Friday, November 10, 2006

Game 9 Preview

washington redskins at philadelphia eagles

start of the second half fellas. gotta get the ship righted and this is the game you have to do it. i thought that jacksonville was a tough matchup for the birds going into the game, and it turned out to be even tougher than i feared. i had hoped/expected that emotion coming off two losses and home field advantage would be enough to overcome the jags physical superiority, but alas no luck.

this game, i have no such fears. the eagles match up pretty well with the skins.

footballoutsiders.com
- eagles stay at 2nd overall in DVOA, stay at 2nd on offense, jump to 7th on defense, and drop to 20th on special teams
- redskins come in ranked 19th overall, 6th on offense, 30th on defense, and 10th on special teams
Just how has Mark Brunell maintained his strangle-hold on the Redskins quarterback job despite weeks of ineptitude? Perhaps midi-chlorians are at work. We asked Brunell about his secret. "You don't need to see my identification," he said. We agreed. "These are not the droids you seek. I will remain the starter," he said. We agreed again. "You can go about your business," he said. We did. So much for Joe Gibbs' status as a Jedi Master. Or Sith Lord, depending on your perspective.

The Redskins overcame a poor offensive performance to beat the Cowboys last week. The Eagles are trying to overcome poor performances in all three aspects of the game against the Jaguars, a game that marked the flashover point after a month of dumb penalties, bad bounces, and crippling turnovers. They are so mixed up that even their clich├ęs are getting garbled. "We are a confident team and still have our swagger but now we have to find a way to get it back," Brian Westbrook said. If you still have it, why do you need it back? Never mind.

Andy Reid gave the team a bye week vacation to try to blow off the failure stench. "It was good to get away," wide receiver Donte' Stallworth said. "It was a good time to do some soul-searching." Once they find inner peace, the Eagles will realize that they are a far better team than the Redskins. Their pass rush should force Brunell to throw plenty of his patented sideline flutterballs. Donovan McNabb should carve up their secondary. There's no way the Eagles can lose on a late rally, a costly penalty, or a 62-yard field goal this week. Is there?

Fear leads to anger, and anger leads to the Dark Side. Don't fear the Eagles at home this week. And don't be surprised when they claw their way back into the hunt.
les bowen
IF I pick the Eagles to lose this game, I acknowledge the season is over, which makes my job pretty dreary for the next 2 months.

I'm not doing that.

I was as shocked as anyone at the Jacksonville mess - before that day, I thought I was watching a good team that was making a few too many mistakes, a team that might be a little too young here and there, but was basically a playoff contender. In the wake of that game, I wasn't sure what I'd been watching. I'm still not sure.

But if the Eagles are going to get back on track this season, now is the time. The Redskins needed a miracle finish to avoid dropping to 2-6 last week. Yeah, they feel their season is alive again, but they still have many of the problems that made them 2-5. The Birds ought to be able to exploit the league's 30th-ranked pass defense.

If that doesn't happen, it might be time to start thinking about the draft.

Prediction

Eagles 31, Redskins 20
vegas vic
All the stats are out there for you to digest. Who is the NFL passing leader with 2,312 yards? That would be Donovan McNabb. What team ranks 30th in the league in passing defense? That would be Washington. Those little nuggets alone should put you on the Eagles, but here is the money stat. Andy Reid has seven full seasons under his belt as head coach of the Birds, and his record the week after a bye is a big, fat 7-0!

Pick: EAGLES (-7) over Redskins
washington post
no predictions yet at either the washington post or the washington times. i may update this over the weekend with their predictions

espn scouts inc
The Eagles will be well rested and healthy coming out of their bye, and will look to stop the bleeding with a win at home against division rival Washington.

The Eagles need to win their next two games if they are going to stay close to the division-leading Giants, because they play at Indy later this month. They have too many weapons on offense for the Redskins' defense to handle, and the Redskins' offense has been inconsistent all year, almost giving the game away last week.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Redskins 17
madden 07

Mark Brunell threw for two scores and ran for another, but it wasn't enough as Philadelphia held off the Redskins for a big win in this NFC East matchup. Redskins kicker Nick Novak missed two short field goals that could have had an effect on the outcome, and the Redskins found themselves too far behind in the fourth quarter to mount any sort of a comeback. The Eagles posted all their points in the first three quarters, getting four touchdowns and a pair of field goals in that time to take a 33-14. Philly failed on its two-point attempt to make it a 21-point margin, but the Redskins were only able to notch a field goal early in the fourth and then a Santana Moss TD catch with seven minutes left to pull the team to within nine points. Had Novak not missed the two easy field goals, the comeback might have been more manageable, but Philly twice stopped the Redskins on fourth down as the final quarter wound down, ensuring they would hold on to the win.

Prediction: Eagles 33 - Redskins 24

what i think
for the third game in the row... the eagles cannot afford to lose this game, no way, no how.

the eagles are the better team personnel wise and they matchup well against the redskins in terms of style. in addition, andy has done well over the years against the skins and is undefeated coming out of the bye.

redskins o vs. eagles d
skins run the ball pretty well behind their massive tackles chris samuels and jon jansen, but the middle of their o-line is just ok. dockery is massive, but one good thing for the birds d-tackles: there are no samoans on the redskins o-line. gibbs traditionally likes to power run and then play action pass over the top, but that hasn't worked for him in his second run with the skins so he brought in al saunders this year. saunders doesn't really like to throw downfield -- he runs the ball and throws a lot of screens and quick outs -- but he does call his share of intermediate routes (deep ins and such).

there really isn't much to fear from the skins. they'll probably be able to run the ball on the birds, but that should only get them 13-17 points. unless they're able to pass effectively this game could get out of hand for them, but they have problems in the passing game. brunell is nothing more than a game manager now and santana moss is coming in with a hamstring injury.

eagles o vs. redskins d
the skins pass defense has been horrible this year, and with the skins defense among the worst in the nfl, it seems like gregg williams is no longer a lock to replace joe gibbs (a shame for eagles fans as williams was a horrible head coach). however, they've played most of the season without their best corner (shawn springs), who when healthy, is about as good as anyone in the league -- he can run and he can be physical.

the big question is whether the eagles can get back in sync on offense. i'm not sure if the eagles will run the ball more this game considering the weakness of the skins defense has been their pass defense this season, but they'll be fine as long as guys catch the passes that hit them in the hands.

bottom line
the birds just need to get back to basics. no drops, no turnovers, and fewer stupid penalties should lead to more than enough points to win.

prediction
eagles 27 - redskins 17

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

I am emotionally scarred by this team, which probably means they'll win to partially restore my hope (and I'm already starting to hate them for that). A loss and they're finished for the year. Done. Toast. We can fully write them off and really begin wailing and moaning our misfortune.

All stops get pulled for this one. It's been a couple games since we've seen the flea-flicker so that means an onsides kick is probably in order.

2:14 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not related to the Eagles at all, but Bill Conlin is right on the mark with this opinion piece and puts together a rational argument as to why Soriano would be a bad fit for the Phillies...

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/15976733.htm

Ben

4:02 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice win. Not pretty, but they got it done.

Bumble, it seems like Reid reads your comments in this blog. He yielded play calling to the OC. If he keeps this up, you have to take back the stubborn remarks:)

Simon

7:14 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looked to me like a mecriocre team got a mediocre win over another mediocre team. Hard to get too excited over the effort. Who knows what would have happened if not for the fumble-for-a-touchdown play or the charity we received on the Westbrook non-fumble.

Ho-hum.

7:52 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben I can always tell your skeptical posts. What's with the Bird bashing in 2006? I sense rage from a very deep place within you.

A win is a win. This team needed it and got it, let's revel in it regardless of who they played.

Bumble

8:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Bumble...

I missed today's game. My son had a soccer all-star tournament.

Ben

10:05 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Looked to me like a mecriocre team got a mediocre win over another mediocre team.

no matter how mediocre the other team is, i'd hardly call 27-3 a mediocre win.

Who knows what would have happened if not for the fumble-for-a-touchdown play or the charity we received on the Westbrook non-fumble.

well, since it was already 10-0 when the fumble for TD happened and since the fumble was in skins territory, i'm thinking at worst it would have stayed 10-0.

as far as the westbrook fumble, apparently you think the 3 points the eagles scored on that drive is a huge swing when the redskins could have gotten the ball on their 2 instead?

who wrote this?

11:32 PM EST  

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