When the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Washington Redskins in the nation’s capital this Sunday afternoon, it will be a battle showcasing two rookie quarterbacks at very different stages in their NFL development.
Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III has been a primary focal point of all NFL fans this season, while everybody just waits anxiously to see what the young stud can do next.
Griffin has not just shown his incredible speed and elusiveness, but he has stunned opponents and analysts alike with his pin-point accuracy displayed in the passing game.
Yes, ‘Skins head coach Mike Shanahan deserves a lot of credit for helping to ease Griffin into the professional ranks by designing plenty of short yardage passes that optimize the QB’s success. Griffin’s completion percentage has ballooned to an impressive 65.6% this season.
On the opposite sideline stands Eagles’ rookie QB Nick Foles, who unlike Griffin, was an after-thought following this year’s draft and was not even expected to play this season.
But following a serious concussion sustained by starting Eagles’ QB Michael Vick last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Foles now has the keys to his team’s offense and the spotlight shining directly on him. Hopefully Foles has shaken off his rookie jitters after committing two turnovers in relief of Vick last week, which were both returned for Cowboys’ touchdowns.
Luckily for Foles, he will be up against one of the biggest cupcake passing defenses in the NFL for his first career start.
The Redskins’ passing defense is ranked 30th in the league, allowing just over 301 passing yards per contest. Foles really could not have asked for a more favorable match-up in order to get his feet wet.
On the other hand, Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy will not be so lucky, as the Redskins’ rushing defense is holding teams to less than 100 rushing yards (96.2) per game. McCoy has been struggling to score all season, and he likely will not catch a break this week against the Redskins’ 8th ranked rushing defense.
And even though Redskins’ RB Alfred Morris has been incredibly impressive this season, I expect this game to be played through the air, with the Eagles’ passing defense underachieving as well.
It will be a duel between Griffin and Foles, and whoever has the most success throwing the ball will be the QB who ends up on top.
Typically when a couple of 3-6 teams face off against each other it is nothing to write home about, but both teams always come to play in this fierce divisional rivalry. It doesn’t matter that neither team has really any chance of reaching the playoffs, as it is all about bragging rights for these squads.
Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid is gasping for air as the team’s leading man with every game, and while there is likely nothing he can do to save his job at this point, he must at least save face with a respectable end to his tenure in Philadelphia.
Even though I think that Foles will put up over 300 yards through the air against this abysmal Redskins’ passing defense, I don’t think he will have what it takes to claim victory in his first career start.
I look for RGIII and the ‘Skins to rely on a ball-control strategy, and beat the Vick-less Eagles 20-14.
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