What we're watching: Eagles-Redskins II

Our weekly look at what we will be watching during Sunday's Eagles game:

1. Red-zone success: An early-season problem is rearing its ugly head again. The Eagles were just 2-for-7 in the red zone vs. Cleveland and 0-for-3 the week before vs. the Giants. Their inability to convert a fourth-quarter third-and-1 from the 2-yard line contributed to their first loss to the Redskins. Washington’s defense has not been very good in the red zone (20-for-36). If the Eagles’ TD rate in the red zone is less than 50 percent, they could have problems.

2. Eagles’ run defense: Redskins rushed for 203 yards against the Eagles in their Week 5 win, but a lot has changed since then. Eagles are third in the l eague in yards allowed per carry (3.42) and have held their last five opponents to just 2.7 yards per carry. Redskins, who averaged 155.2 rushing yards per game in their 6-2 start, have averaged just 101 in their 1-5 skid.

3. Third-down ‘D’: Redskins converted 11 of 19 third-down opportunities in the first Eagles game, which allowed them to gain a 10-minute time-of-possession advantage. But a lot has changed since then in this area as well. In the last five games, opponents have converted just 18 of 70 third-down chances vs. Jim Johnson’s unit. The Redskins’ offense, meanwhile, is just 26-for-85 (30.6 percent) on third down during their 1-5 skid.

4. The DeSean factor: DeSean Jackson, who had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Redskins in the first game, should have another productive special- teams game against the league’s 27th-ranked punt-coverage unit. But he needs to be a bigger pass-catching factor than he was in the first meeting, when he had just one reception for 8 yards.

5. Taking away the rock: The Redskins had just six giveaways in their 6-2 start, none in their win over the Eagles. But they’ve turned it over 11 times during their 1-5 skid, including seven giveaways in the last three games. The Redskins’ turnover differential in the last six games is minus-3.

*

Click here for Les Bowen's earlier report with Reggie Brown talking about his role.

And check philly.com at noon on Friday for an Eagles chat with Marcus Hayes.

Continue Reading