Each week I will highlight 3 things/matchups that I am watching which I believe will be the difference between a win and a loss.
3 things I’m watching:
Eagles offensive line vs Redskins pass rush.
Last season in Washington it was the Eagles first game without Lane Johnson. Ryan Kerrigan lit up Johnson’s replacement, rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, for 2.5 sacks. Carson Wentz was never able to get comfortable in the pocket and the Eagles went on to lose 27-20.
Johnson who missed both Redskins games last season, had a lot to say about this week 1 matchup in an article he wrote for the players tribune.
"Let me tell you what’s going to happen in a couple of weeks: This team is going to go down to D.C. and whup some ass against the Redskins. We’re going to surprise some people."
Those comments didn't go unnoticed Redskins players.
Will Johnson back it up?
Both the Eagles and the Redskins will be entering this game with new starting wide receiver duos.
The Eagles will counter the new Redskins starting receivers with a brand new starting cornerback tandem.
With the amount of changes on both of these rosters, whatever team can get in sink and find a consistent rhythm may be the team that starts the season 1-0.
The Running game
Neither the Eagles nor the Redskins have ideal running back situations.
However last season in D.C the Redskins gashed the Eagles for 230 yards on the ground.
It will be interesting to see what team can get the running game going to take pressure off of their QB.
With a lot of changes on both of these rosters I feel that this game could be a bit sloppy early.
This may sound cliché, but whatever team wins up front is going to win this game.
I expect the Eagles offensive line to rebound from a rough preseason, which could lead to a big day for Carson Wentz and maybe even get LeGarrette Blount into the end zone.
It may take a series or two, but Wentz should eventually connect with a few of his shiny new toys.
On other side of the ball, the Eagles defensive line should be able to help the cornerbacks by keeping the pressure on Kirk Cousins.
The Birds are due- it will be a hard fought game, but I think they get it done.