Experts make Eagles-Redskins predictions
Eagles (5-5) vs. Redskins (3-6)
1 p.m., FOX
Eagles by 4½
The Eagles' 10-game home losing streak is so absurd, one has to wonder if the Birds eventually make the postseason whether it might be worth it to request the game be played on the road.
It's already the longest skid in franchise history, and another loss would tie it for the seventh-longest ever (see story).
It has to end today, right?
If it does, the Eagles will find themselves in sole possession of first place in the NFC East, and the Redskins will essentially be eliminated from postseason contention at three wins and a tiebreaker back of the Birds in the division.
If you're going to the game, just make sure you don't boo — DeSean Jackson & Co. want none of that. Keep it positive in the stands, he requested (see story).
1. Where do they rank?
Offense: 413 yards per game (4th), 260 passing (9th), 154 rushing (1st)
Defense: 417 yards per game (31st), 307 passing (31st), 111 rushing (14th)
Turnovers: 17 takeaways (T-10th), 15 giveaways (T-16th), plus-2 differential (T-12th)
Offense: 410 yards per game (5th), 259 passing (10th), 151 rushing (3rd)
Defense: 389 yards per game (27th), 275 passing (26th), 114 rushing (18th)
Turnovers: 16 takeaways (T-12th), 16 giveaways (T-18th), even differential (T-15th)
By the numbers, the Eagles and Redskins match up almost identically: high-powered offenses with top rushing attacks and above-average passing games, and poor defenses with particularly porous secondaries.
One of the biggest differences between the two teams comes in the red zone, where Washington scores touchdowns 64.5 percent of the time — fourth-best in the league. The Eagles are next-to-last at 41.9 percent. On defense, however, the Eagles allow TDs at just a 50 percent rate (eighth-best) while the Redskins give up six 66.7 percent of the time (second-worst).
The Eagles average 25.2 points per game; the Redskins average 25.5. On defense, the Eagles have allowed 24.4 points on average and no more than 21 in each of their last six games. Washington has allowed 31.9 per game (second-most in the league to Jacksonville) and at least 24 in each of their last five.
2. Can Foles keep it up?
He's thrown 16 touchdowns without a pick, tied an NFL record with seven in a single game and owned a passer rating of 100 or better in four of his last five games. If he throws for five more scores without an interception, he'll break Peyton Manning's record of 20 set earlier this season.
It's been 173 passes since his last pick, which came against the Redskins in his final start last year. Foles obviously can't keep this up forever, but there's a good chance it continues against Washington.
The Redskins' passing defense gives up 275 yards per outing and has yielded 19 TDs through the air, fourth-most in the league. Most recently, the unit allowed Christian Ponder to complete 81 percent of his passes and throw for two scores in a loss to Minnesota.
3. Shutting down RG3
Robert Griffin III is a much improved quarterback since the Eagles last saw him, when he was barely mobile in the season opener.
After averaging just 18 yards through four games, RG3 has run for 46 yards per game in his last five contests. He's still looking for his first rushing TD, however.
And as he's gotten his legs back under him, RG3 has been better through the air. He's completed at least 60 percent of his passes and thrown for at least 280 yards in three of his last four. In his career against the Eagles, RG3 has thrown for 727 yards on 70 percent passing, eight TDs and three picks in three games.
Griffin and the Redskins probably present the toughest task for the Eagles' defense since they faced Manning and the Broncos in Week 4.
4. Hand Shady the rock
LeSean McCoy ran all over the Redskins in the season opener for 184 yards on 31 carries and a TD. It still stands as the top rushing game in the league this season. In fact, McCoy deserves credit for three of the top five rushing performances.
The NFL's leading rusher had slowed down in recent weeks before exploding for 155 yards on 25 attempts in last week's win over the Packers. Overall, Shady is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, helping the Eagles' overall rate of 5.0 per attempt, which is second only to Washington (5.1).
The Eagles are 13-3 when McCoy hits the century mark in his career, including 3-1 this year.
5. This and that
• The Eagles' season-opening win over the Redskins marked the sixth time in eight tries the Birds won in Washington. At the Linc, however, the 'Skins have won four of seven entering Sunday.
• Ten days ago on Thursday night, the Redskins squandered a 27-14 second-half lead to Ponder and the Vikings, ultimately falling 34-27 at the Metrodome. RG3 threw for 281 yards and three scores and Alfred Morris ran for 139 more in a losing effort.
• Last season, the Redskins also started 3-6 before winning their final seven games en route to their first division title since 1999.
• Washington tight end Jordan Reed leads all rookies with 44 receptions. He had five catches for 38 yards in the first meeting.
• In addition to holding opponents to 21 points or fewer in six straight games, the Eagles' defense has given up just two TDs in their opponents' last 10 red-zone opportunities.
• Injury Report: For the Eagles, LB Jake Knott (hamstring) and S Earl Wolff (knee) are out; QB Michael Vick (hamstring), OT Jason Peters (quadricep, pectoral), LB Mychal Kendricks (knee) and CB Bradley Fletcher (pectoral) are questionable; and TE Brent Celek (hip), WR Riley Cooper (knee), DE Cedric Thornton (knee) and S Patrick Chung (shoulder) are probable. For the Redskins, CB DeAngelo Hall (foot), DE Stephen Bowen (knee) and S Jose Gumbs (ankle) are questionable; WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring), RB Evan Royster (back) and TE Logan Paulsen (knee) are probable.
• Recommended reading:
Scouting report: Eagles' offense vs. Redskins' D
He may not be fast, but Foles is deceptively crafty
Ryans quieting doubters while leading Eagles' D
Nick Foles 'acclimating' to the cold weather
Redskins' Fletcher: Eagles tops in 'terrible' NFC East
Who is Brad Smith and what will he offer Eagles?