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Redskins-Eagles: Five keys and a prediction

Redskins-Eagles: Five keys and a prediction

Here are my five keys to Sunday’s Redskins-Eagles game plus a prediction:

1. The Redskins need to contain LeSean McCoy. The other four keys here and all of the other keys and matchups and other analysis you’ll see around the web between now and game time will be rendered useless if McCoy runs wild on the Redskins again. Although it’s not easy to hold him down, it can be done. McCoy has three games this year where he has run for 155 yards or more. But in five games he has 55 rushing yards or fewer. The key is gang tackling, as almost every Redskins defender said this week. An attempt to tackle McCoy one on one usually ends up with the defender grasping air.

2. The Eagles have played one more game than the Redskins and they have two fewer sacks so their pass rush isn’t anything to fear. Defensive end Vinny Curry, who has played about 20 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps this year, leads the team with four sacks. He will line up on either side so the Redskins will have to be ready for him.

3. The Eagles were a disaster in the turnover ratio department in 2012. They were bad on both elements of the formula with just 13 takeaways, tied for last in the NFL, and 37 giveaways, also tied for the worst performance in the league. If you do the math you get a minus-24. They are doing much better this year. Through 10 games they already have more takeaways, 17, than they did all of last year. The Eagles have thrown seven interceptions (none by Nick Foles) and lost eight fumbles. It adds up a plus-2. The Redskins are at zero with 16 takeaways and 16 giveaways. Neither team is good enough to survive a deficit of two or more in the turnover battle on Sunday.

4. It will be interesting to see how Kyle Shanahan goes after the Eagles defense. They want to run the ball but the Philly defense averages giving up a very respectable 4.0 yards per carry. Their pass defense is 31st in the league. This will not be popular with the “pound the rock” crowd but the way to go may be to try to build a lead with the passing game and then preserve it with Alfred Morris.

5. It’s legitimate to point out that the Eagles’ five wins have come over four teams who are currently at least 3 games under .500 plus the Scott Tolzien-led Packers. It also would be fair to say that two of the Redskins three wins, those over the Bears and Chargers, are better “quality” wins than the Eagles have had. That will not matter much on Sunday. The fact is that both the Redskins and Eagles are in the mass of NFL teams that aren’t great but aren’t awful.

Prediction--After presenting five tangible keys here I’m going to stray away from logic in making my predictions. The skid of 10 straight home losses suffered by the Eagles has the same feeling as that streak we saw earlier this year, the one where the Lions had never won in Washington. The Lions were due. Even though each game is a separate event and what happened against the Bengals last year at Lincoln Financial Field or this year against the Chargers there has no logical connection with Sunday’s game, I just think the Eagles are due.

Eagles 31, Redskins 28

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Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

The Redskins have signed one of their own to a contract extension.

According to multiple reports, the team has reached agreement with right tackle Morgan Moses on a five-year contract extension. The deal will make him the second-highest paid right tackle in the NFL.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Moses was entering the final year of his rookie contract. Absent an extension he was slated to become a free agent in 2018.

Moses, who just turned 26, was a third-round pick of the Redskins in 2014. He played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in eight games and starting one. In training camp in 2015 he was installed as the starter at right tackle and he has started all 32 games since then.

The highest-paid right tackle in the game is Lane Johnson of the Eagles. His contract averages $11.25 million per year. Second on the list is Ricky Wagner of the Lions whose deal has an average annual value of $9.5 million per year. So look for Moses’ deal to come in somewhere in the $10 million per year range.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

Of course, the details and fully guaranteed money are the most important aspects. Those will be reported in the coming days.

Moses’ extension means that the Redskins now have both of their offensive tackles under contract through at least the 2020 season. Left tackle Trent Williams signed a five-year, $66 million contract extension in 2015.

The extension was first reported by ESPN.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Redskins’ college scouting director Scott Campbell acknowledged earlier this week that the team’s draft board will have Scot McCloughan’s influence on it. The Redskins may not be alone in having a McCloughan imprint on their draft tonight.

According to Mike Garofolo of NFL Media, the former Redskins GM has resumed the scouting service that he ran prior to being hired by the Redskins in January of 2015. He supplied his evaluation of various draft prospects to teams who paid for his service.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Team president Bruce Allen has let it be known since they fired McCloughan in early March he was free to do work for other teams. And apparently, McCloughan is doing just that, providing his evaluations to teams that the Redskins are trying to outsmart in the draft.

The report did not specify to which teams McCloughan has been providing reports. However, Garafolo did say that McCloughan is “not giving up” information about the Redskins’ strategy. Of course, that’s a very gray area. If McCloughan tells a team that he gives Player X a third-round grade that team can reasonably guess that the Redskins have a similar grade on him. Teams are hungry for any tidbits about what other teams are thinking and they can put such nuggets to good use, especially if they are considering a trade.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

However, it’s possible that the Redskins’ board has changed enough to make whatever information McCloughan might be leaking out so outdated as to be of very limited use. Had the Redskins really been highly concerned about what McCloughan might say to other teams they either would have kept him on the job or they could have continued to pay him through the end of the draft and prohibit him from working anywhere else until after the final pick is made on Saturday evening.

If it’s not anything else it’s a reminder that the guy the Redskins let go a month and a half before the draft is so good at evaluating draft talent that other teams are willing to pay for him to provide them with those evaluations even this late in the process. This may not be an issue for them in this draft but it could be a problem as they try to grow a winning program through the draft in the coming years.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.