Eagles Wake-Up Call: Redskins Scouting Report
With a new defensive coordinator and DeSean Jackson likely out of the lineup, Washington will look different than the last time Philadelphia saw them. With that in mind, we asked several Eagles about what to expect from their NFC East rival on Sunday.
Defensive coordinator Bill Davis: “[Quarterback Kirk] Cousins is solid. Cousins is a great decision maker. I know he’s thrown a lot of interceptions so far — and some of those, I think there were just some individual breakdowns — but as far as running and executing the offense, he efficiently gets his drop, gets his reads and makes his decision.
“[Tight end Jordan Reed] is split out from the catch core often. But he’s also a match up that you have to deal with because he is a very gifted route runner and they are trying to give him the ball. He’s a primary target on most downs. Usually with tight ends that have that skill set, we will mix‑and‑match a safety or a Kiko [Alonso], like taller linebacker, or even Mychal [Kendricks]. You could mix‑and‑match and see how it’s working.”
Defensive tackle Bennie Logan: “Their bread and butter run play would definitely have to be the stretch. They do a good job with the backs they have just opening up lanes and running people out of their gaps so backs can hit it. Their backs are similar; they’re not going to make too many cuts. They’re going to make one cut and put their head down and hit the hole hard. They’re not shifty guys; they’re going to try to pound you.”
Defensive tackle Beau Allen: “In the past, they did a lot of outside run, but now it’s inside and out, all over the place. They’ve had a lot of success running it. They aren’t afraid to put their foot in the ground, try to run you over and go vertical. As a defensive lineman, you like that because they try to stick it up in there and you can go after them.”
Defensive back Walter Thurmond: “It’s a vertical passing game. They take a lot of shots down the field and they really want to flip the field and get those explosive plays. Their offensive scheme is predicated on throwing the ball down field.”
Defensive back Eric Rowe: “When they attack down field, there aren’t any route combinations; it’s just all gos. Everybody go deep; that’s one of their core routes is out of trips and go deep. No switching or deep posts, just go deep. It’s just what they do.”
Head coach Chip Kelly: “They can stop the run with their guys up front; they are gigantic up front. I think [nose tackle Terrance] Knighton may be the biggest inside guy in the league right now. They’ve got another real talented guy in [defensive end Jason] Hatcher, who has been, whether we played against him in Dallas or Washington, he’s a guy we have great respect for. He’s a tremendous inside defensive lineman in this league.
“They are keeping the ball in front of them. They are not allowing big, explosive plays just because their front can handle the run defense, and I think that’s a big challenge for our offensive line going into this game.”
Offensive lineman Matt Tobin: “Their defensive line likes to compress the pocket on the quarterback. Just push the middle three guys back with a bull rush and run twists with those guys. They’re pretty good at it. When you have monster guys in the middle like they do, it’s hard to run up the middle because it’s hard to move them. It’s better to run outside zone, sweeps, stuff like that.”
Offensive lineman Lane Johnson: “They got a good defensive line, but we got a lot of stuff coming in a lot of people haven’t seen, trying to create confusion.”
Wide receiver Miles Austin: “They mix it up between man and zone coverage. They’re good at disguising coverages and breaking on the ball.”
Seyi Ajirotutu: “I like their coverage; it’s good. We’re going to have a tough time on kickoff return because their kicker has a big leg. The punter, on the scouting report, he’s a little sporadic so we’ll see what we can do to get Darren Sproles going.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Projecting several Eagles’ Week 4 fantasy value, plus lineup advice from a couple of players.
Video: In the latest episode of Press Coverage, we discuss who owns the NFC East.
Chip Kelly provides updates on the Eagles’ plan for inclement weather and updates on Kiko Alonso’s knee.
“Embarrassing is not a word often associated with Kelly.” What they’re saying about the Eagles.
“When is it going to happen?” Evaluating Nelson Agholor‘s production and performance through three weeks.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Marcus Hayes isn’t impressed with Chip Kelly’s recent attitude toward drafting offensive linemen.
To be fair, there is no guarantee that either [2014 draftees Trai Turner or Brandon Linder] would have supplanted [Allen] Barbre or [Andrew] Gardner. Barbre thrilled Eagles coaches in training camp last season, but a Week 1 ankle injury cost him the year; he has been no less (and no more) than solid through the first three games. Gardner, meanwhile, steadily improved before his injury.
Still, even if Linder or Turner were only reserves, they certainly would be less worrisome than the current fallback. After all, last season Tobin couldn’t even win a job on an offensive line consistently in tatters because of injury and suspension.
Philadelphia is one of two NFC East teams that will win in Week 4, says Jimmy Kempski.
The Eagles still can’t throw or catch, particularly whenever they try to throw the ball more than 10 yards down the field. Meanwhile, the Redskins, believe it or not, have the #2 ranked defense in the NFL.
As of Thursday night, we really have no idea where this game is going to be played, and these flukey scheduling quirks never seem to work out for the Eagles (remember Tuesday Night Football?). Therefore, I am so tempted to pick against the Eagles here, but ultimately, the Redskins are still the Redskins.
We’ll continue to preview Sunday’s game and take an All-22 look at Sam Bradford’s struggles.