The first week of the season, Chip Kelly introduced his offense to the nation, dazzling the audience with points and moving the ball. The Philadelphia Eagles became the talk of the league and the Washington Redskins looked lost on the field. Now we are more than halfway through the season and the second match between the two teams will be a different story. The Redskins are playing better ball and Robert Griffin III will be more mobile this time around and the defense will have weeks of tape to watch to prepare for Kelly and his attack. Nick Foles is now at the helm of the offense and, if he keeps his play consistent with the last two weeks, he will present a challenge to the Redskins defense.
The key to an Eagles’ win on Sunday will be the pass defense. Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin and their partners in the secondary will be critical in keeping Griffin contained. The defensive line has the ability to keep Alfred Morris in check, as they did in Week 1, and will need solid coverage on the outside to make their jobs easier. We know that Griffin can move. If Mychal Kendricks is out or hindered by his injury last week, the linebackers will have a long day containing his scrambles. The defense needs to keep contain all afternoon to slow down Morris and Griffin.
Williams must play better than he did last week. He is getting too soft on his coverages, often five yards away from the receiver on any given pattern. He is far from a shutdown corner and, with Griffin’s ability to keep plays alive, needs to up his game on Sunday. The pass defense is Eagles’ weakness on that side of the ball and improvement is critical to get an important win before the bye week and final run to the division title.