The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Redskins

THE BIG PICTURE

The Eagles got a break not having to face Aaron Rodgers last week, but they took care of business and came away with a decisive 14-point victory. The run game was on-point, Nick Foles continued his hot streak, and the defense continued to make strides. The Eagles now find themselves in a first-place tie with the Cowboys at 5-5 in the NFC East. The last time they were above .500 was Week 2 after defeating the Redskins in the opener. They’ll look for a repeat performance going into the bye week.


After starting the season 0-3, the Redskins have gone win-loss-win-loss-win-loss in the last six weeks. They blew a 13-point third-quarter lead against the Vikings on Thursday Night Football, but will look to improve to 4-6 and stay in the hunt for the NFC East title.

Here is how the Eagles’ offense matches up with the Redskins’ defense:

 
Yards Per Play
Points Per Game
DVOA (FB Outsiders)
Eagles Offense6.3 (4th)25.2 (11th)16.7% (5th)
Redskins Defense6.1 (29th)31.9 (31st)8.1% (24th)

And the Eagles’ defense against the Redskins’ offense:

 
Yards Per Play
Points Per Game
DVOA (FB Outsiders)
Redskins Offense5.8 (5th)25.6 (9th)0.9% (15th)
Eagles Defense5.6 (22nd)24.4 (20th)10.3% (28th)

Note: Click here for an explanation of DVOA.

***

EAGLES RUSHING OFFENSE

 
YPC
FB Outsiders (DVOA)
Eagles Rushing Offense5.0 (2nd)20.3% (1st)
Redskins Rushing Defense4.3 (22nd)2.0% (25th)

McCoy is the only back in the league with two games this year of  150+ yards and 6.0 yards per carry. Last week was vintage McCoy as he controlled the game in the second half and totaled 155 yards on 25 attempts.

The run blocking has been good for the most part all season long. The Eagles could be without Jason Peters (quadriceps). If that is the case, Allen Barbre is expected to play left tackle. He performed well last week against Green Bay.

The Redskins have Barry Cofield (NT), Stephen Bowen and Jarvis Jenkins up front in their 3-4. The inside linebackers are Fletcher and Perry Riley. Last week, Washington limited Adrian Peterson to 75 yards on 20 carries.

***

EAGLES PASSING OFFENSE

 
Completion Percentage
YPA
20+
FB Outsiders (DVOA)
Nick Foles63.2% (11th)9.2 (1st)*50 (1st)*23.4% (7th)
Redskins Passing Defense66.5% (29th)8.3 (30th)37 (28th)12.7% (22nd)

* Team stat, not individual stat.

Foles is completing 63.2 percent of his passes and averaging a league-high 9.24 yards per attempt. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns without an interception. Foles’ fumble last week was not due to carelessness. He just got crushed by multiple Packers defenders after a breakdown up front.

Asked to describe the difference between Foles as a rookie and Foles now, Fletcher said: "He probably stared down stuff a lot more last year. ...He probably didn’t go through his progressions as well as he’s going through now. He’s doing a good job of really going through his progressions, knowing what his reads are based on the defense."

Jackson is third in the NFL with 903 receiving yards, behind only A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson. He leads the league with 17 grabs of 20+ yards and needs three touchdowns in the final six games to set a new career high.

Cooper has been on fire with 462 yards and six touchdowns in his last five games. He’s second in the NFL, averaging 19.8 yards per catch.

The Redskins are shaky in the secondary with DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson at corner. The safeties are Reed Doughty and Brandon Meriweather. Washington is 28th in the league at covering opposing running backs (per Football Outsiders), meaning this could be a game to get McCoy involved in the passing game.

The Eagles were OK, but not great, in pass protection last week. Kelce had some issues. And Todd Herremans has been inconsistent in that aspect all season long. Johnson didn’t take a step forward after playing his best game of the season against Oakland.

The Redskins are 12th in adjusted sack rate. The two edge rushers are the guys to watch. Ryan Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 6.5 sacks, and Brian Orakpo has four. Cofield (2.5 sacks) can present problems along the interior. The Eagles’ offensive line will be tested in pass pro.

***

EAGLES RUSHING DEFENSE

 
YPC
FB Outsiders (DVOA)
Redskins Rushing Offense5.1 (1st)12.2% (3rd)
Eagles Rushing Defense4.0 (13th)-5.4% (18th)

Strength meets strength here. Alfred Morris is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, which is tops in the league among running backs. He had just 45 yards on 12 carries in the first meeting, but has been productive since that game.

The Redskins have a creative rushing attack that takes advantage of Griffin's mobility on the read option. The Eagles have been good against the run and shut down Eddie Lacy last week. According to team stats, Ryans has a team-high 125 tackles, 27 more than any other Eagle. According to NFL stats, he has 89, tied for fourth-most in the league. No Eagles player has finished in the top-five in tackles since the stat was tracked officially in 2001.

The Eagles could be without Mychal Kendricks. If that’s the case, Najee Goode will start alongside Ryans.

Up front, Bennie Logan has been an upgrade at nose tackle over Isaac Sopoaga. Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox are playing well also.

***

EAGLES PASSING DEFENSE

 
Completion Percentage
YPA
20+
FB Outsiders (DVOA)
Robert Griffin III60.8% (17th)7.27 (12th)*24 (26th)*-1.4% (24th)
Eagles Passing Defense62.1% (20th)7.1 (15th)38 (29th)20.7% (28th)

* Team stat, not individual stat.

This is the area where the defensive is most vulnerable. The Redskins like to use play-action to set up their passing game. And the Eagles have not been able to generate a consistent pass-rush.

The same five offensive linemen have played every snap for the Redskins this year. Pass protection has been OK. According to ESPN.com’s John Keim, Griffin took 18 hits against the Vikings. Part of that was on the line, part was on the receivers, and part was on Griffin.

Per Keim, the Redskins could be vulnerable on the interior with center Will Montgomery and right guard Chris Chester. Davis likes to bring A-Gap pressure, and Thornton and Cox will have to create havoc.

Pierre Garcon is Griffin’s favorite target. He has 14 catches for 291 yards in the past two games. On the season, Garcon has 61 catches for 803 yards.

Cary Williams did not play well last week. Bradley Fletcher is still nursing a pectoral injury. If he can’t go, it’ll be Roc Carmichael. Carmichael played well vs. Green Bay. Patrick Chung was shaky in Week 10. He’ll start in place of an injured Earl Wolff.

The other player to watch is rookie tight end Jordan Reed. He’s been targeted 28 times in the last three games and can line up in a variety of places, presenting matchup problems. The Eagles are 21st in the league at covering opposing tight ends, per Football Outsiders.

***

THE ESSENTIALS

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. EST on FOX. Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch will have the call with Erin Andrews on the sideline. The Eagles are 3-point favorites, according to Sports Insights. As of this writing, 52 percent of the money is on the Redskins.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • theycallmerob

    “We really try to major in what we major in and force defenses to adjust accordingly.”

    Yea, screw that liberal arts approach to coaching. I’m glad our lineman are getting a Master’s in offensive engineering, and DJax and McCoy are already working on their Ph.D’s in defensive deconstruction.

  • anon

    haha Nate Allen! Earl Thomas who?

  • BlindChow

    Kelce: “You can have the one approach where you just throw a bunch of stuff at the guys and try and get in perfect situations with plays and whatnot against particular defenses…”

    Does anyone think he’s talking about Andy Reid here?

    • Adam

      Absolutely. First thing I thought when I read that. Maybe MM.

  • Explorer51

    Sheil, I think they seek Professor Azzinaro’s counsel…

  • nicksaenz1

    If Shady can get another 150+ yard game (preferably 200) he can likely maintain the rushing lead throughout the bye week…. Foles is going to have to get the ball out quick in this game with Barbre starting. Not a knock on Barbre, he played very well in GB, but I can see a lot pressure coming his way being the newbie on the line. Can’t afford for Foles to be getting crushed by Kerrigan/Orakpo….. I don’t discount this game as a gimme, at all, but I think it’s one we should win, even with the home field disadvantage. Keep Foles upright, make some lanes for Shady, and keep stopping the run and we’re tied for division lead, barring another Dallas meltdown.

    • theycallmerob

      Barbre did very well on Matthews. I doubt Kerrigan or Orakpo have played to that level yet this year, even if he was 1-handed. It’s not as if Peters was lights out on that side when he was starting, I honestly can’t say I saw much of a dropoff at all.

      • nicksaenz1

        Like I said, he looked good at GB. I thought he played very well. I’m just of the mindset that, if I’m a DC and notice there’s a backup on the line, I’m going to try to exploit that and see if I can confuse him/overload him, especially since it’s the QBs blindside.

        • Brian

          Then Chip takes advantage of the lineman’s over aggressiveness/lack of discipline.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Yup. If they’re dumb enough to keep shooting wide up field, we’ll have a field day with inside zone runs to that side & I’m sure you’ll see Celek chipping the LB & releasing looking for the hot read.

    • Adam

      Did my own little All-22 on the first snap for Barbre that game. Not sure how well it’s going to look as I did it in paint.

      It really stood out to me and I’m surprised no one broke it down this week.

      This was the TD to DJax, and it was Barbre’s first snap of the game so they came right at him. He had the DE coming at him with a slight delayed blitz from the safety. He initially blocks the DE and see’s the DB coming.

      • Adam

        He blocks the DE then drops off his block perfectly times it to pick up the DB blitz, which gives Foles time to climb the pocket and hit Jackson for the TD.

        • Brandon Boykin, OLB

          Good job Sheil, er, Adam.

          • Adam

            If only I were as handsome.

  • Johnny_P

    This game has all the trappings of a statement division win by the Eagles at home, thereby shedding the “cant win at home” label and building the notoriety of Nick Foles. Foles needs to prove that he can pull out wins in November/December (in the elements) against divisional foes. Test #1 comes Sunday.

    • anon

      No. That was the Dallas game. We are a better team in all phases than the skins; this is a should win for us and a statement game for them.

  • jabostick

    I think Allen deserves extra props. Not only has he improved significantly but he’s done so in the face of Philly Fan criticism and pretty much being our poster boy when the D played poorly.

    I imagine that takes some big time focus and perseverence

    • Richard Colton

      Dude, I always knew he’d get it turned around, lied everyone here.

      • Adam

        I’ve actually never given up on him. I just couldn’t ignore that rookie season before he got hurt, he showed some flashes of being a really good player. Caught a ton of flak earlier in the year for saying a change of scheme and a coach with half a clue might is just what he needed.

        Not saying he’s made up for his miserable years here or that he’s lived up to the 2nd round bill, but I think he might turn out alright.

    • nicksaenz1

      I’d have disconnected my internet if I were in those shoes. Make sure I couldn’t hear/read what people were saying.

  • Adam

    I think there will be riots in the streets of Philly if Nate Allen gets resigned this off-season. I hope he does.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I wouldn’t be opposed to re-signing him at the right price. But I would still look to add another young safety to develop and increase the talent pool at the position or possibly challenge to start.

      Based on the 3-4 concepts, I think they’ll be looking to add top-tier talent at WOLB & CB. If they can draft studs at just these two positions, the D is well on its way to making a huge leap fwd.

  • Adam

    People laughed at me when I said Azzinaro was Chip’s consigliere, but I still think it’s a very accurate description.

    If things don’t work out with Billy, I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if Azz was promoted to DC. I think Chip wanted to get him some NFL experience before he did anything like that.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Better still would be Billy moving on to a HC job after next season…

    • Mr. Wu

      well lets hope it wont be Jeff Stoutland

      • Wilbert31

        Excellent.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    This isn’t a game about what happens offensively. They should easily put up 30+ on the Skins, Shady should have a big day. Offensively things should be fine.

    Defensively is where the story is going to be told and where the game will be won or lost. Rg3 is looking more like his normal self and Morris and Garcon are forces to be reckoned with. That bend don’t break defense will likely be tested heavily Sunday.

    • EaglePete

      absolutely. That beind said, I think were all waiting for a good offensive game at the Linc since SD.

    • OregonDucker

      I think our D might generate some turnovers. They’re feeling good about their gap responsibilities and I think will try some “extra” things.

    • theycallmerob

      It’d be great if Garcon was the only receiving threat, but the TE (j reed) has come on strong. he worries me the most on that O

    • Richard Colton

      how will Shady have a good day if Foles is the QB? You predicting a Willis Reed entrance for Vick?

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        Still a willfully ignorant jack@ss I see. At least you’re consistent.

        • Richard Colton

          Awww. Come on. Admit when you’re wrong. or log in as one of your other personalities and downvote me.

  • Justin

    I think the most impressive thing about the way this team is playing right now is how young so many of our guys are. Look at all these rookies and second year guys stepping up.

  • Brandon

    Hate to nitpick, but why do people keep saying Carmichael played well? He gave up 100+ yds to Jarrett Boykin. Backup or not letting up 100+ receiving yds (to Boykin who is also a backup) is not “playing well” where I’m from. I just hope Fletch can come back soon, I see Carmichael getting abused more and more the longer he has to play.

    • theycallmerob

      They sold out to stop the run; yards are overrated. Plus, 36 came on the non-catch. And a starting safety was out. I’d imagine if fletch doesn’t play this week, he’s back after the bye anyway

    • Justin

      How many touchdowns did he give up?

    • Adam

      I’d check those stats. He gave up 5 completions for 59 yards.

      • Brandon

        Where you getting that from?

        • Adam

          Pro Football Focus

          • Brandon

            Ah got ya. I don’t have a subscription to them.

          • UKEagle99

            What do you have a subscription to? I’d drop it it. Roc played OK but it wasn’t Rogers pulling the trigger. Give him a decent chance before we throw him under the bus. One game a career does not make…apparantly.