The Philadelphia Eagles will be playing the Washington Redskins Monday night to kickoff the first Monday Night Football game of the season. The Eagles still have a lot of questions that still remain unanswered, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
With that being said, the Eagles will most likely have a hard a time stopping Robert Griffin III and the rest of that impressive offense we saw a year ago. However, RG3 is coming off of an ACL injury that may prevent him from doing the things we saw him do last season. Not only is he coming off of knee surgery, but he will be playing with just eight months of rest on that knee. This is how RG3 has been labeled as “Superman” by Dr. Andrews for his extremely fast healing.
RG3 is an extremely dangerous player when he has the football in his hands, however, I doubt the Redskins will be letting RG3 run as much as he did last year. Yet if that’s not the case, then the Eagles need to bottle the young quarterback up before he notices he has room to run. When the Redskins are looking at third downs, it’s imperative for them to keep a spy on RG3 so he doesn’t leave the pocket. However, if the Eagles decide to spy RG3 that leaves one less man dropping into coverage, and we all know the Eagles were horrendous in pass coverage in the preseason. This is where the Eagles’ pass-rushers need to step it up. The pass rush will need to be bringing it every down because a good pass rush will always make an NFL quarterback’s job more difficult than it already is. Whether it’s blitzing, rushing five, or even rushing three, the Eagles need to pressure RG3 so he can make bad decisions.
As far as stopping the read-option with RG3 and second year man Alfred Morris, it’ll be tough but definitely possible. The Eagles were torched last year with this play and will simply need to come up with a better game plan. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis will have his hands full with this one, but I think stopping the read-option relies a lot on the guys up front. Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, and Isaac Sopoaga will need to get off their blocks quickly or drive their man back to stop the Redskins running game. A game I know Chip Kelly always tries to forget about is last year’s game when Oregon lost to Stanford 17-14. This was one of the very few games that Kelly was unable to score a lot of points on his opponent. Stanford’s front seven made Oregon’s offensive line look pathetic and the result of that was Oregon only scoring 14 points. If the Eagles’ front line can win the battle in the trenches then the Eagles will certainly have an edge over the Redskins.
That is where the Eagles’ defense needs to be for this game. They need to take control of the Redskins’ offensive line whether it’s on passing downs or running downs. I know the Eagles’ defense has been dreadful to watch at times, but if Davis can come up with a game plan and the defensive front seven can take control of the game than the Eagles should have a solid chance at slowing down this Redskins’ offense.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50