Before the Cowboys and Giants play to decide the NFC East, its two other teams will finish their season against one another when the Washington Redskins go on the road to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Redskins are 5-10 and will finish in last place in the NFC East. The Eagles are 7-8, and while they are eliminated from playoff contention, they can still finish in second place.
The two teams met in Week 6. The Eagles won that game 20-13.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When: Sunday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. EST
Who will win on Sunday?
Listen: ESPN 980, Sirius: 139 in Washington. 94 WIP, Sirius: 92 in Philadelphia. Streamed at nfl.com (not a free stream).
Eagles (-9), according to Bodava.
The way they're playing now, I like them to cover that number. They won't make the playoffs, but this team is not far away from being lethal.
What's at Stake?
Really, nothing but draft picks for these teams. This is the last chance the players will have to show that they belong. But as far as these teams go this season, this will be their final game.
Redskins' Injury Report
Per USA Today, RB Roy Helu is questionable.
Eagles' Injury Report
Per USA Today:
DT Trevor Laws and CB Asante Samuel are questionable.
RB LeSean McCoy is probable.
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit' Em and Sleeper
Start 'Em: LeSean McCoy. He's the best back in the league this season.
Sit 'Em: DeSean Jackson. It's going to be hard to trust his work ethic in a meaningless game.
Sleeper: The Eagles defense. They are owned in more than 20 percent of ESPN leagues and starting in over half of them. The Redskins offense does not have the kind of players to put up any points against them.
What They're Saying
According to Jack Anderson of NBC Washington, Mike Shanahan feels that the progress of the team is slower than expected. Fixing the problems will take more than a good quarterback.
That picture (of the team) includes a lot more on the to-do-list than acquiring the franchise quarterback so many feel would make this team an instant contender. It’s also about getting younger, upgrading positions of need in the secondary and receiving corps, building up an improving offensive line and defense and continuing to foster an environment that players buy into.
The team hasn’t made any statements about either coach, but Missanelli was telling his listeners on 97.5 The Phanatic that the Eagles are spinning the 2011 season as a “near miss.”
Missanelli said because of the Eagles’ investment in defensive line coach Jim Washburn and the Wide 9 defensive system, Steve Spaguolo isn’t an option for Philadelphia as a defensive coordinator.
Eagles' Player to Watch
Defensive end Jason Babin. This guy is a nightmare on opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. Look for more of that this week.
Redskins' Player to Watch
Linebacker Brian Orakpo. He's been a bright spot on an otherwise down year for the Redskins. His ability to pressure Michael Vick will go a long way in determining the Redskins' chances at an upset.
Eagles' offensive line vs. Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. They need to keep Washington's pass-rushers out of the backfield. If Philadelphia succeeds, we're looking at a blowout.
What should the Redskins and Eagles be focused on?
On the Hot Seat
If it's indeed true that Reid and Castillo will be kept, the focus shifts to the players. The most notable of those is Redskins' QB Rex Grossman. Every time he plays, he's basically fighting for a starting spot. Even if that's not going to be in Washington, a good performance will help him start in 2012.
Prediction: Eagles 33, Redskins 14
The Eagles are a better team, and it's not close. In Philadelphia, they will finish a poor season on a good note.