Two teams that are all but dead in the NFC (L)east playoff race will play a game at Lincoln Financial Field tonight. One team’s playoff hopes will be fully extinguished tonight, the other will live to die another day.
But let’s be real for a second here. After the Cowboys miraculously beat the Saints on Thursday, both the Redskins and Eagles seasons were finished, barring an epic collapse by the Cowboys. I know mathematically if we win all of our remaining games, we would win the division, but please let me know what evidence there is that this team can string together two or three wins in a row, much less six!
This team is just not good this year. We have exactly 1 win where the margin of victory was more than a touchdown. Our five wins are against teams that have an average winning percentage of .367. We are bad on offense, defense, and special teams. Furthermore, it doesn’t make you any less of a fan for speaking the truth and seeing this team for what it really is.
Maybe I’ve been hanging out with Sixers fans too much, but at this point, it makes more sense to just tank for the rest of the season, and at 5-11, get a top 8 draft pick rather than finish at 8-8 or 9-7 and get a pick in the early 20s.
Things to watch
- “The Legion of Whom” I’m not sure who originally came up with this nickname for our defensive backs, but I love it. Last week, Malcolm Jenkins, the only legion member who is known, came up with a game saving interception at the end of the first half. The rest of the legion played well enough for us to steal a victory against a Giants team that is loaded with talented skill position players. The Redskins don’t have near the amount of talent that the Giants do, but our secondary is so inconsistent that it’s anyone’s guess which group will show up.
- Ryan Kerrigan “The Destroyer of Eagles” In 14 games against our beloved Birds, Kerrigan has 10.5 sacks, 6 Forced Fumbles, 2 Fumble Recoveries, 1 Interception, and 1 Touchdown. He will be lining up against a banged up Lane Johnson tonight. Listen for either of their names being called on the broadcast, and if we hear them tonight, it will probably not be good for the Eagles.
- Golden Tate In his first three games (out of 8 total that we rented him for!!!!), Tate has 11 catches for 97 yards – total. Offensive Coordinator Mike Grow really inspires confidence when he says things like “It’s been challenging to integrate Tate.” Tate, Groh, and the entire Eagles offense really needs to take a step forward tonight if they are going to have any chance in the game.
- The Booger-Mobile. In case you haven’t heard, Booger McFarland is doing commentary on MNF games for ESPN. He rides around on a cart that is elevated and has a 50″ TV mounted on the back for people whose view he is blocking. People at other stadiums throughout the year have not been happy about it. Watch for that TV to be decorated with beer and other projectiles if the game is not going the Eagles way.
Keys to Victory
- Fast Start: The Eagles need a fast start. They are still dead last in the league in first quarter points averaging 1.9 PPG. That is pathetic. To put it in perspective, the Cleveland Browns averaged 2.2 in the first quarter during their 0-16 2017 season, while the Eagles averaged 6.4 last year. Only five teams have averaged less than 1.9 points in the first quarter in the last decade. We need to score early.
- Run the Ball: Not sure if you noticed, but last week, a minor miracle happened. The Eagles ran the ball. They ran the ball while losing in the second half, against a division opponent, and they won! Now, I fully expect Doug to go back to passing it 65% of the time, but maybe, just maybe the Eagles will realize how important running the ball is.
- Make Colt McCoy feel the pressure: Constant QB pressure is needed to make the Redskins backup QB feel uneasy and make bad throws. McCoy is good enough that if the Eagles D-line gives him time to throw the ball, he will hit his targets and it could get ugly down at the Linc.
I think the Eagles will come out and play hard against this division opponent, but so will the Redskins. I think the Redskins defense wins it for them tonight with a defensive score. That means, unfortunately, the Eagles season will officially end tonight around 11:30pm.
Redskins 24 Eagles 13