuries, most notably to their quarterback Alex Smith. Colt McCoy is a decent backup, but is not cut out for long term starting experiences. He creates well with his legs, but throws up some wobbly throws that lack zip. Tight end Jordan Reed leads the receiving attack with 50 catches for 537 yards and 2 TDs. Josh Doctson (32/334/2), Vernon Davis (17/305/2) and Maurice Harris (27/291/0) provide ancillary productions, while Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson are threats out of the backfield with 44 catches, 386 yards, and 2 TDs combined. Peterson leads the team in rushing with 183 rushes for 758 yards and 6 TDs.
The Redskins have the #7 ranked scoring defense, giving up 20.8 PPG. Their pass defense is below average, allowing 260.9 yards per game and 18 TDs through the air, and their pass rush ranks in the top 10 with 32 sacks. Their run defense is top 10, allowing just 1003 yards per game and 9 TDs on the ground. Washington has forced 21 turnovers on the year and own a +9 turnover differential.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
CB Quinton Dunbar (shin) – questionable, WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) – questionable, LB Zach Brown (knee) – questionable
Despite their struggles, the Eagles are still very much alive in the NFC. Carson Wentz has thrown for 2540 yards, 16 TDs and 6 INTs while completing 69.7% of his passes and averaging 7.7 YPA. Zach Ertz has been a marvel at tight end, catching 84 balls for 895 yards and 6 TDs on the year. Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery have been solid as well, going for 47/467/1 and 40/461/4 respectively. Their run game has been by committee for the past few weeks, but Josh Adams has begun to assume the lead role. Adams has 56 carries for 291 yards and 2 TDs this year, displaying an excellent north-south running style and is not afraid to get physical.
The Eagles are average in terms of scoring defense, giving up 23 PPG. Their pass defense is bottom 5, allowing 276.5 yards per game and 17 TDs through the air, but their pass rush is average, racking up 28 sacks on the year. Their run defense is just outside the top 10, allowing 103.6 yards per game and 9 TDs on the ground. Philly has forced just 8 turnovers on the year and own a -8 turnover margin.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
CB Jalen Mills (foot) – questionable, LB Jordan Hicks (calf) – out, G Brandon Brooks (ankle) – questionable
The Redskins offense is nothing to write home about, but the Eagles defense isn’t exactly world beating either. They should be able to move the ball through the air against the Eagles banged up secondary. Whether or not they can get in the endzone or not is a different story, as they have issues with drives stalling out. The Eagles front 4 should wreck the Washington offensive line with how banged up it is and make life hard on McCoy, so they should rely on quick passes to force the Philly secondary to come up and make tackles.
The Eagles offense is obviously talented enough to contend with a tough Washington D, but their playcalling and design leave a lot to be desired. Running the ball is not the strong suit of the Eagles offense, but Carson Wentz should find favorable matchups over the middle with Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz as well as out of the backfield with his running backs. The Redskins could force a cheap turnover or 2 and keep this game within reach, and there is no reason the Eagles deserve to be 6 point favorites at this point.
Final Pick: Redskins (+6)