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Eagles vs. Commanders Week 8 Preview: Key matchups, odds and official prediction

The 6-1 Eagles travel to FedEx Field (gross) for an NFC East matchup with the 3-4 Commanders.

Jalen Hurts and Co. are looking to build off their statement win against the Dolphins, while Washington will be motivated to hand Philly their second loss.

Here are three key matchups to watch on Sunday:

Eagles WRs vs. Washington secondary

AJ Brown is on the tear of a lifetime, recording 125+ receiving yards in five straight games, something only two other players have done prior. The Commanders were one of his victims, catching nine passes for 175 yards and two TDs back in Week 4.

Brown wasn’t the only receiver to put up numbers against Washington this season:

  • Marvin Mims: 113 yards, TD
  • Stefon Diggs: 111 yards
  • DJ Moore: 230 yards, 3 TDs
  • Drake London: 125 yards

Rookie CB Emmanuel Forbes had his “Welcome to the NFL” against Brown, and he played in just defensive snaps last week, so the starting corners will likely be Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St. Juste.

Not to mention DeVonta Smith, who went off for 169 yards the last time he visited FedEx Field. Philadelphia should have ample opportunities to feast on the NFL’s 28th-ranked pass defense.


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Commanders pass-rush vs. Eagles OL

Chase Young and Montez Sweat are reportedly on the trade block, but that won’t stop them from getting after Jalen Hurts. Young is coming off a two-sack performance against the Giants, while Sweat has 5.5 sacks on the year — on pace to surpass his career-high of 9.0 in 2020.

Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata will be tasked with containing Sweat and Young, respectively. Jalen Hurts has a 3-7 career record when pressured on at least 40% of dropbacks and a 25-5 record when pressured on fewer than 40%. Keeping him clean will be essential to winning this game.

Darius Slay vs. Terry McLaurin

Slay has repeatedly stated that Terry McLaurin is one of his favorite receivers, and it’s easy to see why. McLaurin is a top-rated route-runner and had eight catches for 86 yards in Week 4, but Slay keeps him in check for the most part.

Last five head-to-head matchups:

  • Week 4, 2023: 4 catches, 39 yards
  • Week 10, 22: 4 catches, 85 yards
  • Week 3, 2022: 3 catches, 36 yards
  • Week 17, 2021: 2 catches, 2 yards
  • Week 15, 2021: 2 catches, 51 yards

Look for the Commanders to move him around and pick on Josiah Scott — or whoever will be playing nickel for the Eagles on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles-7-340O 43.5
Washington Commanders+7+270U 43.5
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

The Eagles should be able to make Sam Howell uncomfortable in this one. Howell has been sacked 40 times through seven games, 12 more than the next player (Daniel Jones), and they’re dealing with injuries throughout their offensive line.

Haason Reddick has been a force since his cast was removed, Josh Sweat is in the midst of a career season, and Jalen Carter is already commanding double-teams at an alarming rate.

With the Eagles offense now finding its stride, I don’t expect this game to be nearly as close as the overtime thriller in Week 4. Give me Philly by two scores.

Official Prediction: Eagles 34, Commanders 24

Mandatory Credit: Getty Images

Victor Williams is the host/producer of The Philly Pod on iHeartRadio and leads all Eagles coverage as co-founder of The Liberty Line.

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