Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Eagles-Redskins I: What we're watching

Paul Domowitch looks at what he'll be watching during Sunday's Eagles-Redskins game:

Eagles-Redskins I: What we're watching

After spending last year together, Michael Vick, left, and Donovan McNabb will square off Sunday at the Linc. (AP File Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
After spending last year together, Michael Vick, left, and Donovan McNabb will square off Sunday at the Linc. (AP File Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Paul Domowitch looks at what he'll be watching during Sunday's Eagles-Redskins game:

1. Good times on third down. The Redskins have been inept on third down. The offense is dead last in the league in third-down efficiency, converting just 6 of 33 (18.2 percent) opportunities. The Eagles, meanwhile, who finished 23rd in the league in third-down efficiency last year, are much improved under Mike Vick. In the 10 quarters he’s been at the helm, they’ve converted 44.1 percent of their third-downs and are an impressive 6 for 13 on third-and-10 or more since he replaced Kevin Kolb. Last year, they converted just 12 third-and-10s or more the entire season.

2. Another week, another 3-4 defense. The Eagles’ offensive line, which had its share of problems with the Packers’ 3-4 in Week 1, will go up against another one on Sunday. The Redskins, who played a 4-3 last year and finished 10th in the league in total defense, really don’t have the personnel to play a 3-4, but that hasn’t discouraged head coach Mike Shanahan, who is bullish on the scheme. The Redskins are 32nd in the league in yards allowed and 31st against the pass.

3. The chess match between Donovan and Sean McDermott. McNabb is short on good receivers, but long on knowledge of the Eagles’ defense. Whether he’ll be able to use that to his advantage Sunday remains to be seen. Look for McDermott to try to confuse McNabb with some new blitz packages, coverage disguises and other little tweaks that will keep the former Eagles QB guessing.

4. Red zone no longer a dead zone.
The Eagles, who finished 23rd in the league in red-zone productivity last season, currently are first in that category through 3 games. They’ve converted 7 of 8 trips inside the 20 into touchdowns. For just the fourth time in his career, David Akers has gone back-to-back games without a field-goal attempt.

5. Not feeling generous.
The Eagles have done an excellent job of protecting the football so far. They’ve turned the ball over just once in the first 3 games. That was on a fumble by Eldra Buckley in Week 1. QB Mike Vick doesn’t have an interception in 89 attempts.
 

**

On the injury front, defensive lineman Anthony Bryant (head), cornerback DeAngelo Hall (back), guard Kory Lichtensteiger (knee), tackle Trent Williams (toe/knee) and punter Josh Bidwell (hip) were limited participants in Redskins practice.

More coverage
 
Birds' Eye View: McCoy, Tapp win praise from coaches
 
Moving the Chains: T.O.: Eagles fans are 'wishy-washy'
 
Eagletarian: McNabb week continues
 
Rich Hofmann: Nothing's ever simple in McNabb's universe
 
John Smallwood: Vick, McNabb aren't so similar

About Williams, coach Mike Shanahan said, "It’s hard to tell until someone is able to go full speed but he got a lot of reps in today. So, mentally he got a lot more reps in so that’s a good sign.”

He said Hall was back to normal and that Bidwell had no setbacks and should be "ready to go." Bryant is likely to be inactive Sunday.

On the Eagles side, Mike Bell did not practice with an illness and Nick Cole remains sidelined with a knee issue.

**

Click here to read our earlier report.


Anthony Bryant
Head
 

P
Josh Bidwell
Right Hip




CB
DeAngelo Hall
Back
DL
Anthony Bryant
Head




G
Kory Lichtensteiger
Knee
CB
DeAngelo Hall
Back




T
Trent Williams
Toe/Knee
G
Kory Lichtensteiger
Knee







T
Trent Williams
Toe/Knee

 

About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected