Game Preview – WAS at PHI

Posted: October 1st, 2023 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Believe it or not, football can be played on a Sunday at 1pm. One of the curses of being a top flight team is lots of primetime and late afternoon games. The Eagles have played at 4:25, Thursday night and Monday night. They finally get a good old 1pm Sunday kickoff when they host the Commanders. I love these games because you are sitting around waiting all day/week and they fit most people’s schedule better.

Enough about time, let’s talk about the game. The 3-0 Eagles are hosting the 2-1 Commanders. Sounds like a good matchup. When you look at how they got to 2-1, you see a flawed team. They needed comebacks to beat Arizona and Denver, two of the weaker teams in the league. Last week Washington lost 37-3 to the Bills. They turned the ball over 5 times and Sam Howell was sacked 9 times. Oof. Not ideal.

Washington is a thoroughly mediocre team. They have talent to be sure, but the team is flawed. RBs Brian Robinson and Anthony Gibson are talented. Terry McLaurin is an outstanding receiver. Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel are good receivers. Howell is an interesting QB.

But the OL is not having a good year. Howell has been sacked 19 times, which puts him on a record pace. A lot of that is due to bad blocking. The interior of the Washington line is really struggling. Howell doesn’t help matters by holding onto the ball too long.

Last year Washington upset the Eagles by doing a great job at playing small-ball. That OC is gone and there is a new QB. I don’t know if this group can play small-ball like that. That strategy wouldn’t work as well against these Eagles anyway. Philly has the top run defense in the NFL. Playing small-ball against this group is easier said than done.

McLaurin is the leading receiver for the year. He’s got 126 yards. AJ Brown had 131 yards last week. Washington does spread the ball around. They have five guys with at least 7 receptions. Their run game is good. They average 5 yards per carry for the season. Robinson is the workhorse runner and averages 4.6 ypc.

The skill players have to overcome some bad blocking.

Wylie is the RT. He’ll be going up against Haason Reddick, who is now healthy and playing without a cast. This could be Reddick’s breakout game for the season. Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox and the other DTs could feast on the interior blockers.

Washington knows this will be an issue and will gameplan accordingly. They will focus on quick throws. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles play more aggressive coverage this week. If you play off, the other team can throw quick outs effectively. It is tough to sustain drives like that.

I’m sure the Commanders will try to run the ball. They’ve run for at least 92 yards in each game so far. The Eagles only allow 48 yards on the ground per game this year. If they can stuff the run this week, that will put a lot of pressure on Howell and the passing game. And that will play right into the hands of the Eagles pass rushers. You know they’re excited after seeing the 9 sacks Washington gave up last week.

Washington has given up 33 or more points each of the past two weeks. They gave up 386 or more yards in those games. They have a good DL, but the rest of the defense leaves a little to be desired. This game will be a tough test for Cam Jurgens. He’ll face Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, two of the best DTs in the league. They will be the biggest challenge Jurgens has faced this season.

This will be the first game of the year where the Eagles face a team that is likely to play a lot of base defense. Washington will be somewhat creative and they will blitz, but don’t expect to see the looks the first three opponents threw at Jalen Hurts and company. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles attack them.

Washington has struggled to stop the run (22nd in the league). Looks like this is another game where D’Andre Swift should get a lot of touches. The Eagles OL has played really well the past two weeks and they should be able to have success against the Washington DL.

Hurts has gotten a little better each week. This could be his breakout game, where we start to see him looking like the guy from last year.

Washington is too good to be bad. Last week’s game ended 37-3, but it was 16-0 in the early 4th quarter. Things fell apart after that. They will battle the Eagles. Last year the scores were 24-8 and 21-32.

The Eagles are a bit banged up at safety. They will have Reed Blankenship, which is key. McCollum offers depth. Or they could move a CB over if needed.

Mann will get his second chance as the Eagles punter. Hopefully he will have another quiet game.

I don’t like playing a team that is coming off a blowout loss. They were humbled by Buffalo and will be fired up. The Eagles are the better team, but as we saw last year, that doesn’t guarantee a thing. The Eagles did turn the ball over 4 times when they lost to Washington. If they protect the ball, the Eagles should win.

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One Comment on “Game Preview – WAS at PHI”

  1. 1 Eagles News: Haason Reddick poised for breakout game - FOOTBALL MANCHESTER said at 8:17 AM on October 1st, 2023:

    […] Game Preview – WAS at PHI – Iggles BlitzWylie is the RT. He’ll be going up against Haason Reddick, who is now healthy and playing without a cast. This could be Reddick’s breakout game for the season. Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox and the other DTs could feast on the interior blockers. Washington knows this will be an issue and will gameplan accordingly. They will focus on quick throws. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles play more aggressive coverage this week. If you play off, the other team can throw quick outs effectively. It is tough to sustain drives like that. I’m sure the Commanders will try to run the ball. They’ve run for at least 92 yards in each game so far. The Eagles only allow 48 yards on the ground per game this year. If they can stuff the run this week, that will put a lot of pressure on Howell and the passing game. And that will play right into the hands of the Eagles pass rushers. You know they’re excited after seeing the 9 sacks Washington gave up last week. […]