Keys to Beating the Eagles

Who would think that going into next week's match up against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins would be 3-1?

...who would think the Eagles would be 1-4?

In hopes of improving to 4-1, the Redskins need to focus on these four things against the reeling Eagles when they square off this upcoming Sunday at FedEx Field. If they can keep these keys in mind, they'll have a great chance coming out on top.

First: the Redskins can't beat themselves by turning the ball over. As I mentioned in my last article, Rex Grossman alone has turned the ball over to the opposition seven times thus far, an average of nearly twice per game.

Luckily, (or if you live your life by the law of a regression towards the mean, not so luckily), Grossman is the only Redskin to turn the ball over so far.

Second: the Redskins need to keep an eye on LeSean McCoy at all times. The running back for the Eagles is quietly becoming their most dynamic player (and bright spot) with Michael Vick and the offensive line struggling. So far, McCoy has racked up over 550 yards of total offense in five games, and scored seven total touchdowns (two as a receiver).

Third: Washington offense needs to channel their Week 1 performance when they scored 28 points against the New York Giants. This definitely is doable against the Eagles, a defense which has allowed an average of 29.75 points over their past 4 games (four losses). If the 'Skins can put the Eagles away early, a late surge by the dynamic Vick or McCoy will be exciting, but will come a little too late.

Most important: the defense for the Redskins needs to pressure Mike Vick. The Virginia-native has already turned the ball over 10 times, including a four interception game this past Sunday against the upstart Buffalo Bills (one returned for a touchdown).

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When I mean pressure, I mean within the scheme of the defense. Otherwise, if the play breaks down, the current rushing leader for a quarterback in NFL history, Vick (4,948 rush yards), has the potential to improvise and run wild.

So far the Eagles' offensive line has given up seven sacks, a weakness the Redskins need to (and will) exploit. Look for the Redskins to apply consistent pressure, knock Vick to the ground frequently, and record at least two sacks.

Losing to the Eagles is unacceptable for two reasons: 1) the Redskins are coming off a bye week during which they have prepared twice as long for this game, and 2) the Eagles are 1-4: kicking them while they're down (winning) will effectively eliminate them from NFC-East contention.

This is a big game for the Redskins, enjoy.

(Jonathan Wigginton is the Chat Sports Senior Writer for the Washington Redskins)

**Photo-courtesy of The Associated Press

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