It’s an I-95 battle, Eagles at Washington, to start the 2020 season
EDITOR’s NOTE: Written by FPC Washington Staff Writers Tony Wheat (@TonyJWheat), Nathan Coleman (@JHawkChalk_), and Editor George Carmi (@Gcarmi21)
Week 1 is always slightly unpredictable. But this year we should certainly be prepared to expect the unexpected. Washington has new coaches, new players, and a new scheme, not to mention a new name! Compounding those changes is the lack of an offseason program and the total absence of any preseason games. When you combine those factors, expectations for Week 1 against the defending NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles should probably be set accordingly.
Washington is a 5.5 point underdog which that feels about right at this point. The Eagles are a more settled and more talented team all round. But a home win is not beyond the realms of possibility.
While stability and continuity is preferable, Washington could potentially catch the Eagles cold as the combination of the surprise factor offensively, and a rash of injuries that could hinder the birds.
A number of Eagles have been absent or limited at practice. Additionally, star RB Miles Sanders is out which is a significant blow for the visitors. The Eagles will also feel the loss of defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and defensive end Derek Barnett. The unit still remains strong and is more than capable of causing problems for Washington’s suspect offensive line.
The Eagles offensive line is hurting from the loss of right guard Brandon Brooks and left tackle Andre Dillard. Now right tackle Lane Johnson is also questionable though it is likely he will try to play. This could be a real key to the game. If the much hyped Washington defensive line can get to Carson Wentz then the Eagles offense could be stifled. I’m expecting Philadelphia to try and get the ball quickly to Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, exploiting the vulnerability of the Washington linebackers in coverage.
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Similarly, the Eagles linebackers are the weakness of their defense. So I’d expect a lot of the 2 back sets with plenty of shifts and motions to isolate linebackers in coverage with running backs Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic. The Eagles won’t quite know what to expect. As a result Washington could have some opportunities to move the ball.
Overall, I think Washington can keep this close in a relatively low scoring contest. If things go well, even take a close victory. I’m going to go Washington 20 Philadelphia 24.
The Week 1 matchup of the Washington Football Team and Eagles will be a battle of two mismatches.
The first is the Carson Wentz led passing attack against a DC defense short on secondary health and frontline starters. On the other side of the ball, the uber talented Washington Football Team defensive line has to smell blood in the water, facing off with a banged up Philadelphia offensive line. Doug Peterson will use heavy 12 personnel and pass the ball early and often as Jalen Reagor, Desean Jackson, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert all present match-up nightmares for Jack del Rio’s group.
Philly will play with a lead negating some of the vaunted Washington pass rush. The Scott Turner led offense will make this game closer than most expect (WSH +5) and I’m predicting the game to shoot out with scoring easily eclipsing the 43 o/u. Ultimately the Eagles comes out on top 27 to 24.
The Washington Football Team has a prime opportunity to shock the world today and upend the defending NFC East Champs. The Eagles arrive in DC with questions along the offensive line and without their star sophomore running back Miles Sanders.
I anticipate a typical NFC east game in which there will be penalties, bad blood, and a few inexplicable turnovers. But ultimately I tip the cap to the Eagles for this one. There is something to be said for consistency in coaching and the quarterback position.
Washington hangs close for most of the game, but a late field goal makes the outcome looks worse than it is. Eagles 27, Washington 17.