Pick and key matchups


After last week, so much for my resolution not to get all hand-wringy over what ought to be easy games.

Going into yesterday’s action, I was doing a way better job picking outcomes for the rest of the league than I was with the Eagles, which is kind of disturbing, since I spend all week around the Eagles and about 10 minutes on sorting out all the other games. Perhaps a little knowledge really is a dangerous thing. Or maybe this team is really, really confounding.

There is much here to beware. Another desperate opponent that will be trying to prove something. And last week, the Birds seemed to be spiraling into one of those offensive funks that often takes them weeks to solve. The Redskins, for all their ineptitude, have a solid defense, working against a cross-your-fingers-and-hope Eagles offensive line.

But somehow, I am picking the Eagles to cover. I don’t want to believe that we are back in 2008, watching a talented team wander around aimlessly before pulling itself together at the last possible moment. The Eagles are a better team than the Redskins. Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid aren’t Hall-of-Fame-caliber playcallers, but they didn’t just come out of retirement to run some other guy’s offense, the way Sherm Lewis will be doing.

Prediction: Eagles 20, Redskins 12.


1. Eagles LG Todd Herremans and C Jamaal Jackson vs. Redskins RDT Albert Haynesworth: Herremans hasn’t played a down yet this season and Jackson often struggles with bigger, stronger tackles. Advantage: Redskins

2. Eagles RDE Trent Cole vs. Redskins LT Stephon Heyer: Heyer was flipped from the right side to the left after Chris Samuels got hurt. He’ll struggle without help vs. the non-stop Trent Cole. Advantage: Eagles

3. Eagles WR Jason Avant vs. Redskins CB Fred Smoot: Avant, the Eagles’ slot receiver, has just three catches in the last three games, but has a size-and-strength advantage inside vs. the Redskins’ nickel corner. Advantage: Eagles