Match-Up Focus: Eagles vs Redskins


2016 WEEK 6 PHI 20 WSH 27

2015 WEEK 15 WSH 38 PHI 24

2015 WEEK 4 PHI 20 WSH 23

Player to Watch –  Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz has come under fire recently for his erratic play.  Does it all fall on his shoulders?  Probably not but when you’re the QB of an NFL team, especially in this town that’s the way it is.  After a hot start he’s certainly cooled off but again he’s not getting much help.  My eyes will be glued to Wentz this game.  This is an important game for him because I want to see what adjustments he will make playing a team a second time in a season for the first time.  His mechanics have been issue for sure.  I want to see him tighten up his mechanics and be more accurate with the football.  He’s missed high over the middle and you simple can’t do that game after game.  From the film I’ve watched he’s started locking on to his targets.  I understand when know one is getting open you have predetermine your throw but that can’t happen at the NFL level.  The sky is still the limit for Wentz but I do want to see some improved play after the last few weeks.  The coaching staff will go a long way in helping him with that.  Mainly by running the ball.  I sound like a broken record but there’s no reason why Smallwood shouldn’t have had 20 plus carries the last 2 games.  With Mathews back the Eagles better run the ball.

Player to Watch – Jason Peters

I can’t help but marvel at Jason Peters.  This guy is a true professional and with the way this season has unfolded I think his play is going under the radar.  After a 2015 season of injuries and over all team disarray he’s played through it all.  This year isn’t much better but this guy continues to play hard.  He’s no doubt a Hall of Famer and should be a first ballet as far as I’m concerned.  He will have his hands full against a Redskins DL that really man handled the Eagles the first time around.  Everyone except JP that is.  Peters is currently the 11th best tackle in the league according to PFF with an overall grade of 85.9.  I was sure this would be his last year but the way he’s playing I would love to see him come back.

Player to Watch – Trent Williams

As if the Eagles defensive line hasn’t had enough trouble over the past several weeks getting to opposing quarterbacks. This week will be an even greater challenge as the Redskins get back top offensive linemen, Trent Williams. Williams has missed the past four games serving a suspension for PED use. Before his absence, Williams was and still is ranked as the highest graded offensive tackle in the league according to Pro Football Focus. There had been questions surrounding the return of Williams, and the position which he would be playing. Rookie Ty Nsekhe has played well at left tackle in Willliams stead, however head coach Jay Gruden put those rumors to bed as he acknowledged Williams would be the starting left tackle. Outside of Brandon Graham the Eagles have struggled mightily to put pressure on the opposing signal caller. The struggles of Fletcher Cox have been detailed as his contract begins to be called into question a weekly basis. Connor Barwin is not a 4-3 defensive end and I hate to say it, but Vinny Curry appears to be content with his new found money. The Eagles faced this same unit in Week 6, and Kirk Cousins jersey didn’t have to be washed at the end of the game. He was basically hit once on a boneheaded roughing the passer call against Cox. The Skins offense is no joke especially when Cousins has time to throw which he more than likely will have on Sunday.

Group to Watch – Eagles Cornerbacks

It’s a battle between the Eagles cornerbacks and wide receivers for the most pathetic position group on the team. Early in the season these corners weren’t being exposed as much as they are recently because the defensive line was having success. The group up front struggling to pressure the quarterback results in a long game for this bunch. Leodis McKelvin has been pretty awful all season as the hamstring injury gets mentioned every week as a wide receiver is running by him. If you’re that banged up help the team out more by sitting out rather than constantly giving up chunk plays. Nolan Carroll is a dime corner at best on most other teams, but here he’s considered to be the best cornerback which speaks for itself. Jalen Mills will go through his rookie struggles which is to be expected. At this point in the season I would continue to take my lumps with Mills in a starting role as opposed to McKelvin. Another name to watch down the stretch is CJ Smith who has been active for the past couple weeks now. Smith proved he was worthy of a roster spot during preseason. Paul Turner earned his chance to play and I would like to see Smith receive that opportunity as well.

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