About halfway through the Monday night game, I was at a loss for what I was going to say about them. The team looked like they had given up. There were multiple mixups in the secondary. The offense looked like complete garbage. Carson Wentz was befuddling, to say the least. Even the pre-game planning was bad.
The Eagles only dressed three receivers? I had to look that up just to be sure it was real. I’m actually surprised we didn’t see Josh McCown run a few routes, reprising his old role as an emergency receiver like he did with the Lions so long ago. When the second half began, we saw a lot of improvement on the offense and just from an overall effort standpoint.
In the end, it was an unnecessarily dramatic win for the Eagles as the Giants seemingly grew disinterested at the idea of winning the game.
Eagles vs Redskins game preview
We initially thought the loss to the Dolphins was the beginning of the end for the Eagles. Luckily for them, the Cowboys have been equally as bad. Now, the Eagles still have a shot at winning the division. As far as whatever happened earlier in the season, it’s essentially meaningless now.
The Eagles are just 1-3 in their last four games and have arguably looked progressively worse each week. I get that the Eagles put it together in the second half on Monday, but there’s clearly still a lot of issues the Eagles have to get fixed. On the other hand, the Redskins are 2-1 in their last three, losing by only five points a week ago to the Packers. They are much better on defense than anyone realizes. The Eagles must take this game seriously and come out with the same level of desperation they started the second half with on Monday.
The Eagles must focus on stopping the run and forcing Haskins to challenge the secondary
It may sound like the last thing we want a team to do, but Dwayne Haskins is currently one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. It’s true the Eagles have been burned by quarterbacks in quite a few games this season, but it’s been seasoned quarterbacks each time. Dwayne Haskins has a bad offensive line that’s allowed him to be sacked 26 times already in limited action this season.
He’s also got just three touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season and has just a 55% completion percentage. He’s only thrown for more than 170 yards in just one of his five starts and has just one touchdown and three interceptions over his last three games. Haskins simply isn’t developed enough as a passer to be of a concern in this game, so the Eagles need to plug the rush lanes and make things more difficult for him on third downs.
The Eagles should utilize their weapons more in space on offense
Last week’s health issues at receiver finally came to a head. As I stated earlier, the Eagles dressed only three receivers in this last game. It’s significant because the Eagles couldn’t get much of anything going from their receivers and it makes us wonder just where they’ll go offensively this week against the Redskins. To me, the key is getting the ball to Miles Sanders and Boston Scott in space.
Whether it be toss plays, screens, angle routes or whatever; the key to me is getting these quick, explosive guys into space with the ball. The run blocking hasn’t really been good. The Eagles passing identity now is fairly simple. They just throw to their big-bodied tight ends and check down to the backs. We need to see more designed screens, rather than check downs.
They need to use those big-bodied tight ends as plus blockers on screens. The Redskins have been substantially better on offense over the past eight games, the Redskins have allowed 24 or fewer points in seven of those eight games. The Eagles are going to need to be much more creative in this game if they want to win and Boston Scott and Miles Sanders can be the keys.
PlaySugarHouse has the Eagles as -4.5 favorites over the Redskins, with a total points line of 40. I’m not surprised at all from the low points total. The way both these teams have played on offense over the past month has been an abomination, for the most part.
I think this game will play out much like a lightweight title fight. I can’t imagine either team has the arsenal right now to run away with this game early, so I’m fully anticipating a run-heavy first half from both teams. I think close to 60% of the plays in the first half will be running plays and the clock will roll rather quickly. I’m confident in the heavy target share both Eagles tight ends will receive in this game, but I’m not sure about much else from their end. I believe the Redskins will turn to the passing game and lean heavily on Terry McLaurin heavily in the second half, after probably 14 Adrian Peterson first half rushes.
I think the Eagles will pull out the win, but the game won’t be exciting in the slightest. This is going to be a big “show me” game for the Eagles to all the fans and critics this week. The Redskins have been pretty good defensively lately, so we’re going to need to see something this week that gives us confidence heading into the showdown week against the Cowboys.