Monday Night Football will see an NFC East showdown when the Washington Redskins (6-5) travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6). Both of these teams are desperately hoping to make a late push at the playoffs, but both will have to overtake a surging Dallas Cowboys team to do so. For the Redskins, they made news this week for all the wrong reasons after signing linebacker Reuben Foster shortly after he was released by the 49ers due to more domestic violence allegations. They have lost two games in a row and without quarterback Alex Smith, who is out for the season after being put on injured reserve, to compete in the division will be a challenge. For the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, they are coming off of a come from behind 25-22 win over the New York Giants. The previous week they were hammered by the New Orleans Saints 48-7. Kickoff for this one is scheduled for 8:15 pm ET.
The point spread comes in with the Philadelphia Eagles being 6-point favorites at home. The over/under on total points scored is set at 45 points.
By The Numbers
Defensively, both of these teams are pretty comparable. The Redskins rank 18th in the NFL allowing 361.2 yards of total offense on average per game. The Eagles rank 24th, allowing 380.1 yards. Similarly, the Redskins rank just a bit better than the Eagles when it comes to average points allowed. The Redskins rank 8thin the NFL, allowing an average of 20.8 points while the Eagles rank 15th, allowing 23 points per game.
On offense, the slight advantage goes to the Eagles. The Eagles rank 19th in the NFL gaining an average of 353.9 total yards while the Redskins come in at 26th with 331.5 yards. In terms of average points scored per game, the Eagles come in at 23rd with 20.9 points per game, and the Redskins come in at 27th with 20 points per game.
Washington Trying To Hold On In NFC East
While the Redskins find themselves right behind the Cowboys in the standings, they know they have a lot of work to do in order to catch them. After quarterback Alex Smith suffered a leg injury that knocked him out for the rest of the season, it has been Colt McCoy’s team to lead. Since taking over, McCoy has thrown for 332 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. He has also been sacked 5 times. McCoy has also added 63 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The leading receivers this year for the Redskins have been Jordan Reed (50 catches, 537 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns) and Josh Doctson (32 catches, 334 yards, 2 touchdowns). On the ground, Adrian Peterson has been the workhorse, going for 758 yards and 6 touchdowns on 183 carries. It is worth noting that Peterson is listed as questionable for this game with a shoulder injury. He did not practice at all Thursday and practiced on a limited basis Friday and Saturday. Still, knowing he has been dealing with this injury for a while, most expect him to play.
Defensively, the stat leaders for the Redskins are Mason Foster (59 tackles), Ryan Kerrigan (8 sacks), Mathew Ioannidis (7.5 sacks) and D.J. Swearinger (4 interceptions).
Eagles Struggling With Super Bowl Hangover
After surging to a Super Bowl championship last year, the Eagles have been quite a disappointment this season. While Carson Wentz started the season on the sidelines, he is starting under center now. Still, he has not shown all the same flashes of brilliance as he did through most of the season last year. Wentz has thrown for 2,540 yards with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions this season. He has also been sacked 29 times. His leading receiver has been Zach Ertz with 895 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns on 84 receptions. Aside from Ertz, the Eagles look to Alshon Jeffrey, trade deadline acquisition Golden Tate and Nelson Agholor in the passing game.
On the ground, the Eagles have not had any consistency, partially because of injuries. These days, Wendell Smallwood has been their leading receiver, going for 257 yards and a touchdown on 63 carries. He also has 18 receptions for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. On a bit of good news, though, the Eagles are expecting Darren Sproles to return to the lineup on Monday. Out since week one with a hamstring injury, Sproles would be a nice weapon for Carson Wentz to have at his disposal.
Defensively, the stat leaders for the Eagles are Jordan Hicks (58 tackles), Michael Bennett (6.5 sacks) and five different players tied with one interception apiece.
Defending Champions Win And Cover
Sadly, I don’t really trust either of these teams, something odd given that one of them is over .500 and the other one is a defending Super Bowl champion. Still, there must be a winner. While neither of them have really played inspiring football, I think the quarterback makes all the difference. Alex Smith was having a really good season, but with him out, I just don’t trust the Washington offense. While the Philadelphia offense has been inconsistent, I will still take my chances with Carson Wentz under center. For my money, I am taking the Eagles despite giving up 6 points.