September 21, 2019

Washington Redskins Week 16 Preview: at Philadelphia Eagles

The Washington Redskins travel up to the “City of Brotherly Love” Saturday in a game for all the marbles against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Redskins, at 7-7, need to come away with a victory  to claim the NFC East for the first time since 2012, while the Eagles (6-8) are fighting to stay in contention for the crown themselves.

The Redskins are coming off of two big wins, taking a monkey off their back in both of them. Two weeks ago, they defeated the Chicago Bears for their first road win, and then came home to manhandle the Buffalo Bills the following week for their first consecutive wins of the year. The Eagles came back to Philly with their feathers ruffled last week, losing on primetime to the Arizona Cardinals, 40-17 in embarrassing fashion.

It is hard to believe that these two teams are in the position that they are in knowing their preseason expectations. Washington was picked by most experts to finish last in the division and was expected to be preparing for a very high lottery pick at this point. Chip Kelly and Philadelphia came into the season with high expectations after a very interesting offseason in which they acquired QB Sam Bradford, RB DeMarco Murray, and ILB Kiko Alonso. However, here we are now, with the Redskins somehow in the driver’s seat.

Washington has won two straight games against the Eagles, but they were both at FedEx Field. Back in October, Kirk Cousins led a 90-yard game-winning drive to beat their division rival, 23-20. Both teams have gone through ups and down since then, and Washington certainly comes in as the more confident team. The NFC East, however, has a knack for being unpredictable and dramatic.

Key Matchups

DeSean Jackson vs. Eagles’ secondary

DeSean Jackson loves to play his former team, as evidenced by the two games he played against them last season. He had three plays of 50+ yards in those two games against the Eagles, and was injured for the game vs. Philadelphia in October. Look for him to stretch the field and lick his chops against this Philadelphia secondary that ranks 24th in the NFL.

CB Byron Maxwell, who signed a lucrative contract to become the Eagles’ number 1 cornerback, is most likely out tonight, leaving former Redskin CB EJ Biggers in his stead. A depleted secondary could allow for a big game for Jackson, along with Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, and Pierre Garcon.

Redskins’ Offensive Line vs. DE Fletcher Cox

Fletcher Cox, the young defensive end for the Eagles, is one of the bright young stars of this team, and has 2 sacks in his past 2 games. Cox has the size and skill to plug up running lanes while also getting after the QB, and has shown it, especially as of late.

Washington must keep him and the rest of the Philly defensive line contained and keep Cousins comfortable so he can find open receivers. If Cox’s name is not called much tonight, then chances are that the Redskins win.

Redskins’ “Stud” of the Game

WR DeSean Jackson

Who else? The guy wants so badly to beat his former coach and team, and has his eyes set on this vulnerable secondary. Look for 100 yards and a TD in the blink of an eye.

Prediction

Redskins 21, Eagles 27

Lost in all the hullabaloo of this game is that fact that Washington has only won one road game this year and have performed abysmally in both of their primetime matchups (both divisional games). At the risk of sounding like a pessimistic Redskin fan of all time, I think Washington loses in a very close one in a hostile environment, needing a win in Dallas Week 17 and some help to win the East.

About Seamus Kane

Seamus Kane is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Wizards. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Seamus grew up in the area all his life rooting for the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Caps, and Terps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a degree in American History and now lives in Washington, DC. His favorite DC sports legend is Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, and his favorite DC sports moment was Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off in the first-ever game at Nationals Park, a game which he attended. You can follow Seamus on Twitter @ShamelessKane

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