The Washington Redskins will kickoff their season on a much anticipated Monday night against the division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. Unlike last year, the Redskins open at home which will give them a great boost of support from the home crowd.
The Eagles will boast a brand new offense that is expected to be up tempo, high powered and quick working. With Chip Kelly now at the helm, it’s safe to say the Redskins will have a wait and see approach on what to expect.
The Eagles offense is very similar to a college style offense that will include option runs, play fakes and a great deal of down field action. I’m pessimistic about this incoming Eagles squad. Although I believe Chip Kelly is a great football mind, I also think he is much better suited leading a college team.
He’ll learn quickly that in the National Football League, the players have ego’s, attitudes and the desire to shine therefore making it much more difficult to manage in comparison to college. With Michael Vick coming off of a horrific turnover-filled season, he remains the quarterback nonetheless.
His wideout’s remain the same in Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Their best offensive weapon returns at running back in LeSean McCoy. Brent Celek remains the Philly tight end as well. Their nucleus on offense has remained the same for three years now which has been an extremely strong group over that span with the exception of last year. With that being said, the Eagles offense will have a tough time moving the ball on the ground.
The Redskins defense was pretty good on the ground holding running backs to just under 96 yards per game. Not only is the run defense for the Redskins solid, but they are also getting back two starters that will greatly improve the defense.
Brian Orakpo will return as the left outside linebacker. He was greatly missed last year as the Redskins were reeling in sack production. With Rak back in the mix, no one will benefit more than Ryan Kerrigan. With Kerrigan being the only legitimate pass rusher last year, teams were able to neutralize him by throwing multiple double teams his way.
Not only will Vick have trouble dropping back, he’ll also be facing the Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather as he returns from knee surgery. Meriweather was hurt all last year and played just one game which was coincidentally against the Eagles.
He showed what he can bring to the table as he produced seven tackles and an interception against the young quarterback Nick Foles.
The Redskins struggled mightily against the pass last year but with Meriweather returning to the secondary along with the second year player Chase Minnifield and this year’s second round pick David Amerson, the Redskins look for that to change.
As for the Eagles defense, they have their hands full with the electric Redskin offense. Assuming Robert Griffin III starts week one, which I fully expect him too, and running back Alfred Morris ready for an encore after putting up astronomical numbers as a rookie, the Redskins will strike fear deep in defense’s hearts.
The Eagles underwent a complete overhaul on defense with their two starting cornerback’s exiting Philly. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were much responsible for the failures that the Eagles endured in their pass defense.
With their exit and the end to the short lived era that Vince Young foolishly donned “the dream team”, the Eagles are focused on this year. The Eagles are looking to improve everywhere on defense, especially in the turnover department. Also, the Eagles were third to last in interceptions, 25th in sacks and third to last in points allowed.
Clearly, the defensive woes last year were partially responsible for the 4-12 record. This year’s defense will be much improved. Not only will they be better than last year, but being as atrocious as they were, that shouldn’t be too hard. My prediction of the final score in this game is 31-17.
The Redskins will show their teeth on offense and shred the Philly defense. As for the Redskins defense, some turnovers and a couple sacks will stop the Michael Vick led offense. In conclusion I believe the Redskins will trounce the Eagles in the season opener and will put on a show for all the fans.