Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 20, one day before the Washington Redskins go to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.
What they’re saying about the Redskins
Here is a look around the Interwebs at what they’re saying about the Redskins. Spoiler—many are bullish on Kirk Cousins.
NFL.com has this to say in its post ranking the Redskins 27th in their power poll:
It's rare that a team has a better shot of winning when the backup quarterback comes in. We haven't seen that since Doug Flutie was the understudy for Rob Johnson (who, by the way, is one of the many who have played quarterback for Washington since Y2K). So I guess you know where I'm headed with this. Can you blame me? Kirk Cousins' day against the Jaguars, with Robert Griffin III out: 22-of-33 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns. That said, now Washington has little depth at QB if Cousins falters. Tough to put this team higher for now.
Pat Kirwan of CBSsports.com give quick kudos to the Redskins defense in ranking them 24th:
A number of people feel Kirk Cousins is an upgrade from RG3. We will find out in the next few weeks as opponents gather game tapes of him. My hats off to a Redskins defense that got 10 sacks this past week.
Our corporate cousins at Pro Football Talk have Washington ranked at 22 and they make a good point:
With a defense capable of generating 10 sacks, maybe Joe Theismann could play quarterback for this team and win.
Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, another corporate cousin, also recognizes that the Redskins have improved defensively.
ILBs Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley Jr. can both run like the wind. Robinson isn’t as much of coverage liability as London Fletcher had (finally) become and Riley gets after the ball. This won’t be the same ‘Skins team that gave up 263 rushing yards to the Eagles in last year’s opener.
Nick Foles needs to stay calm and go through progressions but he’ll also have to make quicker decisions. He’s missing open wideouts because he’s drifting at the first sign of pressure instead of stepping up and keeping his feet planted. Foles has survived on checkdowns to Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy, who are 1 and 1a as the team’s receiving leaders, and the occasional 20-yard strike to tight end Zach Ertz.
Chip Kelly loves his vertical routes but it might behoove the offense to lean heavier on screens and shorter stuff to keep Foles protected and prevent the ‘Skins from teeing off in the pass rush and generating early momentum.
Mosher, I should note, predicts a loss for the home team in that same post:
Looks for a physical, knock ‘em-sock ’em kind of game between these two division rivals. The team that commits the fewest turnovers will win. I think the Eagles’ injuries on the offensive line and inside linebacker come back to haunt them.
-- Redskins 26, Eagles 24
On the Birds 24/7 blog, Sheil Kapadia also notes that pressure on Nick Foles will be critical:
We have to start up front. Washington had 10 sacks last week against the Jaguars, and the Eagles have had some breakdowns in protection. The toughest matchup for the Birds is right tackle Gardner against outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan piled up four sacks in Week 2.
Hatcher can also get pressure on the interior; he's got 2.5 sacks so far.
Nick Foles has not looked comfortable when faced with pressure. His performance through two games has been uneven. Foles is 48-for-82 (58.5 percent) and averaging 8.0 YPA. He has thrown three touchdowns compared to two interceptions. Foles has been chucking it downfield a ton so far. According to Pro Football Focus, 22 percent of his passes have traveled 20+ yards from the line of scrimmage. That's the top mark in the league. But Foles will need to have time to feel comfortable in the pocket and hit on those shot plays.
The expert picks on ESPN are a landslide in favor of the Eagles. Of the 13 making selections, only Mike Ditka picks Washington. For what it’s worth, four of the 13 pick the Jaguars to win last week. The panel at CBSsports.com is equally partial to Philly with one of nine pickers going with the Redskins.
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
—Today’s schedule: Team travels to Philadelphia, no availability
—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 1; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 5; Monday night Seahawks @ Redskins 17
In case you missed it
- Gruden: A 'step in a positive direction' for Jackson
- Pros, cons, and X factors--Redskins at Eagles game prediction
- Week 3 NFL Picks: 0-3 New Orleans Saints?
- Redskins get bad news on Jordan Reed's status for Sunday
- With Forbath questionable, Redskins will have kicker insurance
- Redskins' Gruden 'will not hesitate one bit' to turn to Ryan Grant if needed
- Gruden gets Cousins' head spinning