Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Washington Redskins At Philadelphia Eagles
- QuarterbackThe Redskins hope to get closer to the Eagles in the NFC East, and Kirk Cousins will have to step up and deliver one of his best games against Philadelphia’s aggressive and improving defense. Cousins is one of the most accurate passers in the league and he excels at getting the ball to his receivers in stride. Cousins has completed 66.5 percent of his passes and had a 9-2 TD-interception ratio.The Eagles (5-1) are the best team in the NFC, according to the old Bill Parcells declaration: “You are what your record says you are.” Much of the credit has to go to second-year QB Carson Wentz, who has thrown for 1,584 yards and has an eye-catching 13-3 TD-interception ratio. Wentz is improving each week, and is getting closer to an elite level each week.
- OffenseThe Redskins have quite a bit of balance on offense, and that is helping this team move the ball and make big plays consistently. RB Chris Thompson does not get a lot of publicity, but he is a solid runner and a fine receiver with excellent speed. TE Vernon Davis is starting to play his best football and is a dangerous target, while Terrelle Pryor is a dangerous targetThe Eagles changed their make-up and personality when they added power back LeGarrette Blount, who excels in short-yardage situations and can also break long plays. Former Bear Alshon Jeffery has been targeted 48 times by Wentz and has caught 24 passes. He needs to improve that percentage. TE Zach Ertz knows how to get open and make key catches.
- DefenseThe Redskins have become a solid defensive team that plays faster than it did in previous years. Washington had one of the hardest hitting defensive units in the past, and they have added the key element of speed. ILB Zach Brown makes plays all over the field and has a team-high 50 tackles, while OLB Preston Smith leads the team with 4.5 sacks.The Eagles have become a very tough and aggressive defensive team, and coordinator Jim Schwartz deserves credit for the team’s steady improvement. The Eagles don’t have a lot of big-name players on defense, but LBs Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks have combined for 74 tackles. CB Jalen Mils has 11 passes defensed and two interceptions.
- Special TeamsThe Redskins have been up-and-down in special-teams performance in recent years, and this is a down year as they have been out-gained on punt and kickoff returns. PK Dustin Hopkins has been decent but not special, making 9-of-11 FG attempts.The Eagles do an excellent job on special teams, and Kenjon Barner is a solid punt returner who can break the big play. Rookie Jake Elliott has been a key factor for the Eagles, having made 12-of-14 FG attempts and 3-of-4 from 50 yards and beyond
The Eagles beat the Redskins in their Week One meeting, and don’t be surprised if Washington returns the favor in this game.