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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 13, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here are five things you need to know about the Redskins-Eagles matchup:

1. The Eagles would be last in the league in yards allowed if the Dallas Cowboys’ defense wasn’t even worse. The pass defense is ranked 31st but that’s not as bad as it looks. They are only 13th in opponents’ passer rating and that’s generally a better measure of pass defense. You can run on them a bit; they are 19th in allowing 4.0 yards per attempt.

2. But the Eagles can put up some points and they can do it in a hurry. According to my man Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, the Eagles have had 25 touchdown drives this year (that’s drives, not counting any special teams or defensive scores) and the average time of those drives is 1:38. By comparison, the Redskins’ 23 offensive TD’s come at the end of drives that average exactly 4:00. The fast TD drives aren’t necessarily always a good thing, especially if it puts the defense back on the field quickly. But it’s the kind of offense that Chip Kelly wanted to install so in that he has been successful.

3. It remains to be seen if Nick Foles is really a stud QB in the making or if he’s just having a few good weeks. Seven touchdown passes in a game is not necessarily a mark of greatness. Yes, luminaries such as Peyton Manning and Y. A. Tittle have done it. So did career nonentity Adrian Burk, coincidentally a former Eagle. I suspect that Foles is more Burk than he is Manning but that doesn’t mean that he can’t light up the Redskins on Sunday.

4. It seems like you see inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans every time an Eagles highlight, grabbing an interception (he has two) or sacking the quarterback (two of those, too) or making a key stop. In the Eagles' win over the Packers, he had 13 tackles.  You didn’t see too much out of him last year, his first season in Philly after coming from Houston in a trade but maybe that's because the Eagles were a 2-12 nonentity. In 16 games last year, he had 81 tackles; in 10 games in 2013 he already has 74. Perhaps it was the shift back into at 3-4 defense, the scheme in which he made two Pro Bowls in six year with the Texans, that made the difference. In any case, Ryans is playing some good football.

5. The Eagles have lost an incredible 10 straight home games and receiver DeSean Jackson doesn’t like the boo-birds that Philadelphia is so well know for voicing their displeasure with the events. “We have a nasty trend going at home so whatever we need to do to fix that – all support, everybody in the stands just really encouraging instead of the opposite,” he said, via Sheil Kapadia of the Birds 24/7 Blog. That’s really more of what I meant by it. Just trying to get that energy to be on our side and not feel like it’s against us sometimes.” Might I suggest winning a home game or two?

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Stat of the day

—In the last two games, Pierre Garçon has caught 14 passes for 291 yards. The yardage is a Redskins team record for the most receiving yards in two consecutive games.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 4; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 12; Giants @ Redskins 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00); news conferences streamed line on CSNwashington.com.

In case you missed it

Kerrigan: Loss not season ending

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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USA Today Sports

The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

MORE REDSKINS COVERAGE

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Jaguars. 

Week 15 December 16, TIAA Bank Field

2017 Jaguars: 10-6, First in AFC South, lost AFC championship game 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 9

Early line: Redskins +8

Key additions: G Andrew Norwell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donte Moncrief, 

Key losses:WR Allen Hurns, WR Allen Robinson

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Blake Bortles was very inconsistent during the season and there was talk of the team looking for a replacement for him prior to their run in the playoffs. Does he have what it takes to get the team back into serious contention. 
  • The team also got an inconsistent season out of RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the draft. Can he put together the monster season that would justify his draft status and help elevate the Jaguars to elite status. 
  • The Jaguars went from 25thin scoring defense in 2016 to second last year. Will they fall back to the pack this year?

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 5-1. The Jaguars only win against them came in 2002.

Series notables

The first time: September 28, 1997, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium—In the second game ever played at the Redskins’ new stadium, Jacksonville took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, but then-Jags QB Mark Brunell threw a pair of interceptions that set up two Washington touchdowns and the Redskins won 24-12. Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Terry Allen gained 122 yards on 36 carries. 

The last time: November 14, 2012, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden got his first win as the Redskins’ head coach in this one. Robert Griffin III went out of this game early with an injury and Kirk Cousins passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his place. It was the defense that dominated this game, racking up 10 sacks, tying the team record set in 1977. Ryan Kerrigan got four of those sacks, tying the team individual record for sacks in a game. The Redskins won 41-10.

The best time: October 1, 2006, FedEx Field—A taught, exciting game came to an explosive end when Santana Moss snared a pass that Mark Brunell perhaps should not have thrown and streaked to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

The reason the throw was risky was that two defenders were near Moss as Brunell fired it to the speedy receiver. Somehow both of them missed it. Moss grabbed it, spun around and bolted the rest of the way to complete the 68-yard game winner.

It was Moss’ third touchdown reception of the day. In the first quarter, he caught a long pass from Brunell and executed a nifty spin move near the goal line to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. An eight-yard Moss TD catch early in the third quarter put the Redskins up by 10 but the Jags battled back to tie it with six seconds left. That set up Moss’ overtime heroics. 

The worst time: November 10, 2002, Alltel Stadium—The Redskins came into the game riding a two-game winning streak and at 4-4 they were squarely in playoff contention. A strong running game had been their best asset during their surge to .500 and, with the Jaguars sporting the worst run defense in the NFL, there was every reason to believe that the Redskins would take the land route to another win.

But coach Steve Spurrier had different ideas. "I was dumb enough to think we could throw it up and down the field," Spurrier said. "We ran a little bit here and there. We had a little success there early, and I got away from it too much. The second quarter, I kept thinking at midfield, we could throw the ball from there. But we didn't do it very well. So, looking back, I called a lousy game."

His defense didn’t play very well either. The Redskins scored first but the Jaguars scored 26 unanswered points and came out with a 26-7 win.

Redskins schedule series

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  and on Instagram @RichTandler