Quick Links

Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

demeco-ryans.png

Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 13, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here are five things you need to know about the Redskins-Eagles matchup:

1. The Eagles would be last in the league in yards allowed if the Dallas Cowboys’ defense wasn’t even worse. The pass defense is ranked 31st but that’s not as bad as it looks. They are only 13th in opponents’ passer rating and that’s generally a better measure of pass defense. You can run on them a bit; they are 19th in allowing 4.0 yards per attempt.

2. But the Eagles can put up some points and they can do it in a hurry. According to my man Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, the Eagles have had 25 touchdown drives this year (that’s drives, not counting any special teams or defensive scores) and the average time of those drives is 1:38. By comparison, the Redskins’ 23 offensive TD’s come at the end of drives that average exactly 4:00. The fast TD drives aren’t necessarily always a good thing, especially if it puts the defense back on the field quickly. But it’s the kind of offense that Chip Kelly wanted to install so in that he has been successful.

3. It remains to be seen if Nick Foles is really a stud QB in the making or if he’s just having a few good weeks. Seven touchdown passes in a game is not necessarily a mark of greatness. Yes, luminaries such as Peyton Manning and Y. A. Tittle have done it. So did career nonentity Adrian Burk, coincidentally a former Eagle. I suspect that Foles is more Burk than he is Manning but that doesn’t mean that he can’t light up the Redskins on Sunday.

4. It seems like you see inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans every time an Eagles highlight, grabbing an interception (he has two) or sacking the quarterback (two of those, too) or making a key stop. In the Eagles' win over the Packers, he had 13 tackles.  You didn’t see too much out of him last year, his first season in Philly after coming from Houston in a trade but maybe that's because the Eagles were a 2-12 nonentity. In 16 games last year, he had 81 tackles; in 10 games in 2013 he already has 74. Perhaps it was the shift back into at 3-4 defense, the scheme in which he made two Pro Bowls in six year with the Texans, that made the difference. In any case, Ryans is playing some good football.

5. The Eagles have lost an incredible 10 straight home games and receiver DeSean Jackson doesn’t like the boo-birds that Philadelphia is so well know for voicing their displeasure with the events. “We have a nasty trend going at home so whatever we need to do to fix that – all support, everybody in the stands just really encouraging instead of the opposite,” he said, via Sheil Kapadia of the Birds 24/7 Blog. That’s really more of what I meant by it. Just trying to get that energy to be on our side and not feel like it’s against us sometimes.” Might I suggest winning a home game or two?

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Stat of the day

—In the last two games, Pierre Garçon has caught 14 passes for 291 yards. The yardage is a Redskins team record for the most receiving yards in two consecutive games.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 4; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 12; Giants @ Redskins 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00); news conferences streamed line on CSNwashington.com.

In case you missed it

Kerrigan: Loss not season ending

Quick Links

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.

Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.

The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.

The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.

Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.

The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.