Let’s take a look at the Washington Redskins, Sunday’s opponent.
They are currently 3-6. The team started 0-3 and since has been on a win-lose trend. They lost last week so that doesn’t bode well for Sunday. Based on the pattern, they should win.
The Skins wins came against the Raiders, Bears and Chargers. They won those games by 10, 4 and 6 points. Washington needed a TD late in the game to beat Chicago and scored a TD in overtime to beat the Chargers. The most recent losses have been by 15, 24 and 7 points.
As you would expect, Sheil focused on offense and defense. This is a game where STs could be significant. Why? The Skins have the worst STs in the league and one of the worst units in the last 20 years. Mike Tanier wrote a terrific piece on just how bad they are. For some Eagles perspective, if you remember how bad the STs were under Danny Smith back in 1995, the Skins are worse. Yeah, that’s bad.
I loved these couple of paragraphs from Tanier on the Skins STs.
The Redskins special teamers may not be bad players, but they appear disorganized and sometimes ill-prepared. Backup receiver Niles Paul has the skill set of the perfect all-purpose special teamer – good size-speed mix, a willingness to engage contact – but he is often out of position or overruns returns. Forbath needs to get his field goals higher, particularly on chip shots, but his interior defenders can do a better job keeping defenders from getting through the line with their hands up.
Every team has backups and rookies on special teams; the key to avoiding disaster is communication and commitment. Rocca’s goofy fake punt pass to an unprepared Paul against the Vikings demonstrated the communication problem: Rocca executed the fake based on a signal from Doughty, but Paul was waiting for a signal from coach Keith Burns. If the Redskins don’t know who is responsible for calling a fake, they are probably not 100% clear on who covers which lane or blocks which defender on returns, either.
The Skins are 31st in the league in points allowed. They have played one less game than the Eagles, but allowed 43 more points. The Skins just broke a 4-game streak of allowing non-offensive TDs last week. They still lost that game, 34-27 to the Vikings. Christian Ponder, who has struggled mightily this year, was 17 for 21 in that game. It is very kind of the Skins to help Ponder try to keep his job as the Vikings starting QB. Most teams are too selfish to do that.
The Raiders are the only team to not score at least 24 points on Washington. The Raiders got out to a 14-0 lead, but never scored again. Heck, the Skins have only held 2 other teams to less than 31 points. If you can’t score on Washington, your offense is bad.
The Washington offense is a more complicated subject. They are 5th in the NFL in yards gained. That group has only been stopped by one team – Denver. The Broncos limited them to just 266 total yards. Chances are that Washington will move the ball on the Eagles. When it comes to yards, take the over.
What about points? The Skins worst game came when Dallas held them to 16 points. That’s pretty good for a “worst game”. You aren’t going to really shut them down. The problem is that the Skins are not scoring as many points as they should based on how productive the offense is. In 5 of 9 games this year, they have scored 24 or fewer points. That’s certainly not a bad total, but it isn’t what you want from a team that regularly posts more than 400 yards on offense. By comparison, the Eagles have scored 27 or more points in 6 of 10 games.
RB Alfred Morris is hot. He’s got 4 straight games with more than 90 yards rushing. He started a bit slow, but is producing big numbers at this point. Morris is the workhorse runner that helps the offense to go.
RG3-and-6 is all over the place. He’s thrown 9 INTs this year, which is almost double what the threw in all of 2012 (5). RG3 is looking good physically, but is erratic as a passer.
He does have one weapon that has emerged, TE Jordan Reed. He is 44-487-3. Reed is undersized, but very athletic. He runs terrific routes and can get open on a regular basis. Reed is now a weapon for the offense.
Duffy also touches on the Washington defense. ILB London Fletcher, a favorite player of mine, has struggled with option plays this year. The Eagles burned him in the opener. Fletcher struggled in that game. This isn’t just run-option. We’re also talking about the pop pass to the TE and the quick screen to the WR.
Fletcher is still solid, but age is catching up to him. He’s not been much of a playmaker this year. Last season he had 5 INTs. This year he doesn’t even have a single pass deflection.
Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo have combine for 10.5 sacks, but the pass rush has been quiet in recent games. The Skins only have 7 sacks in the last 5 games.
Washington’s pass defense isn’t good. They only face the 15th most pass attempts, but allow the 26th most yards. Yikes. Only the Rams and Chargers allow more yards per pass attempt. Opposing QBs have a rating of 98.8 against the Skins. I don’t think you need to be a guru to know that’s bad. The Eagles allow an 83.6 passer rating.
The one good thing you can say about the Skins defense is that they will make some big plays. They have 5 defensive TDs this year, which also ties in to the fact they don’t score enough on offense. Their point total is inflated. The Eagles have yet to score a defensive TD. Maybe Sunday would be a good time to start. Just saying…
I’ll write a game preview later.
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Win the turnover battle, time of possession and penalties and the Redskins should walk out of Philadelphia with their fourth win of the season.
I wonder if Sheil Kapadia’s brain just exploded. You could literally write that prediction about every game in the history of football.
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Want your brain to explode?
Check out this piece, which shares strange comments from Skins legend Darrell Green and Cris Collinsworth.
Green is questioning leadership and kind of ripping on the Skins in general. This is the kind of generic analysis by former players that drives me nuts. Point out specific issues if you want to have credibility. Former players put on a suit and then throw out general comments that rip a losing team or support a winning team. That crap drives me nuts. Right now Warren Sapp is the master of this. Why not say something specific that shows you’ve done some actual research and truly have a feel for what is happening?
Collinsworth is overly protective of Mike Shanahan and also drops this nugget.
“Don’t fire the coach,” Collinsworth said. “I mean, they’re going to try to fire the coach at the end of the year. It’s crazy. You just take what the system is. It’s perfectly built for him. Let them develop him as a pocket passer; next season, they’re going to be the favorite to win the division….
Say what? Why is Washington going to be the favorite in 2014?
In case you didn’t know it…Shanahan was the offensive coordinator at Florida in 1980. His star WR was a guy named Cris Collinsworth.
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If your brain hasn’t exploded yet, it will after reading this nugget from Jimmy Bama.
If Nick Foles' next 31 pass attempts are all intercepted, he would still have a higher passer rating than Eli Manning.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) November 15, 2013
Wow…and then some.