It’s been a long week for the Philadelphia Eagles, which has given them time to rest up and prepare for their second matchup against divisional rival Washington of the season. Coming off of a huge TNF win, the Birds have all the momentum in their court, and a home field advantage which is bound to make life difficult for a Redskins team who have already fallen to Philly in week one. Here are five players to watch when the teams meet on Monday Night.
The team’s franchise right tackle returns to action after sustaining a concussion that forced him out of Thursday Night Football. From one primetime spot to another, Lane Johnson now faces a marquee matchup in Ryan Kerrigan. Stopping Kerrigan has always been problematic for the Eagles. With 3.5 sacks, 11 tackles and even a pick six to his name this year, this weekend is going to be no different. The good news for Philly is that Johnson has once again been performing at an elite level.
This is going to be a matchup that commands the best from both players. Kerrigan earned a pick six and 0.5 sacks against the Eagles in week one and it will be down to a resurgent Lane Johnson to stop him wreaking even more havoc.
The return of Ronald Darby is almost upon us. The former Buffalo corner has returned to practice today and even though it was in limited capacity, hopes are high. The chances of seeing Darby competing in TNF however may be lower than expected. The Eagles are preaching patience and that gives maybe one more starting opportunity to this year’s third round draft choice.
Douglas has had an impressive first few outings for the Eagles. With 14 tackles, 2 picks and 6 passes defensed, the ballhawk has exceeded everyone’s expectations and showed great discipline when playing in off-coverage.
Douglas comes up against a relatively intimidating WR corps that has taken some offensive beatings. While Terrelle Pryor will draw the attention of Jalen Mills, watch for Douglas to take on some slightly more intriguing matchups including the idea of keeping Chris Thompson in check and monitoring TE Vernon Davis.
This may be the last time we see Douglas start…so there will be an extra incentive to be at his absolute best in a divisional matchup at home.
317 yards and 2 touchdowns don’t sound like overly dominant numbers, and that’s because they’re not. But you cannot overlook the impact Jeffery has had on the flourishing of the Eagles Offense. After drawing Josh Norman to his presence all game, the all-pro cornerback could well be either out or less than 100% on Monday Night, giving Alshon Jeffery a chance to dominate a wounded secondary.
The Eagles operate like a basketball team in that if one guy is covered, there are a multitude of other targets who can put up points. While Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor draw the headlines, don’t be surprised to see the highly touted target run rampant with the pressure relieved ever so slightly.
Coming off of his best game as an Eagle, Nigel Bradham is an imperative cog to this Eagles Defense. One of the most underrated signings in the existence of the Jim Schwartz Defense, Bradham has been productive and reliable throughout his tenure. This is a good job considering that the Redskins leading receiver is a running back and their second is a tight end.
The Redkins will send a lot of traffic over the middle. Maybe it’s run-pass-option’s or 2TE sets, or maybe it’s a loaded backfield. Whichever way you look at it, Washington HAS to rely on their tight ends and running backs due to a lack of depth at WR…and with Jordan Hicks questionable at best, all eyes fall on the former Buffalo Bill to get the job done.
The season opener was less than pretty for LeGarrette Blount, who was held to just 3.3 yards per carry and 46 yards. Since then however, he’s amassed a further 344 yards and his average per carry is up to 5.6. The Redskins run defense has been consistent all year…making this an intriguing matchup.
Vs Los AngelesRams: 97 yards. 1 TD
Vs Oakland Raiders: 32 yards
Vs Kansas City Chiefs: 168 yards 1 TD
Vs San Francisco 49ers 85 yards. 2TD
The Eagles certainly have a window to operate here…and if Blount can barrel down the Linc as we’ve almost become accustomed to seeing, then the Birds’ have every chance of balancing their offense again and controlling the game. It will be down to Blount to dictate the pace and make those pesky short yardage conversions against a Defense that has been susceptible to giving up big plays. Blount will be looking to prove a point after week one, making him an exciting player to watch.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports