Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 16, seven days before the Washington Redskins travel to Detroit to play the Lions.
—Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m., FOX
—Days until: Redskins @ Lions 7; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 14; Vikings @ Redskins 28
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles
—This isn’t a “must win” game for the Redskins but it is very, very important. For one thing, they have a chance to finish the first half of their NFC East schedule with a winning record. They lost to the Cowboys and won at the Giants and holding home field against the Eagles would be a big boost. The game also marks the end of the first half of the Redskins’ home season. Their remaining home games are against the Giants and three teams that made the playoffs last year, the Vikings, Packers, and Panthers. It’s hard to make a playoff run without having a winning record at home. That’s going to be a big ask in any case but it will be almost impossible if they go into that Week 10 Vikings game 1-3 at home.
—Jordan Reed’s absence from the lineup with a concussion is not at all surprising to anyone who has been paying attention. He wasn’t even cleared to practice even with no contact all week and it would have been nearly impossible for him to get through the concussion protocol in time to play. His situation, with this being his fifth diagnosed concussion, certainly bears watching. Su’a Cravens also was downgraded to out with a concussion. That’s a surprise from the perspective of midweek. There was a lot of optimism on Wednesday and Thursday when he was on the field participating in individual drills. But when Friday rolled around and he still wasn’t cleared it began to look more like he’d sit again. He didn’t have a setback, he just never progressed to the point where he could play.
—The last time these teams met with at least four games gone in the season with both of them sporting a winning record was back in November of 2000. Washington, 7-4, hosted the game against the 8-4 Eagles. Of course the game was loaded with playoff implications. Philly won 23-20 as an Eddie Murray field goal try missed in the last two minutes. It was Norv Turner’s next to last game as Redskins coach; he was fired after losing to the Giants the following week. This game has nothing to do with Turner or Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb (well, unless it ends up in a tie) but it does point out that it’s infrequent to see both of these teams doing well in the same season.
—Before the Ravens game over half of the Redskins’ offensive possession had ended in a score. That stat took a hit in Baltimore but they are still at a respectable 43.4 percent, sixth in the league. The Eagles are now second in the league, scoring on 51.2 percent of their drives, second to the Falcons (via Pro Football Reference). One reason why is that they have the shortest field to work with. On average, their drives start at their own 33.7 yard line, the best in the league by a comfortable margin.
—I’d actually feel much better about the Redskins’ chances of winning this game if it was in Philadelphia. I think they have that road warrior mentality now, with five straight wins away from FedEx Field. But it’s in Washington so I find myself more dubious of their chances. But I’m still going with the Redskins. I don’t think that the Eagles are quite as good as their record (although they are a quality team) and the Redskins are playing well despite dealing with some injury issues. Get ready for another close one, Redskins fans.
Redskins 28, Eagles 24
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