Kind of a weird week. You look at all the major sports sites, and you see that pretty much everyone has the Skins in the top 5 of their respective Power Rankings. The Eagles are ranked lower in all of them as well. Yet I have not heard any of the talking heads give us a chance in this game. NFL Network, ESPN, even our own Steve Czaban have all declared the Eagles the team that will win this week.
And that is awesome. I was really worried all the hype would come falling down on us all at once, all in one week, all before one game. Sure, people have to give us our due because we beat Dallas, have rallied from a woeful performance in week 1, and seem to really be showing signs of life after years of no pulse at all. (OK, having Gibbs back and making the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years was fun. It was even a pleasant departure from where we were prior to his return, but this feels a lot different right?)
The best we could have hoped for 2 weeks ago was a split on this 2 week road trip. We have locked that in. Now we are looking for some gravy. And all the pressure seems to be falling squarely on the Eagles. Last I checked, we were 5-6 point underdogs. The money has yet to hold any respect for the Redskins. For one more week, that is the most we could hope for.
Regardless of what happens this week, when the Rams come to town in 2 weeks, all the pressure will be on the Skins. Rams, Browns, Lions in a 3 week span should give our record a nice little kick. In fact, if we are worse than 2-1 in that span, we most likely will be back to the bottom of the middle of the pack again. Even 2-1 will be disappointing.
But back to this week:
*Once again, 1st downs are the key to this game. Keep McNabb off the field. He has made a career of making us look like retards on defense.
*Tight End screens...Cooley, Yoder and Davis all need to run this play well, especially between the 40's where the battle of field position will be decided.
*Contain...I would love to say "Bring Donovan down", but we have never shown a propensity to get that done. How about not letting him drop 100 yds rushing on us?
*Punch DeSean Jackson in the Face. Does anyone remember when Sean Taylor punched T.O. in the face during a game I believe during his rookie year? It was amazing. It cost us 15 yards, and it was deemed a stupid play, but after that, T.O. NEVER had a good day against us as an Eagle again (coincidentally, as a Cowboy, his highlight reel game last season came while Sean was injured, prior to his untimely death). If anyone deserves a punch in the jaw, helmet or not, it is DeSean Jackson. Listen, 15 yards is a lot to give a team like the Eagles, but this is something I believe in. I nominate Reed Doughty to be the puncher. It would be the best play he has made all season. And it would be the best hit he put on someone all season.
*Goes without saying....stay on the right side of the turnover margin. Protect the ball on offense, take advantage of your opportunities on defense.
Final Score: Redskins 34, Eagles 26
That's right, take the Skins and the over.