Coming off a 13-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Eagles have a chance to get a good taste back in their mouths in their NFC East opener. The Eagles sit at 3-2, one game behind the division-leading New York Giants. To some, the Raiders loss has a similar feel to last year's Week 16 loss to the Redskins, so the Eagles can take out their frustrations by avenging that 10-3 loss last December. The NFC East did not fare well last week, with all three active teams losing in bad fashion. But if the Eagles can escape Washington with a victory, they'll welcome in the Giants with first place on the line the day after Halloween.
You can make a case that the Redskins' 2-4 record is even worse than it looks. Washington is coming off a 14-6 loss to the previously winless Kansas City Chiefs, in which head coach Jim Zorn benched his starting quarterback Jason Campbell at halftime. Zorn has been under scrutiny all season ever since his team suffered the indignity of being the first team to lose to the Detroit Lions since 2007. In fact, Monday night will be the first game all season in which the Redskins line up against a team that has won a game in 2009. But all bets are off when NFC East rivals face off, and there are sure to be fireworks between these two teams as they play under the spotlight of a national audience.
When The Eagles Have The BallThings started crashing down for the Eagles in Oakland after starting left tackle Jason Peters left the game with a knee injury. The Raiders defensive line spent the afternoon in the Eagles' backfield and Donovan McNabb was continuously given little, if no time, to get rid of the ball and was sacked six times on the day. Unable to take advantage of a Raiders' secondary missing its best player, the Eagles and their second-ranked scoring offense never found the end zone and managed only three field goals. The lone bright spot for the Eagles was the play of Brian Westbrook, who had 151 total yards on 15 touches. The Eagles also might receive a boost on the offensive line by the possible return of left guard Todd Herremans from a stress fracture.
The Redskins spent their off-season fortifying the defense, bringing in $100 million man Albert Haynesworth and drafting linebacker Brian Orakpo in the first round. The defense hasn't been the culprit in the Redskins' disappointing start, as they have only allowed just 16.0 points per game, fifth-best in the league. Defensive end Andre Carter has been impressive, notching 5.5 sacks thus far, and he will be a constant threat to McNabb's blind side. The secondary is solid, if not spectacular, with cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall with highly-regarded young safeties LaRon Landry and Reed Doughty, and they will all be charged with bottling up the explosive DeSean Jackson.
Click here to get the view from the other side of the ball, as well as the key matchups and players to watch this Monday night.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 9:38 a.m., October 22