WHEN THE EAGLES HAVE THE BALL
The Eagles enter the week with the No. 3 offense in the NFL, totaling 383.2 yards per game. The offense has been paced by quarterback Carson Wentz, who has seven touchdowns and one interception in the last two games. Wentz threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 1 win over Washington, and will try to have an even better game against a Washington defense that has injury concerns. Star cornerback Josh Norman is out with a rib injury, and the other starting cornerback, Bashaud Breeland, is questionable. Top draft pick Jonathan Allen is out for the year on the defensive line. Starting safety Deshazor Everett is questionable with a hamstring injury. These injuries could create opportunities for the Eagles passing game. Alshon Jeffery has been quieter this season than expected, but the absence of Norman could help propel him to a big game. Norman did not shadow Jeffery in the opener, but he did spend time on him. Kendall Fuller and Quniton Dunbar would be Washington’s top cornerbacks. Tight end Zach Ertz has been the Eagles’ leading receiver, and his best games often come against Washington. He had eight catches for 93 yards in the opener and has had three of his five career 100-yard games against the Redskins. A key matchup to watch will be right tackle Lane Johnson against outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Johnson is back after missing last week with a concussion. Kerrigan has 3 1/2 sacks in five games this season. Pay attention to defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, a Temple product who has 3 1/2 sacks this season.
The Eagles rushed for only 58 yards against Washington in Week 1, although the ground game has found new life in recent weeks. They rank fifth in the NFL with 132.5 rushing yards per game. Wendell Smallwood is expected to play after missing two games, giving the Eagles more options on the ground. LeGarrette Blount has been the top rusher, and he will need to find room against the NFL’s eighth-ranked rushing defense. Linebacker Zach Brown is their top tackler. The Redskins rank 26th in the NFL in red zone defense percentage by allowing touchdowns 61.5 percent of the times. The Eagles rank fourth on offense by scoring on 63.2 percent of their trips. That could be an area to watch Monday.
WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL
Washington’s offense has its share of big-name players, but the player to watch on Monday is running back Chris Thompson. He leads the team in rushing (175 yards) and receiving (18 catches, 340 yards). That production has overshadowed other players such as tight end Jordan Reed and wide receivers Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder. It shows the weapons Washington has on offense, with quarterback Kirk Cousins completing 66.5 percent of his passes while averaging 251.4 passing yards per game and throwing nine touchdowns with only two interceptions. The passing game is the big challenge facing Washington, who have the NFL’s sixth-best total offense (374.2 yards per game) and the No. 8 passing offense. The Eagles lost cornerback Ronald Darby in the opener against Washington and he’s questionable to play Monday. It’s more likely the Eagles will go with Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, and Patrick Robinson as their top cornerbacks again. Watch the matchup of Malcolm Jenkins against Reed, who is one of the NFL’s top tight ends. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham both had big games in the opener against Washington and will look to challenge one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams is questionable with a knee injury.
The Eagles have the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense, keeping opponents to 65.7 yards per game. Washington averages 122.8 rushing yards per game, but it totaled only 64 yards against the Eagles in Week 1. Washington has Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine leading its backfield, although starter Rob Kelley could be back after missing time with an ankle injury. He’s questionable for Monday’s game. The Eagles have a pair of questionable linebackers — Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks — but they’re both expected to play. They join Nigel Bradham in a group that is playing at a high level and will be needed to limit the Skins’ rushing offense.
Washington is also using a new kicker on Sunday. Nick Rose is making his NFL debut, replacing the injured Dustin Hopkins.
The Eagles are the NFL’s only one-loss team after Kansas City lost on Thursday night. The Eagles’ 5-1 record has been matched in team history as recently as 2014. But a win on Monday would give them their best start to the season since 2004, when they opened the season 7-0. They went to the Super Bowl that season.
Zach Berman: Eagles 27, Washington 21
Jeff McLane: Redskins 24, Eagles 23
Les Bowen: Eagles 24, Redskins 20
Paul Domowitch: Eagles 37, Redskins 27