When Eagles run the ball
The Eagles (5-1) have placed a little more emphasis on their run game since their Week 1 meeting vs. the Redskins when their RBs had just 20 attempts. In the last four games, the Eagles have averaged 35.2 carries, and 4.5 yards per carry. In their last four games, they have averaged 4.8 yards on first down, compared to 2.7 in Week 1. LeGarrette Blount will turn 31 in December, but is running like a kid. The 250-pounder is eighth in the NFL in rushing with 390 yards. Most of those yards have come after contact. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry overall. Forty-five of his 70 rushing attempts have been on first down. In the last four games, he’s averaging 5.9 yards per carry on first down. Nine of his 11 double-digit-yard runs have been on first down. The Redskins are eighth in run defense (88.0 yards per game), but teams haven’t really run much against them. The only team that ran the ball more than 24 times vs. Washington was Kansas City (168 yards on 31 carries).
When Eagles throw the ball
Carson Wentz is seventh in the league in passing (99.6). He has thrown just one interception in his last 135 attempts, and his 13 TD passes are tied for second most in the league. Last year, he threw 16 the entire season. Eagles are first in third-down efficiency (50.6%), and Wentz is a big reason. He’s first in third-down passing (130.5). He’s averaging 10.2 yards per attempt on third down, and seven of his 13 TD passes have come on third down. TE Zach Ertz is having an All-Pro-caliber season. His 34 receptions are the most by a TE. Twenty of those 34 catches have been for first downs. He had eight catches for 93 yards (6 first downs) in the Eagles’ first meeting vs. the Redskins. Nelson Agholor has been one of the league’s most improved players. He is averaging 16.1 yards per catch out of the slot, with four TDs. The Redskins, who have given up just six TD passes this season, will be without their best corner, Josh Norman, out with a broken rib.
When Redskins run the ball
The Redskins (3-2) are 10th in rushing (122.8 yards per game), but don’t have anybody with more than 175 rushing yards. Rob Kelley and rookie Samaje Perine are their primary ball carriers, but Kelley has missed two of the last three games with an ankle injury. He had just 30 yards on 10 carries vs. the Eagles in Week 1. Perine is a powerful runner with a low center of gravity, but is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. Third-down back Chris Thompson is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, but only 2.5 in the last two games. QB Kirk Cousins is an underrated runner. He has a team-high eight rushing first downs, including three vs. the Eagles in Week 1. The Eagles are first in run defense (65.7 yards per game), but opponents are averaging just 17.5 rushing attempts. In their last four games, the Eagles are giving up just 1.65 yards per carry on first down. They’ve allowed just 22 rushing first downs and only 12 runs of 10 yards or more in six games.
When Redskins throw the ball
Kirk Cousins is third in the league in passing (106.4 rating). He is averaging 8.44 yards per attempt and has thrown just two interceptions in 158 attempts. The Eagles did a good job against him in Week 1 (57.5 completion percentage, 6.0 yards per attempt, 1 TD, 1 INT, 72.9 passer rating). Jordan Reed is one of the league’s more dangerous pass-catching TEs, particularly on third down. But he has been hurt and has just seven catches for 58 yards in the last two games after sitting out Week 3 with a rib injury. WR Terrelle Pryor has yet to have a game with more than 70 receiving yards. The Eagles’ pass rush was very effective last week vs. Cam Newton. Their main focus is not giving up the deep ball and limiting yards after the catch. In their last three games, they’ve held opposing QBs to 6.5 yards per attempt. Their blitz has been very effective. They have a 53.5 opponent passer rating when they’ve sent five or more rushers.
Jake Elliott has converted 10 straight FG attempts, including six from 45 yards or longer. His only misses since replacing injured Caleb Sturgis in Week 2 have been a 30-yarder in his first NFL game and a 52-yarder vs. the Giants in Week 3. Just one of his last 24 kickoffs has been advanced beyond the 30-yard line. The Eagles are second in punt-return average (16.0). Kenjon Barner replaced injured Darren Sproles in Week 4. Four of his seven returns have been for 10-plus yards, including a 76-yarder vs. Arizona. He’ll be going against a Redskins punt-coverage unit that is ranked 17th (8.4). P Donnie Jones is 12th in net average (41.5). The Eagles are seventh in punt coverage (5.6) and 15th in kickoff coverage (21.6). Redskins PK Dustin Hopkins has converted 9 of 11 FG attempts, but is 0 for 2 from 50-plus yards. He’s 5 for 13 in his career from 50+. The Redskins are 27th in punt-return average (5.0) and 30th in kickoff returns (18.6).
Eagles 37, Redskins 27
Eagles TE Zach Ertz vs. Redskins S D.J. Swearinger: Ertz is the most productive pass-catching TE in the league this season. Had eight catches for 93 yards in the first game vs. the Redskins. ADVANTAGE: Eagles
Eagles RDE Vinny Curry vs. Redskins LT Trent Williams: Curry has been solid against the run and pass. Williams is one of the top left tackles in the game. Hasn’t given up a sack or hit yet this season, but is nursing a knee injury that could have an impact on his effectiveness. ADVANTAGE: Redskins
Eagles RT Lane Johnson vs. Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan: Johnson has given up just five pressures in five games. Kerrigan is one of the league’s better 3-4 pass-rushers. Had a half-sack and a hurry in Week 1 meeting. ADVANTAGE: Eagles
Hot and Not
Eagles: LBs Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks. Combined for 17 tackles against the Panthers and made several key plays vs. both the pass and run.
Redskins: DE Matt Ioannidis. The former Temple star had a sack and four hurries against the 49ers and is second on the team in sacks with 3 ½.
Eagles: WR Torrey Smith. Targeted just twice in the Carolina game, he had one catch for 6 yards.
Redskins: TE Jordan Reed. He is averaging just 7.9 yards per catch. Has seven receptions for 58 yards in the last two games.