If you have made it to this point in the Redskins season then it might feel like you deserve a prize. It is unfortunate that there is no prize given out to Redskins fans that make it all the way to the end of the season. Perhaps they have bragging rights, but that is like bragging about eating all of Aunt Briana’s rotten green bean salad at Christmas dinner.
The fans aren’t the only people to make it to the end of the season. The Redskins players have as well, or at least some of them. There are quite a few Redskins that won’t be playing in this game; Cooley and Landry and others are hurt, Fred Davis and Trent Williams would have played but then they got high, and Ryan Torian has been cut. The Redskins that are playing will be ready to play and have more to prove than an Eagles team that was picked to run away with the NFC and couldn’t even manage to make the playoffs.
The Redskins are playing for next year. This season was about finding football players and for the most part the Redskins have done that. They look like a team with a good base that is a few star players away from being a good football team. The entire front seven has been impressive on the pass rush sacking opposing quarterbacks 39 times which is in the top ten in the NFL. They need some work on stopping the run as opposing teams have averaged 120.6 yards a game against them, but they have the personnel to be able to improve on that. Remember this is a team that ranked next to last in defense in 2010.
The last time the Redskins played the Eagles the defense wasn’t the problem. They did struggle at times to stop Vick, but Vick would have spent more time on the sidelines and had a longer field if it wasn’t for Rex Grossman’s four interceptions. Rex Grossman is another player that might think he needs to prove himself this weekend, and while it is true that Grossman is a known quantity he still isn’t a very good one. After this game the Redskins will know where they are picking in the draft and have some idea if a quarterback will be available to them or not.
The Eagles have been effective at stopping the pass and have allowed the 8th fewest yards per game in the NFL averaging 210.0 yards allowed a game. The Redskins strength in the last few weeks has been their running game and it hasn’t mattered if it was Roy Helu or Evan Royster who has carried the ball. The last time the Redskins played the Eagles the Eagles were struggling to stop the run, and now that has changed. The Eagles now rank in the top half of the league allowing 111.4 yards a game.
In order to beat the Eagles the Redskins defense is going to have to play better than they did against the Vikings. LeSean McCoy might not be Adrain Peterson but he is still very good and has averaged 4.8 yards an attempt, and can also catch the ball out of the backfield and has averaged 21.0 yards a game receiving. Combining the running prowess of McCoy with the unpredictability of Vick makes the Eagles offense a dangerous one.
The reason that the dream died in Philly is because of mistakes, and with a season full of disappointment for the Eagles it is questionable on how prepared they are for this game. When the Giants won against the Jets last weekend the death of the Eagles playoff chances was official. Their season ended last week. The Redskins have more to prove in this game. The Redskins are playing for next year and some Redskins are playing for their jobs. This is a winnable game for the Redskins and if the Eagles aren’t ready to play it becomes even more winnable. Of course the Eagles could be angry and just want someone to beat up on. If that is the case then the Redskins are in for another long day.