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Previewing The Redskins

Posted Nov 17, 2012

For the first of what should be many times, the Eagles will get a taste of Robert Griffin III this Sunday in Washington. The Redskins finally landed their franchise quarterback in April, when they traded up for the right to select Griffin, the super-talented Baylor standout who has impressed in his first nine games both through the air and with his legs. The Redskins have revamped their offense to suit Griffin’s skills, though a mediocre offensive line has allowed for consistent pressure that is partly to blame for the team’s 3-6 start. Defensively, the Redskins have been ravaged by injury, especially with the season-long loss of their two best defenders, linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker. Still, this has been a season of promise for the Redskins as the team’s fans have fallen hard for Griffin III and his tantalizing future. The Eagles, of course, know athletic quarterbacks well after practicing against Michael Vick day-in and day-out for the past three seasons.

With Vick in mind, the Eagles face some uncertainty at the quarterback position this week. After Vick left with a concussion against the Cowboys last Sunday, the quarterback will go through the regular concussion testing processes throughout the week to determine whether he can start against the rival Redskins, but his concussion has already been deemed "pretty significant." If he’s unable to play, rookie third-round pick Nick Foles will make his first NFL start after a promising debut in relief against the Cowboys. After entering the game in the second quarter, Foles completed 22-of-32 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown and an 85.3 quarterback rating. He also committed two costly turnovers that were returned for touchdowns.  Though Vick is very much in the fold, Foles has a chance to show some of the promise that has some Eagles fans believing he could be the long-term nemesis of Griffin III as the NFC East moves into the future.

Meanwhile, for the fifth time this season, the Eagles will be facing a team coming off their bye week, so the Redskins should be well rested to welcome the Eagles in front of their home fans. With seven games remaining in the regular season, there is still a long way to go, and crazier things have happened in the NFL than a 3-6 team going on a major winning streak. But time is running out and the Eagles, like the Redskins, need to make their move now.

Last Time They Met At FedEx Field:
October 16, 2011 – Eagles 20, Redskins 13

Touchdowns from LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek helped the Eagles snap a four-game losing streak as they took out their division foes. Kurt Coleman earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after his sterling three-interception performance.

Tale Of The Tape (2012 Stats)
Eagles Redskins
Record 3-6 3-6
Points Scored Per Game 17.3 (29th in NFL) 25.1 (11)
Total Yards Per Game 373.3 (8) 381.8 (7)
Rushing Yards Per Game 126.2 (10) 164.6 (2)
Passing Yards Per Game 247.1 (14) 217.2 (24)
Points Allowed Per Game 24.6 (22) 27.6 (27)
Total Yards Allowed Per Game 338.0 (12) 397.9 (28)
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game 112.7 (15) 96.2 (8)
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 225.3 (12) 301.7 (30)
Turnover Ratio -11 (31) 7 (8)

Players to Watch

QB Nick Foles

All eyes will be on the rookie Sunday as quarterback Nick Foles makes his first career start against the Redskins. Foles played admirably in relief of a concussed Michael Vick last Sunday, going 22-of-32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Foles also showed impressive accuracy, as evidenced by his 68.8 completion percentage which was second-best among rookies in Week 10.

Foles took over in a close division game last week, so it’s fitting that his first start will come against another NFC East foe. And after facing a stingy Dallas defense last week, Sunday’s matchup may be a little more favorable. The Redskins are allowing 301.7 yards per game through the air, good for 30th in the league. Foles has shown promise, both in the preseason and against the Cowboys, and will have every opportunity to showcase his talents against a susceptible Washington defense.

QB Robert Griffin III

Rookie sensation Robert Griffin III is, to many, the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors. And for good reason – through nine games Griffin III has thrown for 1,993 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also made highlight reels by making plays with his feet, amassing 529 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. And perhaps more impressively, Griffin III has revived an offense (and, in many ways, a franchise) in need of an identity.

Head coach Mike Shanahan has catered the Redskins’ offense to suit Griffin III’s style of play by using elements of the spread offense mixed with a more traditional West Coast offense approach. The result is a rookie quarterback who is comfortable running the offense. If the Eagles want to win, they must contain the elusive quarterback and eliminate his options down the field.

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