Yeah, that is right! The Birds are Back! I am not going to lie as the start of this season definitely has a very different feel this year. We have had ZERO training camp and ZERO preseason games to watch. All we can go off is the past history of the coaches and players we know and try to get some good information from the team beat writers on twitter. The Philadephia Eagles open up their season in Washington against The Football Team as 5.5 favorites (It was 6.5). Here are my 3 keys to the game!
1. The Battle Upfront
The game of football is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles offensive line has major question marks surrounding it from health, age, and experience. Doug Pederson still hasn’t confirmed who will start at guard even though we all think (Know?) its Matt Pryor. They face a very tough match up with Washington whose front four (All 1st Round Picks) can wreak havoc. Ryan Kerrigan seems to feast against the Eagles and no one has seen Chase Young yet. Also, Washington will be moving to a 4-3 defensive scheme with Ron Rivera (HC) and Jack Del Rio (DC).
The Redskins offensive line was ranked 13th per Pro Football Focus led by Brandon Scherff. The right side remains but the left side will feature Geron Christian Sr., starting at left tackle. The Eagles have lacked a consistent pass rush should definitely take advantage of the 2018 3rd round pick. The Eagles interior will need to dominate and open up single matchups on the outside for Brandon Graham and company on the EDGE.
2. Eagles Secondary
Last year, the Eagles secondary made Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins look like Joe Montana. The good thing is that a majority of those guys are gone or in a new position. The addition of Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman should be a tremendous improvement for the defensive backfield. There are still question marks as far as depth and rookie experience that we just don’t have the answer to yet. Will Jim Schwartz allow Darius Slay to blanket Terry McLaurin? He didn’t seem to care for providing help last year. Washingtons 3rd round pick, Antonio Gibson (WR converted to RB), will be a matchup nightmare and moved all over the field.
3. Speed & Quick Release
Look for both teams to try and limit tough match-ups on the offensive line with quick throws and screens. I think the Eagles have an advantage here because contrary to last year, speed surrounds the offense. Also, The Football Teams secondary is a HUGE question mark. The Eagles should be able to get off quick throws underneath to Jalen Reagor (Full Participant at practice Thursday) and Greg Ward while still having Desean Jackson to stretch the field. The screen game can then be used to limit the pass rush with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Both teams will use their speed at running back to try slowing down the opposing pass rush.
The Philadelphia Eagles have won 6 in a row against Washington. This game can go either way for me and I feel like it will be a sloppy game. Neither team has played any game so essentially this is going to be like watching the 1st quarter of a preseason game for 4 quarters. Expect penalties and mistakes. The Eagles are the better football team but I think Washington pulls this one out ugly.
Washington Football Team 19 – Philadelphia Eagles 17
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