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Can the Eagles Shut Up and Play?

Can the Eagles Shut Up and Play?

When two teams with identical records meet in a game that marks the midpoint of the NFL season, there is usually a checklist of factors to consider when trying to figure out who is going to win. In the case of this Sunday’s night game between the Redskins and Eagles, that checklist doesn’t tell us much.

Injuries: The healthier club has an advantage, often a large one. In this case, the healthier team is neither. The injury list for the two teams is 26 names long with 14 Eagles and 12 Redskins appearing on it. Although nobody is listed as doubtful nine players are questionable, meaning that there is a 50/50 chance that the likes of Philly’s Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, and Jevon Kearse and Washington’s Cornelius Griffin. These are not fringe players.

Coaching: Joe Gibbs has the superior lifetime resume. Andy Reid, having taken his team to the Super Bowl last year, has the edge in the “what have you done lately” department.

Statistics: Not much to go on here, either. The Redskins’ worst statistical weakness, their 25th- ranked run defense, is offset by the fact that the Eagles rarely run the ball.

Momentum: Both teams are coming off of ugly road losses, losing by a combined 54 points. They both have figurative wounds to lick as well as the literal ones.

Stepping back a bit, though, looking at it in the longer term, this may be where we find the key. The Eagles could well be coming into this one with three straight losses with a miracle win on a blocked field goal against San Diego coming in between blowout losses to Dallas and Denver. Their swagger seems to have disappeared.

They may not be in a slump, they may be imploding. Setting the charges, of course, is none other that Owens, who had some, well, head-scratching things to say in an ESPN interview.
ESPN analyst Michael Irvin recently said the Eagles would be undefeated if Favre was the starting quarterback.
Asked for his thoughts on Irvin's comment, Owens said: "That's a good assessment, I would agree with that, just with what [Favre] brings to the table.
"A number of commentators will say he's a warrior, he's played with injuries. I feel like him being knowledgeable about the quarterback position, I feel like we'd probably be in a better situation."
It’s not exactly like the QB that the Eagles do have, McNabb, is a wuss who doesn’t know the game. Owens went on to point out McNabb’s third-quarter interception, which came with the Eagles trailing just 28-21, as the reason the Eagles lost last Sunday.

The slams weren’t just for the quarterback. Owens also took one at the entire organization:
Owens also hard harsh things to say about the Eagles for not publically recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch Oct. 23 at home against the Chargers.
"That right there just shows you the type of class and integrity that they claim not to be," said Owens, who became the sixth receiver in NFL history to reach the milestone. "They claim to be first class and the best organization. It's an embarrassment. It just shows a lack of class they have. My publicist talked to the head PR guy and they made an excuse they didn't recognize that was coming up. But that was a blatant lie. Had it been somebody else they probably would have popped fireworks around the stadium."
The key line is, of course, “It just shows a lack of class they have.” TO has shown that he has a lot of class. Unfortunately, all of it is low.

Certainly, turmoil doesn’t preclude winning. Teams that are winning quarrel all the time, sometimes in public. But it’s a different deal when a team is losing—and make no mistake, the Eagles are in that category. That’s the time when needs to close ranks, shut up and play.

Speaking of shut up and play, ex-Redskin Jeremiah Trotter said in an interview earlier this week that the Redskins had “no heart” and Kearse said that the Redskins were the Eagles “b—ches”.

Apparently, Reid is continuing his laissez-faire approach to Owens and letting TO be TO and did not comment on the comments by Trotter and Kearse. Reid takes the “they’re grown men, let them handle it” philosophy. When you’re winning, that’s the enlightened approach; when you’re not, the inmates are running the asylum.

All that being said, what Kearse said isn’t far from the truth. The Redskins have lost seven straight to the Eagles and most of the games haven’t been close. Have the Redskins improved enough and have the Eagles imploded enough to change this?

The initial gut feeling earlier this week was no. The thought here was that the Eagles would circle the wagons one last time and have enough to beat a good but still shaken Redskins team.

Then, as the week went on, I realized that those weren’t wagons being circled up I-95 but rings being added to the circus. I went to Redskins Park on Wednesday. This is not a shaken group of players and coaches. To a man, they had put the Sunday’s debacle behind them and were focused on the Eagles. There is no false bravado here. We know that well from the team under previous coaches and this is different. The confidence is in the players’ eyes as well as in their words.

Like just about everything for the 2005 Redskins, it won’t be easy. Washington will jump to an early lead, but the Eagles will fight back, perhaps even take the lead. But their lack of a running game won’t allow them to hold it and the Redskins will pull back ahead in the second half. Washington will have to repel one or two late Philly bids to win it.

Redskins 24, Eagles 20

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When is Super Bowl 52? Date, time, TV channel, halftime performer, odds

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When is Super Bowl 52? Date, time, TV channel, halftime performer, odds

Super Bowl LII (52) will feature the New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Champion) against the Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018.

If they go on to advance, the Vikings would become the first team to ever ‘host’ the Super Bowl in their home stadium. They are the third to play the game in their home state. Minnesota will be looking for their first Super Bowl title in five tries, the most appearances by any team without a championship.

Philadelphia is looking for their first title ever as well, and doing it with a back-up quarterback Nick Foles. They have been the underdog in every game this postseason; it would be no different in the Super Bowl.

New England is looking for their third Super Bowl over the past four years and their sixth championship since 2001. However, their path in the AFC Playoffs is arguably the easiest in their history. A win by the Patriots would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with six.

The new kids one the block, the Jaguars are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance in what is already the best year ever for the franchise. If Jacksonville were to pull it off, they would be the tenth team in NFL history to win in their first Super Bowl appearance.

Super Bowl LII Information:

When is Super Bowl 52?

6:15 pm ET, February 4, 2018

Who is playing in Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles

Where is Super Bowl 52?

U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota

How can I watch Super Bowl 52 on TV?

NBC

Where can I stream Super Bowl 52?

The Super Bowl can be streamed for free on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Who are the announcers for Super Bowl 52?

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox

Who is performing the Super Bowl 52 halftime show?

Justin Timberlake is the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime performer. It is his third Super Bowl performance, previously performing in Super Bowl XXV and more famously in XXVIII with Janet Jackson.

What are the odds for Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots: 6/5
Minnesota Vikings: 7/4
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1

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Need to Know: A random walk through the Redskins past for edition No. 2000

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Need to Know: A random walk through the Redskins past for edition No. 2000

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 21, 52 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 44
—NFL Draft (4/26) 95
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 231

Need to Know No. 2000

This is a special edition of Need to Know. It was 2,000 days ago, on July 31, 2012, that this post designed to give Redskins fans the news and views they need to get their days started was posted for the first time. And it has gone up every single morning since that day, 2,000 mornings in a row.

There is no reliable way to measure how many have read the post since site redesigns and name changes have made reliable tracking difficult. But NTK page views are estimated in the tens of millions. Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting, both on the site and on social media. It’s the passion of Redskins fans that makes the job so enjoyable.

Here is a look back at some of the “landmark” editions of Need to Know. I can’t like to all of them because of the aforementioned changes but it’s an interesting, random walk through Redskins history.

No. 1, “Hits to the depth chart”, 7/31/12—The Redskins were trying to deal with the losses of LB Jonathan Goff, who had suffered a season-ending knee injury, and G Kory Lichtensteiger, who was out after getting his knee scoped. Also, the Saints, who were the Redskins’ opponent in the opener, were complaining about the Bountygate penalties. A lot. See, even during training camp in 2012, NTK was able to look beyond RG3 hysteria to get you to the other important stories of the day.

No. 500, “Nickel coverage—Jordan Reed misses practice”, 12/13/13—Yes, the more things change the more things stay the same. The talented tight end, then a rookie, was still trying to a recover from a concussion he suffered a few weeks earlier. Reed ended up going on injured reserve, missing the last six games. Also, Mike Shanahan said that didn’t pay any attention to all of the negative talk about the team in the media and Kyle Shanahan said that didn’t have any input into the decision to bench RG3 and play Kirk Cousins. Both claims were greeted with skepticism.

No. 1,000, “Can the Redskins draft an immediate O-line starter?”, 4/27/15—This was just a couple of days before the draft. Brandon Scherff, who ended up being Redskins’ top pick at No. 5 overall, is not mentioned but he did indeed become the team’s selection. This was Scot McCloughan’s first draft and the identity of the Redskins’ first pick was still a mystery. Although Scherff’s name often came up, most mocks had them going with edge rusher Dante Fowler, who ended up going to the Jaguars at No. 3.

No. 1,500, “Redskins searching for back to back playoff spots”, 9/8/2016—This was a “By the numbers” look at the team as it approached their season opener against the Steelers. They were coming off of a playoff berth in 2015 and, as we know now, their streak of consecutive seasons without going to the playoffs at least two straight years would continue. In 2016 were able to stop a 19-year streak of not having back to back willing seasons, just barely, by going 8-7-1. One more interesting number from the post—Kirk Cousins’ pass completion percentage at home in 2015 was 74.7 percent, the highest in NFL history.

Again, thanks for reading. See you tomorrow for edition No. 2,001.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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