10.14.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins
Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald provides a special gameday preview for Sunday's Redskins-Eagles game.
EAGLES (1-4) @ REDSKINS (3-1)
The Redskins return from their bye week to take on NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Oct. 16, at FedExField. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
The Redskins are in first place in the NFC East. They are 1-1 in divisional play this season. The Eagles are 0-1 against the NFC East. They lost to the New York Giants 29-16 in Week 3.
The Redskins are 2-0 in home games this season, while the Eagles are 1-2 in road games.
The two clubs have met a total of 153 times during their long rivalry, which dates back to 1934. They have played a home-and-home series every year since 1936. The Redskins hold the series edge at 79-69-6. Since 2000, the Eagles have won 14 of 22 games.
The Redskins and Eagles have clashed once in the postseason, with Washington winning 20-6 on Jan. 4, 1991 at Veterans Stadium in the Wild Card playoff round.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Ground and Pound -
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will want to establish the passing game but he will also emphasize the ground game against the Eagles’ 30th-ranked run defense. Fresh off their bye, the Redskins should have fresh legs and a strong run game that should wear down the Eagles’ front four.
It may not matter who starts for the Redskins – Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain and Roy Helu should all see action barring injury. Torain, in Kyle Shanahan’s words, looked “possessed” in the Rams game in Week 4 and it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets significant carries on Sunday. His power running has given the offense a spark.
Win Turnover Battle -
For the most part, the Redskins’ offense has avoided turnovers this season. They are tied for 17th in the NFL with a minus-1 turnover ratio. Quarterback Rex Grossman has thrown five interceptions and lost two fumbles this season. Grossman knows he needs to be more mindful of coverage and that he must protect the football.
On defense, the Redskins are sure to focus on stripping the ball from quarterback Michael Vick and forcing him into errant throws. The Eagles have committed a league-worst 15 turnovers this season, nine interceptions and six lost fumbles, and 10 of the turnovers are credited to Vick. Overall, the Eagles are tied for last in the NFL with a minus-10 turnover ratio.
Landry and Atogwe -
First play of the Week 10 rematch between the Redskins and Eagles, and LaRon Landry was beaten deep by DeSean Jackson on an 88-yard touchdown pass. Landry’s season ended that game when he later aggravated an Achilles injury. It’s safe to say Landry is eager to redeem himself from that disappointing night. Given his range and speed, he could be asked to spy Michael Vick as well as blitz certain situations.
Atogwe, meantime, has had a relatively quiet first four games with the Redskins. This is a game that the Redskins’ new free safety should have an impact, though. Vick and the Eagles’ passing game like to throw deep to speedsters Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, so Atogwe’s deep coverage could be key. Atogwe has 21 interceptions since 2006, tied for fifth-most in the NFL in that span.
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