The Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins matchup on Sunday showcases a battle between two rookie quarterbacks, two divisional rivals, and two desperate teams. Both are 3-6, and neither will be going the playoffs or contending in a loaded NFC East. Still, this rivalry game is intriguing.
Nick Foles‘ stat line wasn’t bad in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Foles was 22/32 with 219 passing yards and a touchdown, with a pick and an 85.3 QB rating after taking over for an injured Mike Vick. Still, his decent numbers don’t accurately reflect his performance. Twice, Foles was saved from bad throws (including a pick-six) on penalties away from the ball that had no impact on his poor passes. As the game got away from the Eagles late, Foles was unable to keep Philadelphia close. Keep in mind, however, that the Cowboys defense is ranked among the top five in the NFL and that the Redskins have struggled with injuries all year.
Even against Washington, it’s hard to imagine Foles being the man to turn around the Philadelphia Eagles. The rookie quarterback lacks the protection to make proper reads and adjust to the speed of the NFL. If the Eagles offensive line failed to protect one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, how will they protect a wide-eyed rookie? Andy Reid and his famously imbalanced offensive attack will struggle against the Redskins unless the Eagles suddenly shift to a more ground-heavy attack. With LeSean McCoy in the backfield, there’s no reason to continue avoiding the rushing game to at least keep the Eagles close on the road.
The Washington Redskins are much more comfortable with their rookie quarterback. Robert Griffin III is off to a solid start to a promising career. His athleticism has made the Washington Redskins competitive as they continue to rebuild. Against an Eagles team in relative disarray, this could be a great opportunity for RGIII to lead the ‘Skins to a win at home.
I don’t see the Eagles offense suddenly sorting itself out. Nick Foles is not ready for the NFL, and Andy Reid doesn’t know how to protect his quarterbacks in the face of constant pressure. The Redskins will be able to move the ball against a mediocre Eagles defense, and they’re a consistently tough team at home. The line is set at 3.5 and I’m buying 1/2 a point for this Week 11 prediction. I like the Redskins -3 at home.
Washington Redskins 27 – Philadelphia Eagles 23