November 14, 2013 in Washington Redskins Keys to the Game
Five thoughts on Redskins NFC East battle this Sunday and my prediction:
1. The defense was awful versus the Vikings. Let me say it again the defense was awful versus the Vikings. And now comes the Eagles who after a couple weeks of not being able to score have found their rhythm now with Nick Foles.
And we all can remember what happened in the opener versus Mike Vick especially in the first half. The Redskins defense showed signs before the Minnesota game of improvement but last week was horrible. Washington's defense has to make major adjustments from the week one debacle in stopping now Foles and once again McCoy and Jackson. I think we should see more of Rob Jackson this week that only saw 9 snaps last Thursday. This team needs guys who are going to make plays now and Jackson has in the past. Working him in for Brian Orakpo would be a good idea that Haslett must look at.
Having Meriwether this time actually could help also. You need to scare DeSean Jackson and Meriweather is certainly a guy who can do that. I remember a game where London Fletcher lit up Jackson and completely took him out of his game. Foles has been impressive but it seems like most of his touchdowns are pretty similar. Defense doesn't get a good rush, Foles has time and steps up, then lets a deep throw go where his receiver adjusts to the ball better than the defender, touchdown. Riley Cooper (who probably supports the Redskins name) has had a monster month, as has DeSean Jackson. So simple, Washington needs to get pressure (which they haven't recently) and their defensive backs have to make plays (which they kinda have) or it could be a long day.
2. As bad as Jim Haslett is getting it for his defense, Kyle is not far behind even though his stats would back them as a good offense. But they could be better and will need to be better by playing a complete game.
We all remember how bad the first half was week one, that can't happen. And even though last week they started stronger the second half needed to be better. How much we talk about Griffin this team's success has a lot to do with Alfred Morris. Morris can run on anyone and the Eagles shouldn't be any different. They need to keep Morris going and going to set up the offense. They couldn't do this week one and must Sunday.
This team has three offensive weapons playing at pro bowl levels going into Philly. Morris is running as good as any back right now. Pierre Garcon is coming off two huge games and Jordan Reed has become a huge option in the offense over the past month. Minnesota showed no signs of stopping them until the second half when the pass protection broke down and gave up a bunch of sacks. As for Griffin I think the most important aspect I want to see from him is to just connect on the crossing patterns to Garcon or Moss and the seam passes to Reed. All of these the past few weeks could have gone for huge yards but he missed them. I would love to that happen Sunday finally.
3. I hate talking special teams because in the past it was really all about when will the replace Brandon Banks. Now it's all about when will they replace everyone?
Coverage teams are the most important concern, we know it and obviously the coaches do as they pooch kicked versus the Vikings several times. I found that embarrassing. Sav Rocca needs a big game Sunday if the offense cannot move the ball and he is forced to punt. Because DeSean Jackson could kill them on punt returns.
Finally they have Niles Paul returning kickoffs which was 5 weeks too late but he is there now and should help. Interesting to see if they chose to use Nick Williams on any returns also. Josh Morgan is a daredevil back there by refusing to fair catch with guys all around him and I expect him to one of these times make a crucial error. Forbath needs to make kicks also because what we saw coming in as a positive had not been and he needs to get it on track.
4. The Eagles have been horrible at home and the Redskins have been horrible on the road.
So something has to give. How bad are the Eagles at home? DeSean Jackson asked the fans to support them and not to boo. Their last two home games they failed to score an offensive touchdown. And the Redskins on the road? Blowout losses in Green Bay and Denver, escaped Matt Flynn in Oakland and poor performances in Dallas and Minnesota. Washington won last season in Philly barely against a down Eagles team in Andy Reid's final home game.
Washington needs guys to step up Sunday. It has to start with their leaders, Robert Griffin and London Fletcher and go on down. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan need big games especially with Jason Peters suffering from multiple injuries. I feel like we say this every week but that could be just the talk of a struggling team trying to get things going right.
I just have a hard time with this NFC East seeing the Eagles sweep the Redskins. Although Philadelphia is due at home I am not as worried about Nick Foles as some may be. I was about Rodgers and Manning on the road but not Foles. He could light us up being that Ponder looked pretty good last week for once. Or McCoy could have a field day like week one and Foles may not matter. But I look back to the Cowboys shutting them down and think it can be done.
I got Washington 20 Philadelphia 16