November 30, 2018
The Eagles didn't get any help from the Saints on Thursday night, as the Cowboys ended New Orleans' win streak at Jerry World. But that's OK. The task at hand for the Eagles remains the same. If they hope to make it back to the playoffs and avoid becoming just the 10th Super Bowl champion in the last 30 years to miss the postseason, they have to win the games in front of them.
And that starts Monday night at home against an Alex Smith-less Redskins team that let the Cowboys steal their division lead in the blink of an eye. With Colt McCoy now serving as the starter — and old friend Mark Sanchez the backup — the Redskins are hardly the same team they were just a few short weeks ago. That's good news for Doug Pederson's team, which needs a win in the worst way.
Here's how we see Monday night's game against Washington playing out...
TV: ESPN | RADIO: 94.1 WIP
SPREAD: Eagles (-6) | TOTAL: 45.0 (via Bovada)
The Eagles' biggest weakness at the moment is their devastated secondary, obviously. Luckily for them this week, they're facing a team in the Redskins that doesn't have wide receivers who will strike fear into opposing defensive coordinators. Conversely, the Redskins' current biggest weakness, their injury-ravaged offensive line, is ripe for the taking against the Eagles' defensive line, which is still very much a strength. Unlike in years past, I think this Eagles team, even with their wide assortment of injuries, matches up well against Washington.
The Birds' offensive line had their best game of the season a week ago, and that's where they can begin to build positive moment down the stretch. I believe they'll be able to score on this Redskins defense, while the Redskins seem a bit too handicapped by the losses of their quarterback (Alex Smith), both starting offensive guards (Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao), their field-stretching wide receiver (Paul Richardson), and a less effective left tackle (Trent Williams, who has an assortment of injuries).
The Cowboys win Thursday night over New Orleans really threw me for a loop. I was honed in on an Eagles push to the playoffs based on their momentum-building double-digit comeback last week against New York. Aside from making the Eagles path to an NFC East Crown much more perilous, Dallas' win doesn't change the fact that Monday Night's game against Washington will be the biggest game of the season.
I think at home, with a little health returning and a favorable match up (Washington's wideouts are nothing to be scared of for a nice change), the Eagles should be able to get to Colt McCoy and keep things in check defensively. The pessimist in me also says this could be the last Eagles win for a while with Dallas, L.A. and Houston next on the docket. A comfortable win is my prediction, 27-10.
I was tempted to pick Washington here, for the simple fact that I'm two games behind the pack and would really love to pick up a game or two before the season's over. However, I just couldn't do it. If Alex Smith was still the Redskins' quarterback, I'd be going the other way here, but I just don't see the Eagles losing a must-win game to Colt McCoy at home in prime time — no matter how banged up their secondary is. After all, it's not like McCoy is going to be throwing to a bunch of future Hall of Famers either. And with the Redskins offensive as injured as it is, he's likely not going to have a ton of time either. Fletcher Cox and Co. could feast on Monday night.
This is a matchup of two aggressively mediocre teams and I have no confidence predicting who will come out a winner. I decided to flip a coin 5 times do determine the outcome, and the Eagles (heads) came out on the winning side four times.
So give me the Birds, I guess.
After Dallas beat the Saints Thursday, the Eagles have little room for error. The other point is if the Eagles lose to Colt McCoy at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday Night Football, they don't deserve to make the playoffs and win the NFC East.
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