The Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles Look to Ground Each Other

Anthony BrownCorrespondent INovember 29, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 26:  Quarterback Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins fumbles the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field October 26, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins face the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC East contest on a chilly day at Lincoln Financial Field. The best that can be said for the Redskins is that they can win.

Not that anyone expects them to. The Redskins are 10 point underdogs to the Eagles. But Washington's effort against the Cowboys stokes the dying embers of hope that something good can emerge from the season.

The best chance for Washington to win this game is old fashioned football. Run the ball. Stop the run.

The absence of Clinton Portis and Brian Westbrook change the dynamics of the contest. Both were the leading scorers for their team. Both Westbrook and Portis scored 12 touchdowns in 2007. That's three touchdowns for every four games they played.

No back on either team is close to that performance this season. Eagles' receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Brent Celek are on a pace for eight touchdowns each.

Jackson, who was judged too short to play for the Redskins, already gashed Washington for a 67 yard touchdown run and a 57 yard touchdown reception. Stopping Jackson means keeping him off the field.

The Redskin defense is the best in football against the pass, but not so good against the run. The Detroit Lions beat the Skins' 25th ranked run defense on the ground.

The Redskins have to stop Eagle rookie LeSean McCoy. If McCoy is not as versatile at Westbrook, he's more of a mystery to Washington.

Washington's throws its midget, Portis-clones at the Eagles' ninth-ranked rushing defense. 

Neither Rock Cartwright, Quinton Ganther, nor Marcus Mason are as tall as Clinton Portis (5 ft. 11 in.). Maybe they can hide behind the line until they break through it. 

Rock is as rugged as his name. Ganther may be a reliable blocker. Mason can gash for big yards on occasion. All offer the same advantage as LeSean McCoy. They are a mystery to the Eagles.

Washington's travails are a blessing for Jim Zorn, though he might not see it that way.

The knock about his play-calling is a typical misdiagnosis by the Redskin front office. Bill Belichick makes controversial fourth down calls. John Harbaugh was scored on cable TV this morning for mishandling timeouts in the Ravens loss to the Colts last Sunday.

No coach calls a perfect game. It wasn't Zorn's play-calling that led to a 3-7 record.

The Redskins were not prepared for the season. That says something about head coaching leadership. Why is that a blessing? Because Zorn is learning now that it's that head coaching management, ah, stuff, that must occupy most of his time.

That's an expensive lesson learned on Daniel Snyder's money. Zorn will apply that lesson for some other team in three years or so. Snyder won't get the benefit of Zorn's experience.