Eagles

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

For the second straight game, the Birds are in prime time. And this time, it's in front of the home fans. 

Following last week's Thursday night win over the Panthers, the 5-1 Eagles host the 3-2 Redskins Monday night (8:30 p.m./ESPN).

It's a massive opportunity to sweep the Redskins and take control of the NFC East. 

Our experts provide their predictions for Week 7:

Reuben Frank (6-0)
Do you really think I’m going to pick against the Eagles now? Heck, I might not pick against them the rest of the year. Maybe at Seattle. Honestly, I look at the schedule and the way they’re playing? The way Carson Wentz is playing? Unless something fundamental changes — which in this league is always possible — it could be a while before they lose a football game. The Eagles are rolling in all phases, and Monday night will be a good test — the Redskins are 3-1 since losing the opener to the Eagles, with the only loss to the same Chiefs team that handed the Eagles their only loss. The 'Skins are sixth in offense and 12th in defense. They lead the NFL in yards per pass play. They can be explosive. They’re eighth in rush defense. Nothing will come easy for the Eagles Monday night. But the Redskins are not coming into the Linc and winning. Eagles go to 6-1 and virtually clinch the NFC East Monday night with a win.

Eagles 31, Redskins 21

Dave Zangaro (4-2)
Washington seems like a much more dangerous team than the one the Eagles faced in the opener on Sept. 10. 

But the Eagles are a heckuva lot more dangerous too. 

Since the Eagles went to Washington and came away with a win in the opener, Washington has gone 3-1. But the Eagles have gone 4-1 with the one loss coming to the Chiefs. The Eagles have the best record in football. 

So sure, they shouldn't head into this Monday night game expecting a cakewalk but they should absolutely expect to win. They're the better team. 

Kirk Cousins has played well as of late but the Eagles' defensive line was able to get after him in Week 1. If that group does it again, it won't matter how good Cousins is throwing the ball. As good as Cousins has been recently, Wentz has been equally impressive, vaulting his name into the forefront of the MVP conversation. This week he'll go against a banged up Washington secondary. 

The Eagles have a chance to further extend their lead in the NFC East and they shouldn't have a problem doing it. 

Eagles 31, Redskins 23

Derrick Gunn (5-1)
Because they have the best record in the NFC, the Eagles have a huge target on their backs and everybody is gunning for them. On Monday night, the Redskins are hoping to take them down a notch. The ‘Skins come limping to the Linc. Their star rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is done for the year with a Lisfranc injury. Their starting cornerbacks Josh Norman (rib) and Bashaud Breeland (knee) both might miss this key divisional showdown — Norman is already out. 

Wentz has the Eagles' offense rolling, and the defense has been rock solid against the run. Cousins will go after a Birds secondary ranked 29th against the pass (273.5 yards per game). One of the key matchups to watch closely is how the Eagles will try to defend against ‘Skins running back Chris Thompson, who is Washington’s leading rusher. More importantly, he’s their leading receiver, averaging 18.9 yards.

In Week 1, the Eagles sacked Cousins four times, but since then he’s only been sacked four times. The Birds broke the ‘Skins jinx in the season opener. I look for the home team to make it a season sweep.

Eagles 28, Redskins 24

Ray Didinger (5-1)
The Redskins are playing better now than they were when the Eagles defeated them in Week 1. The offense is more balanced and they have found an explosive weapon at running back in Thompson, who is averaging almost 19 yards per reception. The defense is not making as many mental mistakes but it will miss top draft pick Allen, who broke his foot last week.

Still, the formula for beating the Redskins is the same as it was a month ago and that is getting pressure on Cousins. The Redskins quarterback is having a good year — his 106.4 passer rating trails only Alex Smith and Tom Brady — but if the Eagles can harass Cousins as effectively as they did in the opener they will complete the season sweep of the Redskins. I think they will.

Eagles 30, Redskins 21

Andrew Kulp (5-1)
Everything points to the Eagles here. They’re a hot team, well rested, the offense is clicking and the quarterback is absolutely feeling it. Washington will be without Norman and possibly Breeland at cornerback as well, among other injuries, so this is a shorthanded group.

The only concerns are it’s a divisional matchup, which tend to be close games, and whether the extra few days off knocks the Eagles out of a rhythm. Otherwise, it’s clear which is the healthier and more talented squad. Oh yeah, and the capacity Lincoln Financial Field crowd is going to be extra lathered up for a Monday night.

Eagles 41, Redskins 24

Corey Seidman (3-3)
The Eagles are getting healthier and the Redskins are not. First-round defensive lineman Allen is out for the season, and both of Washington's starting cornerbacks (Norman and Breeland) are banged up.

Add in the fact that the Redskins haven't yet been able to get Terrelle Pryor or Jordan Reed going and this just looks like an Eagles win, which would give them a commanding lead in the NFC East and go a long way toward helping them secure a playoff bye. Yep, I'm already going there.

Zach Ertz dominates the 'Skins again, Alshon Jeffery finds pay dirt and the Eagles improve to 6-1.

Eagles 31, Redskins 23

Andy Schwartz (5-1) 
No suspense here.

After an impressive victory over the Panthers, how can we pick the Eagles to lose?

Which doesn’t mean they won’t. Every team throws in a clunker now and then. But until this team does, I’m not going to predict it. Especially when it's well rested and playing at home against a team it's already beaten this season.

The Eagles are favored by 4.5 with an over/under of 48.5. Seems about right. A late Jake Elliott field goal covers the spread but isn’t enough for the over.

Eagles 27, Redskins 20

Saints 48, Eagles 7: An embarrassing effort in the Superdome

Saints 48, Eagles 7: An embarrassing effort in the Superdome

BOX SCORE 

NEW ORLEANS — They were outgained by nearly 400 yards. They were outscored by 41 points. They were humiliated and embarrassed in a way that a defending Super Bowl champion never should be.

This looked like the last days of the Chip Kelly Era.

It was that bad.

In a game that makes you question just about everything about the franchise just three months after Super Bowl LII, the Eagles lost 48-7 to the Saints Sunday at the Superdome.

Hang on, here we go.

1. How is it possible to be this unprepared week after week after week after week after week? The first quarter has been a horror show for the Eagles all year, but this was their worst. Outgained 190-15? I don’t know if the offense was worse or the defense was worse. I do know this is all on Doug Pederson and his staff. The Eagles were facing a crucial game against an elite team, and they came out with zero fire, zero intensity, zero urgency. How do you not have your team prepared? How do you not have your team ready? How do you come out every freaking week looking utterly lost on both sides of the ball? Embarrassing. Pitiful. Inexcusable. The Eagles have been blanked in eight of their 10 first quarters so far. They haven’t scored a first-quarter point since the Giants game, for crying out loud. Against a bad team, maybe you can dig out of a hole like that. Against the Saints? In their own building? Come on.

2. The Eagles are now 4-6 and have lost five of their last seven games, and it’s time to start thinking about peoples’ jobs. Doug isn’t going anywhere. He won the Super Bowl last year. He’s been terrible, but he gets at least next year and probably 2020. When you win a Super Bowl you earn some time to figure the thing out. Jim Schwartz? He’s not going anywhere, either. The Eagles went into Sunday sixth in the NFL in scoring defense, and considering all the injuries and considering the job he did last year, I just don’t see it. Now Mike Groh? I’m starting to wonder. The Eagles’ inability to score points has reached epic proportions, and Groh just seems overmatched. When you watch the Colts piling up points under Frank Reich you can’t help think that the offense lost its heart when the Eagles lost Reich. The Colts are averaging 36 points in their last five games. The Eagles have scored more than 24 once all year. Groh deserves the rest of the season, but this offense is legit terrible right now, and it shouldn’t be.

3. As for Carson Wentz, the first sign that it wasn’t his day was when he threw that ill-advised bomb into double coverage late in the first quarter. It was still just 10-0. Things weren’t going well, but it reeked of desperation or panic. You can’t just heave the ball up for grabs. Carson keeps showing this inclination of trying to do too much early on, trying to be Superman, instead of taking what’s there. Wentz has 25 career interceptions and 11 of them — nearly half — have been in the first quarter. He needs to find a way to stay within himself early on. You’re just giving away a possession against the sixth-highest-scoring offense in NFL history. And of course the Saints took the ball and drove down the field for a 17-0 lead. It keeps happening and it has to stop.

4. I feel like Wentz should be beyond a game like this three-interception monstrosity. Especially against the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense. For the first time in two years he was just terrible. He’s in his third year. His numbers have been really good, but the team is 4-6 and the offense looks lifeless. He sure isn’t the biggest problem on this team, but there are times an elite quarterback needs to raise his team up and Wentz hasn’t done that. And remember, Donovan McNabb got to the NFC Championship Game his third year.

5. Everybody is going to focus on the Eagles’ cornerbacks struggling Sunday, and that’s fair. But don’t let the defensive line off the hook. They’re supposed to be the heart and soul of the defense. They’re certainly the highest-paid unit on the team. The corners are a bunch of young inexperienced kids who’ve barely played any NFL football and let’s face it you probably haven’t heard of most of the guys who were out there by the end of the game. The pass rushers are Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Michael Bennett, and they are all big-name, high-paid veteran guys, and they never came close to Drew Brees. You’ve got Cre’Von LeBlanc, De’Vante Bausby and Chandon Sullivan in coverage against one of the hottest QBs in NFL history. By the end of the game, the Eagles didn’t even have a cornerback available who was on the roster three weeks ago. Without pressure, even the best corners in the league don’t stand a chance against Brees. These guys? Come on.

6. Two games in and Golden Tate has six catches for 58 yards. If anything, it seems like the offense has less rhythm than before he got here. Yeah, the Eagles will get compensation if they lose him, but this is not what they had in mind when they gave up a third-round pick for the veteran receiver. He hasn’t been a difference maker. It’s only two games, but you knew you were only getting him for eight games and a playoff run. So much for that.

7. It’s probably not a good sign when your punter has your best tackle of the game.

8. If you’re looking for a positive, let’s talk Josh Adams. Kid looks like a player. Had 7-for-43 rushing with a 28-yard TD before Doug abandoned the running game and even caught a few short passes for 19 yards. He’s now 34-for-197 this year, which is 5.8 yards a pop. That’s all I got.

9. This was the first time I’ve ever thought to myself, “I wonder if Doug should get Nick in there.” Honestly, I would have been fine with it. When things are this bad? Andy benched Donovan for Kevin Kolb at halftime of that Ravens game in 2008 — 10 years ago this week — then went right back to Donovan the next week, and the Eagles got to the NFC Championship Game. Maybe getting Carson out of there for a few drives and letting him catch his breath and see things from a different perspective would have helped.

10. Let’s close with this. There are five games left. The next two are at the Linc, where the Eagles have lost three straight. I don’t care who’s in uniform. I don’t care who the opponent is. I don’t care what’s at stake. I don’t care how many practice squad dudes are in the secondary. All I want to see is this football team play with some pride. Play like it means something to wear that Eagles uniform. Everybody on the roster should be embarrassed right now. Go do something about it.

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More on the Eagles

Eagles at Saints live: Score, highlights, analysis from NFL Week 11 game

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Eagles at Saints live: Score, highlights, analysis from NFL Week 11 game

7:18 p.m.: So here’s the deal, guys. There’s only one elevator to get down to the locker room, so I’m going now. Forgive me for not live-blogging the rest of this. 

7:14 p.m.: Huge stop from the Eagles’ defense. They hold the Saints to a 19-yard field goal. 

Saints 245, Eagles 7

6:54 p.m.: The Eagles have given up 517 yards and 45 points. This is just the seventh time in franchise history that has happened. 

Saints 45, Eagles 7 

6:35 p.m.: Hmm. I’m running out of things to say. 

The 38 points the Eagles have already given up is a high under Jim Schwartz. They’ve given up 430 yards and 38 points and there’s still 20 minutes left. 

Saints 38, Eagles 7 

6:16 p.m.: The Saints are marching up and down the field on the Eagles. This is a horrendous performance. This time, another 70-yard touchdown drive from the Saints. Ho hum. 

Drew Brees hit Michael Thomas for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Thomas easily beat Rasul Douglas and Corey Graham was late with the help. 

There’s still somehow over 26 minutes left to go in this game. 

Saints 31, Eagles 7 

5:56 p.m.: This is ugly. At halftime, the Eagles are getting blown out. 

The Saints have 321 total yards and the Eagles have just 109. This is a beating. The Eagles had life for a minute, but then blew it. 

The 24 points the Eagles gave up is the most they have given up in a first half under Jim Schwartz. 

At halftime: Saints 24, Eagles 7 

5:51 p.m.: Never mind. Forget the life the Eagles looked like they had. The Eagles were driving with a chance to cut the lead to three points, but Carson Wentz was sacked for a loss of 10 on 3rd-and-3 from the Saints’ 46-yard line. It was a slow-developing play action pass. Sheldon Rankins came free and sacked Wentz. Then the Eagles punted the ball away. If Wentz didn’t take that sack, the running into the kicker penalty on the Saints would have given the Eagles a first down. 

Instead, the Saints got the ball back and easily moved down the field to score another touchdown. 

Saints 24, Eagles 7 

5:25 p.m.: Hey! The Eagles have some life. Apparently, they just had to wait to get out of that dreaded first quarter. Carson Wentz led them on a 75-yard drive early in the second quarter to get on the board in just six plays. Josh Adams had a big 28-yard touchdown run. It was the first touchdown of his career. There's just under 9 minutes left in the half. 

Saints 17, Eagles 7 

5:09 p.m.: That quarter didn’t go well for the Eagles. The Saints had 190 yards. The Eagles had 15. Yikes. At least it’s only a two-score game for now. 

Saints 10, Eagles 0 

5:04 p.m.: The Eagles didn’t go 3-and-out, but Carson Wentz did under throw a deep ball into double coverage to Nelson Agholor that was intercepted. Things aren’t going well. It seemed like Wentz was just trying to make something happen, but it was a bad idea. 

4:57 p.m.: The Saints are up two scores now after driving 86 yards and punching in the game’s first touchdown. The big play of the drive was a 30-yard pass to Michael Thomas. Sidney Jones was in coverage and has had a couple rough plays so far. There’s 3:12 left in the first quarter. 

To add injury to insult, Avonte Maddox got hurt and had to leave the game. 

Saints 10, Eagles 0 

4:42 p.m.: Two Eagles’ drive. Two 3-and-outs. This offense is broken. They have just 15 yards on six plays and haven’t gotten a first down yet. Against this Saints team, they’re going to need to score some points. 

4:36 p.m.: The Saints took a 3-0 lead on a 38-yard field goal that capped a 57-yard drive. The Eagles gave up a 38-yard run from Mark Ingram on the first play, but rebounded to get a big stop. Malcolm Jenkins made a big tackle on third down. 

Saints 3, Eagles 0 

4:29 p.m.: The Eagles went 3-and-out on their first possession. They nearly got a first down on 3rd-and-long but didn’t. 

4:18 p.m.: There were a lot of Eagles fans around town, but Saints fans are going to drown them out. This place is so loud. It’s not going to be a home on the road for the Eagles this week.  

3:50 p.m.: The Cowboys got a 42-yard field goal at the buzzer to take down the Atlanta Falcons and move to 5-5 on the season. That means the Eagles need to win today to keep pace. 

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, they’re getting ready to face this guy. 

2:59 p.m.: Eagles inactive are out: 

2:29 p.m.: Washington was about to take a lead at the end of the half, but Alex Smith threw a 101-yard pick-6 and the Texans extended their lead. It’s 17-7 at halftime. In Atlanta, the Falcons are clinging to a 6-3 lead over the Cowboys. 

1:40 p.m.: Keep an eye on the game in Washington. The Texans have a 10-0 lead after one quarter. The Eagles can use all the help they can get in the NFC East. 

1:15 p.m.: After about a half hour of trying to figure out how to get in the Superdome and then how to get up to the press box, I have finally arrived. This is my first trip to the Superdome. First impressions, it’s kind of a dump, but also kinda cool. I’m looking forward to seeing how loud this place gets in a few hours. 

10:53 a.m.: Good morning, everyone. It’s game day! And it’s a big one for the Eagles. I’m getting ready to walk to the Superdome from my hotel and we’ll follow this entire game day together. 

For what it’s worth, I was out about town last night and saw a ton of Eagles fans. Another big showing from Eagles fans in another city. We’ve seen that on every trip this year. I think it was a perfect storm for it. The Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl and have a tremendous road schedule. A lot of good options for fans and they’re making the most of these trips. 

Be sure to watch Eagles Pregame Live at 3 p.m. and tune in after the game for our complete breakdown on Eagles Postgame Live.