Posted on November 30, 2018, by Travis Pulver
The Philadelphia Eagles likely entered the season with visions of defending their Super Bowl title dancing through their minds. Now they are probably just hoping they can make the playoffs. A few weeks ago, the Washington Redskins thought they might win their first division title in years this season.
But now they too are just hoping to make the playoffs.
Injuries have wreaked havoc on both squads, but thanks to the poor start the Cowboys got off to, no one is out of the division race just yet. A loss for either will make the chase a little more challenging. But if they can get things figured out, who knows—the division title may still be within reach.
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At 6-5 (Washington) and 5-6 (Philadelphia), another loss will not kill their playoff hopes much like a win will not guarantee a spot. But injuries to several key players have forced both teams to adjust. For the Eagles, that has meant a revolving door at running back. In Washington, it has meant making second-string quarterback Colt McCoy the starter.
The Eagles think they may have found a solution to their running game woes in undrafted rookie Josh Adams. He has played well overall. Last week against the Giants was the first time he had a significant number of carries (22 for 84 yards and a touchdown).
Colt McCoy has been a starter in the past. While his time in Cleveland was a disaster, he has done well in spot starts with the Redskins. Yes, he had three interceptions against the Cowboys. But he did get the offense moving against one of the better defenses in the NFL.
With a full week of practice with the starting team, he should look better this week.
But injuries haven’t been the only issue for the Eagles. The offense simply hasn’t looked the same without Frank Reich on staff. They have struggled to get on track and often look like a different team from one half to the next.
Should they get off to a slow start against the Redskins and McCoy gets off to a good start, the Eagles may have a hard time climbing back into the game.
Washington’s run defense is good enough to remind the Eagles why Josh Adams wasn’t drafted. Their defensive front is also good enough to make life difficult on Carson Wentz in the passing game. But the Eagles have dealt with slow starts before, made their adjustments, and gone on to win games.
Will this game be any different?
Yes, because the Eagles defense is going to have trouble containing Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson (who seems to be on track to play), and yes, Colt McCoy. McCoy is a capable quarterback. While his mistakes led to their defeat last week, that will not be the case this week.
Instead, look for him to make the play(s) that put the Redskins ahead for good.
The Eagles are favored by 6.5. They could win, but don’t count on it. The smart bet for this game would be to take the Redskins and the points. If they lose, it will likely be because of a last-second field goal.