Tuesday Night Football: Eagles vs. Washington Week 15 Preview
It’s going to be an interesting one this afternoon in South Philadelphia, with the Eagles facing the COVID-ravaged Washington Football Team. As of right now, it’s still unknown who will return for Washington, most notably at quarterback.
If the Eagles play as they have over the last few weeks, alongside some minor tweaks, it shouldn’t be a challenging game. While it shouldn’t be difficult, there are still a few keys Philadelphia should follow tonight to leave with a win.
Slow and steady run game:
Washington’s strongest positional group is by far their defensive line. The WFT ranks amongst the top five in every rushing statistic and has stood firm against almost every team. To start the week, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen, the staples of this defensive line, were out due to COVID-19. On Saturday, the two were activated, which gave Washington’s defense a massive boost.
Although they’re back in the mix, the Eagles cannot stray away from running the football. Even though Landon Dickerson is out, all Philadelphia needs to do is ground and pound the football.
Washington’s defensive line depth outside their starting four is slim, and a continuous rushing attack can quickly wear them down. It might not be successful to start, but it will pay off by the time the second half rolls around.
Don’t let Washington build confidence:
In a game like tonight, simple mistakes are bound to occur for either team. It was an unexpectedly delayed week, and Tuesday nights are rarely game days in an NFL season.
Between that and last-minute substitutions due to COVID-19, the wildest things can happen. Even though they likely will have Garrett Gilbert under center, don’t count Washington out.
Minor mishaps can let Washington gain their footing and get the ball rolling on either side of the football. If the Eagles go out there and play like a well-oiled machine, this could be over from the jump. However, a few holding penalties or drive killers can revive this depleted Washington team.
Take it easy with Jalen Hurts:
Yesterday, Jalen Hurts was given no injury designation, clearing the way for him to return this afternoon. It will be Hurts’ first game in nearly three weeks, and his last appearance was a brutal showing against the New York Giants. There has been no word on how Hurts has been feeling with his sprained ankle, but the case is he’s probably nearing 100%.
Still, the Eagles have another game in just five days and re-aggravating that injury could tank their playoff chances. After throwing three interceptions against the Giants, Sirianni will probably lean on the running game more but let Hurts gain some confidence back with easy passing schemes.
Send pressure, often:
Garrett Gilbert hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2019, and as of right now, he’s the projected starter. Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen are in protocols, and Ron Rivera stated that unless they receive good news, Gilbert is their guy. Washington is also without running back J.D. McKissic, and their offensive game plan is unknown.
Since they are facing a weakened offensive line missing All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff, blitzing often could be the perfect game plan for Jonathan Gannon’s defense. Alex Singleton is a liability in coverage but a pretty solid blitzing linebacker, and sending him with the front four could cause havoc.
Don’t let the emergency QB have time to read his keys and sit composed in the pocket. Attack from the jump and never let up.
After being forced to postpone this game for Washington, who hasn’t had any positive COVID changes since Saturday, the Eagles should be hungry. I don’t expect this game to be close at all, with a pissed-off team in front of a packed Lincoln Financial Field.
If the Eagles don’t play down to Washington, this matchup should be over by halftime.
|Philadelphia Eagles||-6.5 (-109)||-286||O 41.5 (-109)|
|Washington Football Team||+6.5 (-112)||+230||U 41.5 (-112)|
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Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports