Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins. Get details and order at http://GutCheckBook.com
There are a few different theories floating around as to how the Redskins can pull the upset and beat the Eagles. Let’s walk through them here:
- It’s a trap game—The Eagles are coming off of a big Monday night win in Dallas and are headed into games against the Giants and Packers that could pretty much wrap up a playoff spot. The Redskins won’t get their full attention.
- Weak Eagle rushing defense—Clinton Portis will run wild on the league’s 23rd-ranked rushing defense. This will allow the Redskins to control the clock and will slow down Philly’s blitz, giving Patrick Ramsey time to burn their suspect secondary.
- They’re one-trick ponies—All they have going offensively is Donovan McNabb to Terrell Owens. The barely average a hundred yards a game on the ground and their second-leading receiver, Todd Pinkston, has just 330 yards.
- Reid will be pulling back the reigns a bit—The past two years, the Eagles peaked too soon and Andy Reid knows this. He’ll want to have his team ready for this game but it’s hardly a crucial one for them and he wants them to have something to play for so that they’re primed for the playoffs.
All of this adds up to, well, not much. I don’t buy the trap and peaking too soon theories or, more specifically, I don’t think that they’re factors. Even if they are off of their top game considerably, the Eagles will have more than enough to beat the Redskins. Portis should rack up some decent yardage, but I don’t see Ramsey being consistently sharp enough to take full advantage. That means that the Eagles won’t have to execute their one trick very often to score enough.
The Redskins should be able to hang on into the third quarter, but a big play by Philly will break it open in the second half.
Eagles 24, Redskins 10