Washington is in the driver’s seat in the NFC East while, if the season would end today, Philly would lay claim to the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NFL draft. And that’s about a year and a half after the Eagles were labeled the Dream Team (bringing that up never gets old).
Here’s everything you need to know about this Week 16 matchup.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When: Sunday, December 23rd at 1 p.m. ET
Listen: Sirius XM Radio: 86 or online at Audio Pass
Will Philadelphia cover the spread?
Spread: Philadelphia (-3), according to Odds Shark
It’s easy to see why the Eagles are favored over the Redskins. After all, they’re on a magical five-game winning streak that has them thinking playoffs. Oh wait, that’s wrong—Washington is the team that’ll enter Sunday scorching hot while the Eagles are 1-9 in their last 10.
Las Vegas, I’m sorry, but that spread is garbage.
Over/Under: 44.5, according to Odds Shark
Washington averages 27.2 points per game and surrenders 25.0 points per game. With Robert Griffin III expected to play, the Skins should be able to put up their usual offensive output, especially against the Eagles’ 26th-ranked scoring defense.
That’d leave Philly to score about 17 points, and it’s scored at least 22 in three out of the past four games.
Over is the better bet.
Washington QB Robert Griffin III is probable with a knee injury.
Washington LB London Fletcher is probable with an ankle injury.
Washington LB Ryan Kerrigan is probable with an ankle injury.
Washington WR Pierre Garcon is probable with a foot injury.
Philadelphia WR Jeremy Maclin is probable with a back injury.
Philadelphia RB Chris Polk is probable with a toe injury.
Philadelphia QB Michael Vick is probable with a concussion.
Philadelphia S Kurt Coleman is probable with a chest injury.
Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy is probable with a concussion.
Philadelphia TE Clay Harbor was placed on injured reserve with a back injury.
Fantasy Big Plays
Washington: RB Alfred Morris
Morris has become a must-start against any defense, let alone the Eagles, who are ranked 20th in stopping the run.
The rookie runner has rushed for 100 yards in three of the last four games. And in the one contest he didn’t eclipse the 100-yard mark, he scored a pair of touchdowns.
If RGIII does indeed return from injury, Washington will run the ball as much as it can to avoid him getting hit.
Philadelphia: RB LeSean McCoy
McCoy will make his long-awaited return to the field on Sunday. Even with rust, he’s a safer fantasy bet than the Nick Foles-to-Jeremy Maclin connection.
The former Pitt Panther had averaged nearly 100 yards from scrimmage a game prior to his concussion. And he wasn’t even getting enough touches. Without Michael Vick, McCoy should finally get the carries that he deserves.
Keys to a Washington Win
Washington’s defense just needs to make a few stops. Its offense should be able to score routinely against the Eagles. It dropped 31 points in their first meeting.
Of course, in that first meeting, the Skins made more than a few stops, as Philly scored just six points. Why aren’t they favored again?
Keys to a Philadelphia Win
Nick Foles must outplay RGIII. That’s an extremely tall task, but not impossible.
The Eagles rookie has shown flashes of brilliance finishing with a passer rating of over 95.0 in two out of his last three games.
Unless McCoy goes off for 150 yards and multiple scores, Foles will have to carry Philly in order for it to not get upset.
Washington has far more to gain than Philadelphia has to lose. For the Eagles, the damage has already been done.
Prepare for Santa to hear boos again.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.