There are still many questions about the young and inexperienced defense of the Philadelphia Eagles. The roller coaster that was the preseason provided many ups and downs, but not many answers. It seems like as far as the schedule is concerned, they are not going to be given any favors. Week 1 in the NFL stands as an opportunity for teams trying to recover from a below-par performance last season, to start off in the right direction. That may be difficult for Philadelphia because of the fact that they face off against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
Past performance has shown that the Eagles don’t fare very well against RG III. Last year alone, the Redskins took two games from the Eagles posting more than 25 points per game and Griffin was a cool 30-for-39 passing for six touchdowns. In addition, he carried the ball 12 times for 84 yards in the first of the two meetings.
The Eagles have made improvements since last year, but containing Griffin is a tough task, no matter the defense. Griffin is making his return, playing in his first game since a knee injury which will probably limit him. The defense in Philadelphia has made a shift to a 3-4 under new head coach Chip Kelly, with the front seven becoming stronger and more capable. However, the secondary still lacks much of the stability needed to make the defense complete. It will be a telling challenge to see just how far the defense has come, but containing a mobile quarterback who can also spread the ball around will prove to be a difficult task.
Look for the front seven to put lots of pressure on the offensive line of Washington, making it difficult for RG III to get comfortable passing the ball, but paired with a good running attack, things may open up regardless as the game progresses. The Eagles secondary will show signs of improvement, but continue to have some hiccups along the way, giving up large chunks of yards at times.
The game will be determined in the end by the ability of the defense to hold Washington to just enough for the offensive production that Michael Vick and the potent Eagle offense will provide, to win over.