The Washington Redskins open their 2013 NFL season under the prime time lights against the division rivals Philadelphia Eagles on September 9. This nationally-televised contest will feature the triumphant return of franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III from his torn right ACL injury suffered last season.
It also marks the return from injury of outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and strong safety Brandon Meriweather. Considering that the Redskins won games without the contributions of RG3, Orakpo and Meriweather in 2012, it can be assumed that Washington will be even better with that trio 100 percent healthy in 2013.
The Redskins swept the season series from the Eagles last year in convincing fashion, which supports the confidence Washington has for an season-opening victory.
Adding to the intrigue is the return to health of Redskins’ primary wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who claimed that his offense could become one of the NFL’s all-time best. That’s a pretty strong assertion, but it adds a confidence and swagger that hasn’t been seen in the Redskins for generations.
With that said, Washington had better not overlook Philadelphia. The Eagles are a proud team with some talent of their own. Quarterback Michael Vick has put his embattled past behind him, which included him fending off a challenge from Nick Foles for Philadelphia’s starting quarterback position during training camp. Vick is the unquestioned leader of the Eagles’ offense, which offers some stability to the unit.
Philadelphia has great playmakers in running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Redskins’ fans should fondly remember Jackson from the last time these division rivals met on national television in 2010. Vick connected with Jackson on an 88-yard touchdown reception during that game’s first play from scrimmage.
That play sparked the Eagles to a 59-28 embarrassment of the Redskins. McCoy is a shift runner who is extremely efficient as a receiver as well. Jackson and McCoy are both threats to go the distance every time they touch the ball.
The Redskins have gotten a lot of positive press recently, mostly because of RG3’s recovery from his injury. Washington’s franchise quarterback is fully healthy, which makes the Redskins the trendy pick to repeat as NFC East champions. However, they can’t rest on their press clippings. They need to stay humble and play with the same type of urgency they had during last season’s seven-game winning streak that propelled them into the playoffs.
If they can stay focused and maintain that sense of urgency against Philadelphia, the Redskins’ 2013 season will be off to a good start.