Sunday is one of those games that doesn’t have a distinct feel to it. The Eagles are the better team, but not to the extent that they can walk on the field and just know they are going to win. As a reader pointed out yesterday, strange things seem to happen when the Eagles play the Skins.
You can go back to the old days with the Body Bag Game or the crazy comeback in 1989. In 2010 there was the Starship 7 game. Kurt Coleman once had 3 INTs in a game vs the Skins. Last year Shady got knocked out of the game on a meaningless carry late in the game. Heck, just think about how wild the season opener was back in September. Always a crazy series.
The Eagles played in a similar game when Dallas came to town last month. The Eagles didn’t handle that well, especially Foles. Kelly didn’t go nuts. He stayed the course and now the team is playing good football. We’ll see if that continues on Sunday.
There will be lots of talk on the home losing streak. I wrote a few thoughts on that. Seems to me that a lot of the streak is circumstances (mainly the Eagles being so awful in 2012).
Do not panic if the Eagles get down in the game. The Skins have had at least a 10-point lead in the last 3 games. They went 1-2, with the only win being an OT victory over the Chargers. And the Skins probably should have lost that game.
You would think an offense like theirs would be ideal for playing with the lead, but for some reason they don’t do that well.
The Skins started 3-6 last year before running the table and winning the division. They are 3-6 now, but I sure don’t sense a big run coming out of this team. Honestly, they remind me of the 2012 Eagles. The Skins have 3 ugly wins. This group could easily be 1-8 or 0-9. They can’t hold a lead.
One thing that sticks out is that the Skins don’t seem very smart or disciplined on defense. They have a veteran staff and some veteran players, but you see a lot of plays where all you can do is scratch your head. That certainly brings up feelings of last year’s Eagles.
Nick would be wise to use his pump fakes, shoulder rolls and eye movement to get the defense out of position even more.
Something stood out to me as I looked at the rushing numbers. All the talk was about how the numbers took a major dive when Vick went out. Look beyond that.
The Eagles have played 4 teams that run the 3-4 defense (WAS, SD, KC and GB). The Eagles ran for 263, 100, 264 and 204 yards. I don’t doubt that Vick made a difference in the run game. We all know what a great threat and a great runner he can be. But it could be that the 3-4 defense is more vulnerable to the Eagles attack this year. Shady has posted big numbers against 3-4 defenses this year no matter who the QB was. Sunday will be a good test for that. The Skins have played good run D in recent weeks.
Feels good to be excited about Sundays in November. That wasn’t the case in the last couple of years.