Making A Case: Redskins and Eagles
Reasons to pick the Eagles
– Mike Vick is the NFL’s highest-rated passer and he has yet to turn the football over. According to Mike Shanahan, he’s playing better than he ever did in Atlanta. Unlike the last time he played Washington, he may finish this game.
– The Eagles protect the football. Their +9 turnover margin is the best in the NFL. As a matter of fact, Philadelphia is +59 in turnover ratio since 1999. (Only the New England Patriots, +64, have a better ratio).
-DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin combined for just 4 catches and 34 yards in Philly’s first meeting with Washington. It’s not likely that they’ll be shut out again.
– The Eagles can rush the passer. They’ve had ten different players record a sack and only the Pittsburgh Steelers have a longer streak of games with at least one sack. (Philly has registered at least one in 27 straight games while Pittsburgh’s streak is 32).
– The Eagles are rushing for 138 yards-per-game. They are top-5 in the NFL in rushing and top-5 in total offense. If they can move the ball on the ground against Washington, they could wear the Redskins’ opportunistic defense down.
Reasons to pick the Redskins
– The Eagles beat the Colts last week and face the Giants in Week-11. Those two games, both at home, sandwiched around a road matchup with a .500 Redskins team could make getting up for ‘Monday Night’ a little bit tougher.
– Mike Shanahan is 10-4 in the regular season when coming off a bye week. His playoff record with two weeks to prepare for games is an even more impressive 4-1.
– Sticking with the “really good after a bye week” theme, Donovan McNabb has never lost a start following a bye week.
– Washington’s defense has generated 19 takeaways. That’s two more than the unit mustered last year, and one more than Washington tallied in all of 2008. Mike Vick has yet to throw an interception or lose a fumble. That’s got to end soon, right?
– The Redskins did ample self-scouting work over their bye week and have vowed to make adjustments on both sides of the ball. If the Redskins’ offensive game plan better suits McNabb, Washington should be able to extend drives and score more points.