Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) vs. Washington (3-1)
Sunday, 1:00 pm EDT at FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Spread: Eagles -3
After an unexpectedly dominant win against the power-house Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Eagles fell back down to earth last week in their one-point loss to the middling Detroit Lions. The Eagles now enter a brutal stretch of their schedule that includes three road games against division opponents, the undefeated Vikings, the Seahawks, Packers, and the apparently good and not-bad Atlanta Falcons. The Bengals and Ravens are in there, too. Basically, the Lions were the last “layup” on the schedule and the Birds blew it.
Going into Washington, the Eagles will need to shake off the mistakes from last week and focus on getting pressure on quarterback Kirk Cousins, who embarrassed the Birds’ defense last year, and taking care of the football on offense, as they did prior to the Lions game. The biggest offensive threat for Washington is former Eagle DeSean Jackson – still a home run threat on every play. Defensively, volatile, but talented cornerback Josh Norman will be looking to take advantage of any errors downfield by rookie QB Carson Wentz. If the Eagles can minimize the big plays by Washington’s offense and win the turnover battle, Philadelphia can finish the day in first place in the NFC East.
As we await kickoff, here are the predictions from the football minds here at Pattison Avenue and what we’ll be watching throughout the game – please follow and harangue them on twitter dot com:
Now that my streak of picking against the Eagles is broken, time to ditch the superstition and get back to reality. The Eagles are the better team here – they’re 3-1 with three dominant wins and one shoot-yourself-in-the-foot loss. The Redskins were blown out by the same Steelers team the Eagles took to the woodshed. They have wins over the murderer’s row of Giants, Browns, and Ravens. Back to reality for Washington this week, the Nationals were painfully eliminated and the Skins are gonna get blown out at home today. Take Eagles -3 and under 45. EAGLES 31-13
Despite all the bad that came from last weeks loss to Detroit, the Eagles were a Ryan Mathews wrong-armed fumble away from pulling out a win. Now, the Eagles face an injury-riddled (by injury-riddled I mean TE Jordan Reed) Washington team that is on a three game winning streak. For the Birds to pull out a road victory, they need to pressure Kirk Cousins, even sending a few blitzes. On offense, the Eagles need to control the ball on offense. I’d expect to see all four running backs get touches. Eagles get back to their winning ways with a 27-17 victory.
In the first half against Detroit, the Eagles’ defense let running back Theo Riddick run wild, especially coming out of the backfield on screens and short passes. The linebacking corps needs to play the intermediate routes and screens better than they did last week. Star tight end Jordan Reed has been ruled out by Washington, which is a huge bonus for the Birds, but poor coverage can make anyone look like a star. I’ll be looking for Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry to have big games getting to Cousins and forcing turnovers. I like the Eagles to get back on track, this week. Eagles 28-14
Well we all fell for the trap that was last week’s game against the Lions. This week there has to be no more experimenting or taking too long to adjust, as a W or L can easily be the difference between being a contender in the NFC East, or dedicating this season to the further development of Carson Wentz and the rest of this young Eagles squad. Their first division game, a road game at that, could be the difference between 4-1 and a leg up on the division, or 3-2 record that has them on the brink early in the second quarter of the season. It could also be a turning point early in the Doug Pederson era to see if he can or cannot hold this team together in it’s first period of adversity.
I believe the team will bounce back in a typically close game against the Washington NFL Football Team. Eagles 20-17
… and Go Union!
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