The Eagles (8-7) are clinging to their playoff hopes, but they need to beat the Redskins (7-8) if they still want a chance.
After that, they have to hope the Bears beat the Vikings, but that game won’t matter if the Eagles don’t take care of business in Washington.
The Eagles beat the Redskins 28-13 at the Linc on Dec. 3.
Here are five matchups to watch this Sunday afternoon:
Adrian Peterson vs. Eagles’ defense
The Eagles did a good job against AD for most of the first matchup between the two teams. Eight of his carries went for eight yards. But he broke one for a 90-yard touchdown. It was the longest of his career and the longest the Eagles have ever given up. So that’s something to keep in mind. The Eagles can bottle up a running back all afternoon, but it takes just one blown play on all three levels to do some damage.
Peterson is 33 but still productive. He’s coming off a 26-carry, 119-yard game last weekend against the Titans. This is his eighth-career 1,000-yard season.
Lane Johnson vs. Ryan Kerrigan
After not making it into the Pro Bowl and showing up at the NovaCare Complex at 2:30 a.m. to stew, Johnson used that anger and channeled it into his best performance of 2018. He shut down three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt last week. I want to say things don’t get any easier, but that’s not true. Kerrigan isn’t the same level player as Watt, but he is a different type of player and is still capable of changing a game if you let him.
He’s 30 now, but still leads Washington in sacks with 12. He has gone double digits in four of his last five seasons. Since entering the league in 2011, Kerrigan has 83 1/2 sacks. Only Von Miller (98) and Watt (90 1/2) have more sacks in that span.
Josh Adams vs. Redskins’ defense
The last time these two teams played, Adams had a career-high 85 yards on 20 carries (4.25). It was the best performance of his young career. But in the three games since, he has 85 yards combined on 33 carries (2.58). And Adams had a huge fumble against the Texans.
This could be a chance for the Eagles to get Adams going and restore his confidence before a possible playoff run. Washington has given up over 115 yards per game this season, good for 17th in the NFL.
Zach Ertz vs. Swearinger-less secondary
In the first meeting, Ertz went for his typical nine catches, 83 yards. But since then, the Redskins cut their Pro Bowl safety D.J. Swearinger not because of his play, but because of his mouth. Maybe this is a power move that eventually pays off, but the Redskins aren’t as good right now because of it. Ertz has been having an incredible season and he has a chance to add to his record numbers on Sunday.
Eagles vs. the scoreboard
They’re gonna try not to peek, but it’s going to be nearly impossible. The Eagles know they have to take care of business against the Redskins and if they don’t, nothing else matters. But they also know the situation. They know that they can beat Washington 100-0, but if Chicago doesn’t mean Minnesota, it doesn’t mean squat. There are two other games to keep an eye on. First, it’s important that Chicago wins; that’s what matters.
But the more important game might actually be the Rams-49ers game. If the 49ers can’t keep it close, the Rams are going to easily cruise and get that No. 2 seed. At that point, the Bears would pull their starters with nothing to play for. But if the Niners can at least keep that game close, the Bears will have to play because the No. 2 seed is in play. The Eagles are big fans of the Bears and 49ers this week.
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