Eagles-Redskins scouting report

Recent history: The Eagles defeated the Redskins on Oct. 26, 27-17. Washington leads the series, 78-67-6.

 

OFFENSE

 

Eagles: 354.7 yards per game (11th)

Redskins: 309.6 yards per game (25th)

 

Quarterback

 

Eagles: Since his poor performance vs. the Redskins last month, Donovan McNabb has completed 65 percent of his passes and averaged 8.29 yards per attempt in four starts. He still needs to step up his play in the red zone, though. He's completed just 7 of 20 passes inside the 20 in the last four games.

Redskins: Jason Campbell's protection problems haven't afforded him many downfield throwing opportunities. He's got just three completions of 40-plus yards. His 73.4 third-down completion percentage is the best in the league, but it's been largely built on 5-yard completions on third-and-8s.

PICK: EAGLES

 

Running back

 

Eagles: LeSean McCoy is averaging 4.3 yards per carry and 5.0 in the four games that Brian Westbrook has missed. Nine of his 20 carries vs. the Bears went for 5 yards or more. With the exception of last week's near-fatal fumble, McCoy has done a good job of protecting the football.

Redskins: Redskins have lost their top two RBs – Clinton Portis (concussion) and Ladell Betts (knee) - to injuries and are down to kickoff returner Rock Cartwright. At 5-8 and 213 pounds, he's a strong runner who can hide behind his blockers. Jason Campbell also will dump the ball off to him a lot.

PICK: EAGLES

 

Receiver

 

Eagles: WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have been the focus of the passing attack the last 2 weeks. Forty-three of Donovan McNabb's 87 pass attempts have been directed at them. Jackson is one of the league's top big-play threats, but doesn't have a catch in the red zone this season.

Redskins: The losses of Ladell Betts and TE Chris Cooley (ankle) have left Jason Campbell without two of his favorite weapons. WR Santana Moss is one of the league's most dangerous yards-after-catch receivers, but has been underutilized (40 catches). Second-year WR Devin Thomas is starting to emerge as a factor.

PICK: EAGLES

 

Offensive line

 

Eagles: Continuity has been a problem all season as injuries have forced the coaching staff to shuffle people around. LT Jason Peters is the key to this unit's success. If he can stay on the field and become a little more consistent, it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the line.

Redskins: This unit has been devastated by injuries. Redskins are 30th in the league in sacks per pass play, and have given up five or more sacks three times, including six in the first Eagles game. Recent acquisition Levi Jones has stopped the bleeding a bit at LT. But 'Skins lost RG Chad Rinehart last week to a broken leg.

PICK: EAGLES

 

DEFENSE

 

Eagles: 305.1 yards per game (8th)

Redskins: 290 yards per game (4th)

 

Defensive line

 

Eagles: With so many injuries to their back seven, the Eagles need their front four to pick up the slack. They've been rotating 10 players on the line, but have notched just three sacks in the last two games and have allowed 5.1 yards per carry after holding their first eight opponents to 3.6.

Redskins: The $100 million addition of DT Albert Haynesworth, who sat out last week's game with an ankle injury, has helped the pass rush (25 sacks) more than it has the run defense (4.4 yards per carry). The double-teams Haynesworth has drawn have freed up Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo (combined 15 sacks).

PICK: EAGLES

 

Linebacker

 

Eagles: With WLB Akeem Jordan expected to miss his third straight game, MLB Will Witherspoon will again slide over to WILL with Jeremiah Trotter and Joe Mays splitting the reps at MIKE in the base package. Both can be exploited with the pass. Witherspoon and Tracy White will be the two LBs in nickel situations.

Redskins: MLB London Fletcher is 34, but still is a productive player who is always around the ball. SLB Brian Orakpo's strength is as a pass-rusher, either standing up or with his hand down. The rookie first-round pick already has seven sacks. He is not used much in coverage.

PICK: REDSKINS

 

Secondary

 

Eagles: RCB Sheldon Brown is playing with a hamstring injury, LCB Asante Samuel is nursing a neck strain that forced him out of last week's game, and nickel back Joselio Hanson still has two games left on his suspension. Safety Macho Harris has been moved back to corner to provide depth with Dimitri Patterson.

Redskins: Redskins have a league-low six interceptions, and the guy with four – CB DeAngelo Hall – may not play because of a knee injury. If Hall can't play, nickel man Carlos Rogers will start and 5-9 Justin Tryon will move to the slot, where he'll face a distinct size-and-strength disadvantage against slot receiver Jason Avant.

PICK: EVEN

 

Special teams

 

Eagles: DeSean Jackson is the league's leading punt returner, averaging 14.9 yards. He's got four 25-plus yard returns, including a 53-yarder last week and a 29-yarder in first meeting with Redskins. Punt-coverage unit is ranked No. 3 in the league, but they're 24th in kickoff coverage.

Redskins: Rock Cartwright's increased role in the offense seems to have affected his KR effectiveness. He's averaged just 20.5 yards per return the last three games. Both of Redskins' coverage units are ranked in the top 10. PK Shaun Suisham had 39- and 50-yard FG misses last week, but had converted 12 of 12 before that.

PICK: EAGLES

 

Key matchups

 

1. Eagles RDE Trent Cole vs. Redskins LT Levi Jones: Cole has a team-high 8 1/2 sacks. He had two in first Redskins game, but Jones didn't play. Jones is an 8-year veteran, but will have trouble dealing with Cole's motor. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles MLBs Jeremiah Trotter and Joe Mays vs. Redskins RB Rock Cartwright: Eagles have allowed 5.1 yards per carry the last 2 weeks. Cartwright isn't Clinton Portis or Ladell Betts, but he can do some damage if Trotter and Mays don't stay in their gaps. Advantage: Even

3. Eagles WR DeSean Jackson vs. Redskins CB Fred Smoot: If injured DeAngelo Hall can't play, the task of covering Jackson will fall primarily to Smoot. Advantage: Eagles

 

Hot and not

 

HOT:

Eagles: WR DeSean Jackson. Has 16 catches for 198 yards and a TD in last two games. Also had a 53-yard punt return last week.

Redskins: DE Andre Carter. Has team-high eight sacks, including 1 1/2 in the Redskins' win over Denver 2 weeks ago.

NOT:

Eagles: DT Darren Howard. Has just half a sack in last nine games after recording two in Week 1 at Carolina.

Redskins: QB Jason Campbell. Is 24th in the league in touchdown percentage with just 10 TD passes in 291 attempts.

 

Domowitch's prediction

 

Eagles 23, Redskins 9