Eagles vs. Redskins NFL Week 16 Preview

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

This game should be over before it even gets started, assuming that Robert Griffin III (RGIII) takes the field.

But things could get interesting if RGIII can’t compete for the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, due to his injured right knee, and fellow rookie QB Kirk Cousins gets the nod again.

In the NFC East rivals’ last match-up with one another in Week 11, the Philadelphia Eagles got trampled by the Redskins in a 31-6 drubbing. This game marked Eagles QB Nick Foles’ first NFL start, as QB Michael Vick was sidelined with a concussion just the week before.

Both parties who would have represented an exciting ‘Vick vs. RGIII’ battle could be missing in action this weekend. While Griffin will more than likely take the field, barring any sort of setback, Vick will be firmly planted on the sideline for the sixth consecutive game.

Foles was expected to carve up the Redskins’ secondary in his first start, but fell victim to his naive rookie ways, and completed just 21 of 46 passes for 204 yards, with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

Hopefully for the Eagles, Foles will be able to shake his worries this time against the ‘Skins considering it will be his sixth professional start.

Both the Eagles and the Redskins field lackluster passing defenses, so I expect the quarterbacks on both teams to be airing it out aplenty. With RGIII expected to return, the Eagles’ rushing defense should be in for a nightmare of an afternoon as well.

Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will play this Sunday for the first time in four weeks, sending rookie RB Bryce Brown and his butter-fingers back to the bench.

With DeSean Jackson on the IR, and Jeremy Maclin a sometimes invisible target, the Eagles will be counting on Riley Cooper and Jason Avant to handle the bulk of the receiving duties.

Whether it be RGIII or Cousins behind center for the ‘Skins on Sunday, they will be lucky to have rookie RB Alfred Morris manning the backfield with them. Morris has proven himself to be one of the best running backs in the NFL this season, and is a front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Both of these squads are very similar on offense. They have a young, capable quarterback who is teamed up with a great running back, and a jumble of mediocre wide receivers.

This is why I think that this Week 16 match-up will be decided exclusively on the defensive side of the ball. Whichever quarterback turns the ball over more is going to lose, because each offense has a beast at tailback that will run the clock and strategically put points on the board.

So even though there is no doubt that I should logically pick the playoff-hopeful Redskins, especially with RGIII slated to return, I can’t help but to go with the spoiler.

With nothing to lose and a chip on their shoulder, I take the Eagles in a 27-21 victory over the Redskins.

 

Please follow Joe on Twitter @Joe_RantNFL for all Eagles/NFL insight.


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