Week 1 game preview: Eagles vs. Washington Football Team
Hello everyone, and welcome to the 2020 NFL season, presented by the coronavirus pandemic! This is going to be my new weekly column where I dip into who the Eagles are playing on that week, and we go in and break down who they’re playing, what the keys to the game are, who the key players are, and of course a game prediction! What better way to prepare yourselves for that weekend, whether it’s in a fantasy football sense or you’re just a hardcore Philadelphia Eagles fan? Let’s get right into it!
Eagles v. Washington Football Team Game Analysis:
First game of the season for both teams, which means everyone is healthy, for the most part. The Eagles are a 6 or a 6.5 point favorite over Washington, and the over/under is 43. Last year, the Birds kicked off the season by letting former Washington receiver DeSean Jackson run roughshod all over the then-Redskins to the tune of 8 catches, 154 yards and 2 touchdowns in his only full game of the season as the Eagles won 32-27. This time we could see more of the same, as Washington no longer has either Josh Norman or Quinton Dunbar on the roster anymore, so we could see an aerial assault against a weak Washington defense.
Keys to the Game:
~Lock down Terry McLaurin: As long as McLaurin is kept in the check, Philly should be able to dominate this game from a score standpoint. Scary Terry is the only guy on this Washington offense that frightens anyone this year(sorry Dwayne Haskins) and he has destroyed the Eagles in the past 2 games they’ve played, grabbing 5 catches for 125+ yards with a score in each game. I would think that Darius Slay will travel with him as he likes to do, and hopefully this will limit him to a more normal stat line.
~Keep Chase Young and the rest of the d-line away from Wentz: Offensive line, once a huge strength for the Eagles, now looks a little leaky, with Andre Dillard and Brandon Brooks both out indefinitely with serious injuries. Jason Peters is back at LT, but always is injury prone, and Matt Pryor doesn’t have much NFL experience at right guard. Washington’s strength is its front 7, and Philly’s line will need to stand tall to keep Wentz from running for his life.
~Start the aerial attack early and often: Philly has majorly improved their wide receiver’s corps this offseason, with additions of Jalen Reagor, a healthy DJax, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. Though both Reagor and Watkins are out for this game, Jackson and Hightower should be able to attack downfield often enough to strike fear into this Washington secondary. They also open up the middle of the field for Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
3 Key Players for Philly:
Fletcher Cox: It’s important that Cox get off to a fast start this year. We don’t know for sure yet whether newly-acquired DT Javon Hargrave is playing, but between him, Cox, and Malik Jackson, we can expect a heavy presence along Philly’s always fearsome front 7.
Darius Slay: As I mentioned above, Slay should have his hands full with Washington star Terry McLaurin. Slay loves to travel with the #1 receiver, so that would be my guess here. Slay needs to lock that man down!
DeSean Jackson: As always, the Eagles’ #1 receiver has to step up here. DJax had a monster game last season against Washington, and given how we know that he LOVES to put the smackdown on his old teams, we should expect nothing less than a showstopping performance from our favorite aerial threat.
With all of the weapons that Philadelphia has in this game, even without Jalen Reagor, there is no reason why the Eagles should not roll to an easy win in game 1 of the season. Philly has the edge on every single side that you could think of, with the only exception potentially being the defensive line, where Washington has no less than 5 former first round picks anchoring it. Given this, as long as Philly’s offensive line holds strong, Washington shouldn’t stand a chance.
Eagles roll, 31-10
Photo Credit: Philly Voice