Who Picked The Eagles: Week 16
It’s the big one. Win or go home. The Eagles need to beat Washington in their Week 16 showdown Saturday night, or the third season of Chip Kelly’s reign will end without a playoff berth.
Sam Bradford and the Birds take on Kirk Cousins and DeSean Jackson at 8:25. Here’s how a number of local and national writers think the night will play out.
Birds 24/7 predictions
Tim thinks Kirk Cousins and Washington prevail, while Josh finds himself picking Sam Bradford and the Birds, in the latest episode of Press Coverage.
National writer predictions
DeSean Jackson will have a primetime chance to vaporize the Eagles’ playoff chances, and FOX Sports’ Pete Schrager thinks he’ll make it count, leading Washington a 34-23 win.
A name you’re not hearing enough about is Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay. He’s just 29 years old and is the guy calling a lot of the shots for this suddenly resurgent Redskins offense. DeSean Jackson would love nothing more than to stroll into Philly and put a dagger into Chip Kelly’s Eagles’ hearts on a Saturday night with the nation watching. McVay will make sure he’ll get that opportunity.
ESPN’s beat writers offer up their respective opinions, and both Phil Sheridan and John Keim are picking Washington in this one.
Keim: The Redskins have been devoid of drama and have become a feel-good story, thanks to the rise of quarterback Kirk Cousins and the team’s scrappy nature, which has put them in position to win the NFC East. They might be mediocre, but they’ve played well lately. The Eagles, meanwhile, must answer questions about their underachieving season on a weekly basis. It’s hard to imagine they have the same energy as Washington. Plus, the banged-up Eagles defense has allowed 40 or more points in three of the past five games. Redskins 27, Eagles 23.
Sheridan: Injuries to DT Bennie Logan and CBs Byron Maxwell and Eric Rowe make it hard to imagine the Eagles’ defense will shut Washington down. The presence of DeSean Jackson, who is averaging 18.8 yards per catch, should make for a long night for the Eagles. Redskins 34, Eagles 27.
The guys over at Pro Football Talk are also unified, but they’re giving Chip Kelly’s squad the edge to live and play another meaningful week.
MDS’s take: Washington can clinch the NFC East with a win, but I think the Eagles, with their backs against the wall, will come out with a surprisingly good game and keep the division competitive into Week 17.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Washington 20.
Florio’s take: I apparently helped give Jay Gruden ammunition for motivation before the season by putting his team at No. 32. Here’s a little more motivation for Gruden’s gang.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Washington 17.
NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison thinks Washington edges the Birds, 21-20, on the shoulders of a red-hot Kirk Cousins.
If you remember this matchup last year, Kirk Cousins put up huge numbers only to lose in the end. In the postgame, Cary Williams complained about Chip Kelly overworking the Eagles in practice — yes, in the postgame of a 37-34 Philly win. The Eagles have only reached that point total once this season, doing so against the shoddy Saints defense. (“Shoddy” wasn’t the word I initially was thinking of using, but it’s as close as I can get without losing my job.)
Chip Kelly’s offense has had trouble putting up points all season. The Eagles have eclipsed 30 points just three times, with the latest being a 35-point effort in New England a few weeks ago … when three scores came via special teams/defense.
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco opts for Kirk Cousins and Washington’s offense in a 24-20 win to seal the NFC East title.
If the Redskins win, they lock up the NFC East. If the Eagles win, they would need to just beat the Giants the next week to win the division. With all of that on the line, I think Kirk Cousins will continue his hot streak and find a way to beat the Eagles. The Redskins take it.
Nine of ESPN’s thirteen panelists are selecting Washington to topple the Eagles and claim the division title.
Beat writer predictions
Zach Berman, Philadelphia Inquirer: Washington wins, 23-21
Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer: Eagles win, 24-23
Mark Eckel, NJ.com: Eagles win
Eliot Shorr-Parks: Washington wins