There is no denying the importance of tonight’s game against the Washington Redskins. If the Eagles want to keep pace with the New York Giants and establish themselves as a legit contender in the NFC East, a win tonight is vital. A win also puts the Redskins at 4-5, which would basically knock them out of playoff contention.
82 percent of people are placing their money on the Eagles in the spread. (The Eagles are favored by three points.) I could see the Eagles winning big, winning close, or losing close. I was extremely confident in the game all week until today, when I started experiencing feelings of doubt.
If Donovan McNabb plays the way he did after his last benching, the Eagles are in trouble. But just because he dominated the Cardinals in 2008 doesn’t mean he’ll do the same to the Eagles this week. I think McNabb is going to struggle tonight.
The Redskins are fantastic at forcing takeaways and Michael Vick is so due for his first turnover of the season. I think he’ll throw one interception.
Brent Celek is due for a breakout game. So is Chris Cooley. I think both will catch six passes for about 70 yards. I think Cooley will score a touchdown.
I think Trent Cole is going to get to McNabb for two sacks and a forced fumble. This will end the dispute between Cole and McNabb, which started earlier this week when Cole said McNabb isn’t very difficult to play against.
I think Brandon Banks will return a kick 93 yards for a touchdown, but will lose a fumble on a kick return in the fourth quarter.
I think the Eagles will win 27-17. Jackson, McCoy, and Maclin will score for the Eagles, and Cooley and Banks will score for the Redskins.
Interesting fact: Every Eagles-Redskins game anymore seems to involve a huge two-point conversion. The Eagles lost 17-12 earlier this season and would have attempted a two-point conversion if they took the lead with a touchdown. They won 27-24 in game two last year, using a big two-point conversion by LeSean McCoy to tie the game in the fourth quarter. They won 33-25 in 2007, missing a two-point conversion after taking a 26-25 lead. And they lost 20-12 in 2007, with a drive stalling on the goal line in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. A touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game.