Washington Redskins Better Not Underestimate the Philadelphia Eagles

By Greg Bradshaw
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins got some good news: superstar quarterback Robert Griffin III has been given clearance for participation in the team’s Week 16 game with the Philadelphia Eagles. Washington has won five consecutive games, the last being a 38-21 Week 15 road victory over the Cleveland Browns without the multidimensional RG3 under center.

It’s understandable why the resurgent Redskins enter their game with the Eagles brimming with confidence. Philadelphia has had a disappointing 2012 NFL season with no playoff berth in sight. Plus, recent history is on Washington’s side: the Redskins were dominant during their 31-6 Week11 showdown with the Eagles. Factor in Washington’s ability to win while Griffin III was sidelined with a knee injury against the Browns, and all signs point to a Redskins’ victory.

Let’s not kid ourselves. While experiencing success in 2012, Washington is not elite enough to think they can just show up as if they’re entitled to victory. Sure, their offense has proven its proficiency with either Griffin III or fellow rookie Kirk Cousins running the offense. However, the Eagles are a prideful team just itching to derail Washington’s playoff hopes. They will have the services of shifty running back LeSean McCoy against the Redskins, which is a huge boost to the Philadelphia offense led by rookie quarterback Nick Foles.

However, the continuity of Washington’s offensive line is in jeopardy. While the unit has played well during the season, right tackle Tyler Polumbus’ status for the Eagles’ game is questionable. Polumbus sustained a concussion against the Browns, and while he has practiced during the week, he has not been cleared to play. That means tackle Tom Compton would get the start against Philadelphia. The unheralded Compton was on Washington’s practice squad, and would be lined opposite Eagles’ defensive end Brandon Graham. Compton better be able to handle Graham’s pass rush, or it could be a long day for RG3 and the Redskins’ offense.

But I digress. I’m sure that Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan will not let complacency permeate his resurgent team. If he can keep his team’s focus on defeating the Eagles, then the Redskins would continue their positive momentum heading into their season finale against their biggest rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a situation that few though the Redskins would find themselves in: an opportunity to clinch the NFC East title. If Washington can beat Philadelphia on Sunday, that elusive NFC East title would be that much closer to reality.

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