Six Points: Eagles vs. Redskins
The Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) are in the win column, but too many of their drives are ending with punts. After finding a way to get their ground game underway, it will now be up to Chip Kelly and Sam Bradford to find a way to jumpstart the passing game.
The Washington Redskins (1-2) need to stay the course and stick to their blueprint — run the ball to open up the passing game.
Here are three keys to the game for both the Eagles and Redskins.
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1. Utilize the middle of the field in the passing game
For the last 19 regular-season games, the Redskins have struggled to cover the middle of the field on defense. They simply don’t have the inside linebackers to hang with wide receivers, tight ends and running backs in the passing game.
2. Get Nelson Agholor involved on offense
Although he has drawn 11 targets, Agholor is second on the team in total snaps (174) and snaps in route (111). The rookie has excellent lateral agility and explosion, and runs a great vertical route. In this matchup, he will draw Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland for the majority of his snaps in route. Breeland allowed 125 yards receiving and two touchdowns on 10 targets against the Giants last week.
3. Stop the run first
The Redskins have struggled when teams have shut down their rushing attack. In the two games where teams have taken away their run game, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has a 2:4 touchdown to interception ratio. Eagles nose tackle Bennie Logan has evolved into one of the best run-stuffing interior lineman in the NFC, and he will feast on an ioffensive line that will be missing starter Shawn Lauvao.
1. Get Alfred Morris going again
Through the first two weeks, Morris racked up 180 rushing yards on 40 carries. In the Redskins’ Week 3 loss to the Giants, he saw six carries and 12 total snaps. The Redskins ran 77 offensive plays, and this was the lowest percentage of offensive snaps Morris has seen since head coach Jay Gruden has taken over. With excellent vision and burst between the tackles, the Redskins should get Morris going early and often.
2. Target Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell
Maxwell has allowed 315 passing yards and two touchdowns while in primary coverage. He has been targeted 25 times and 21 of those targets have turned into receptions, per Pro Football Focus. The Redskins would be wise to put Maxwell to the test again this Sunday.
3. Bring interior pressure on defense
After losing both starting offensive guards from 2014, the Eagles’ interior offensive line has struggled. To make matters worse, right guard Andrew Gardner was lost to a season-ending injury in Week 3. The Redskins love to bring interior pressure under new defensive coordinator Joe Barry, and they would be wise to mix in a few more A gap blitzes, with their linebackers, in this matchup.