These teams met in Week 4 this year in Philadelphia, when the Redskins pulled out a 17-12 victory thanks to a strong performance by their defensive front. Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (+6.2) led the Redskins with five pressures and two stops. The Redskins were able to come up with a combined 20 pressures in the game.
The Redskins’ offense struggled, with their line getting a combined -6.2 rating in run blocking. Quarterback Donovan McNabb (-0.4) had his worst game with the team throwing the ball, earning a -1.5 rating in the pass. You can read the Re-Focused of that game here.
The Redskins need to…
Run early and often
Last time these teams met, what worked for them was a solid run game despite the poor run blocking. Running back Clinton Portis was averaging over 3 yards after contact per carry, and Ryan Torain caused five missed tackles. Portis is out, but whoever is lined up at running back needs to step up again in this game. The Eagles have one of the most well-rounded defenses in the league, but are vulnerable to runs that reach the second level — this is where the Redskins have the best chance of finding success.
The Eagles need to…
Showcase Michael Vick and remind everyone why he’s starting instead of Kolb
The Redskins’ defense has not played well this year to say the least, ranking in our bottom ten in run defense, pass rush and pass coverage. Vick played an amazing three-game stretch to begin the season, but after injury he came back against the Colts and wasn’t very impressive throwing the ball. Against the Redskins, Vick should find success with both his arm and his legs and put up a dominating performance on Monday Night Football to remind everyone why McNabb was traded and why Kolb is on the bench.
Redskins LT Trent Williams vs. Eagles DRE Trent Cole
While Eagles LT Jason Peters (+4.3) versus Redskins ROLB Brian Orakpo (+8.6) might be a marquee matchup, this is a marquee mismatch. Trent Williams (-14.8 on the season) has allowed a combined 14 pressures in his last three starts. Trent Cole (+33.9) has gotten 20 combined pressures in his last three. This means that Cole should be able to continue his dominance and continue his best-in-show play.
Eagles TE Brent Celek vs. Redskins ILB Rocky McIntosh
Brent Celek (-5.0) has been disappointment for the Eagles so far this year, catching only 52 percent of his passes with four drops and only five targets in his past two games. He has a chance to start getting back in rhythm against Rocky McIntosh (-8.9), who has allowed 94 percent of the passes thrown his way to get caught, and is targeted more than four times a game. Sixty-five percent of Celek’s targets have been in the middle of the field, so McIntosh could frequently be on Celek.
Redskins cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall (+0.5) and Carlos Rogers (-1.8) are first and fourth in the league, respectively, for catches allowed, with 50 and 38. … Cole leads all defensive lineman with 29 stops.