Redskins-Eagles Preview

The Philadelphia Eagles have a daunting obstacle in their way
this week as they try to grab sole possession of first place in the
NFC East.

A home game.

The Eagles will try to snap a franchise-worst 10-game home
losing streak Sunday against the Washington Redskins and pull ahead
of idle Dallas in football’s most mediocre division.

They’re off to an 0-4 start this year at Lincoln Financial
Field, though they’ve won two in a row after Sunday’s 27-13 victory
at Green Bay.

“We got to get it going. We got to get back in the swing of
things at home,” Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. “Our
fans deserve it. So, hopefully, we can collect something together,
figure out what it is and just win in front of our home fans. But
there’s got to be support. We can’t be coming into the game, first
quarter, getting boos and all that type of stuff. (The fans) just
got to work with us throughout the game. I think as long as
everybody is doing their job and doing what they need to do, we’ll
be all right.”

The Eagles (5-5) are back in a first-place tie with the Cowboys
for the first time since Week 6.

Nick Foles will start at quarterback for the third straight
week. He has 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last
two games with a remarkable rating of 155.3, including a perfect
158.3 on Nov. 3 at Oakland.

His season passer rating of 132.5 would be the highest in the
league if he had the requisite 14 passing attempts per team game.
His 136 attempts fall four short of the qualifying number.

Foles’ 16 touchdown passes are tied for eighth in the league,
despite making just four starts. He’s yet to throw an
interception.

“He has great poise,” wide receiver Riley Cooper said. “He’s
going to sit in the pocket and kind of dissect the defense. He
trusts in his guys. If it’s man-to-man coverage or something, he’s
going to throw it up to you.”

Foles hasn’t enjoyed such success in two career games against
the Redskins.

The Eagles opened the season Sept. 9 with a 33-27 win at
Washington, but Michael Vick was at quarterback.

Foles started both losses to the Redskins last year, including
the last meeting in Philadelphia, a 27-20 defeat Dec. 23, 2012. He
threw his last interception in that game.

He’s 0-4 as a starter at home and the Eagles have lost all six
home games he’s played in in his career, in which he’s thrown three
touchdowns and three interceptions with a passer rating of 73.8.
His career road rating is 113.4.

Despite their troubles at home, the Eagles still rank fourth in
total offense with 413.4 yards per game. They’re rushing for a
league-high 153.5 yards behind LeSean McCoy’s NFL-best 932
yards.

The Redskins (3-6) fell to 1-4 on the road with a 34-27 loss at
Minnesota on Thursday night. They haven’t won consecutive games
this year, but are still just 1 1-2 games out of first place in the
division.

It’s familiar territory after starting 3-6 last year and making
the playoffs after winning seven straight to end the regular
season.

“We can talk about everybody else, but the bottom line is we
have to be a lot better,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said.
“We can’t make it to the playoffs and expect to do anything in the
playoffs the way we’ve been playing. It’s pointless to even get
there.”

Team defense has been a significant problem. They’re 31st in
opponents’ points per game (31.9) and 27th in yards allowed
(388.6).

Quarterback Robert Griffin III is 2-1 with eight touchdown
passes and three interceptions against the Eagles, including a
perfect 158.3 passer rating on Nov. 18, 2012.

He’s come under some criticism during this years’ 3-6 start
after earning praise with the same record as a rookie. The
difference has been six interceptions. He threw three in his first
nine games last year and is averaging one a game this year.

He had arguably his best game of the year against the Vikings
with three touchdowns, no turnovers and a season-best 114.8 passer
rating..

“When you’re expected to be great, you’re always going to have
disappointments,” wide receiver Pierre Garcon said of his
quarterback. “You’re always going to have tough times that you deal
with. You just have to make it through those times to be
successful.”