Donovan McNabb Vs. Michael Vick Round 2: 5 Keys For The Philadelphia Eagles
The Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 17-12 in a very ugly Week 4 game.
In Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia, the Redskins got off to a quick start by taking a 14-point lead in the first quarter.
Washington's defense played very well and only allowed one touchdown, which game late in the fourth quarter.
However, Michael Vick was forced out of a game with a rib injury in the first quarter. Kevin Kolb replaced Vick and did not to enough to get the Eagles back into the game.
Also, the Eagles held the Redskins to zero points in the second half.
Philadelphia is coming off a big game against the Indianapolis Colts, while Washington is looking to bounce back after losing to the Detroit Lions and then having to face questions about a quarterback controversy during their bye week.
This is a very important game for both teams. The Redskins are 4-4 and need to start winning these types of games if they plan on gaining ground in the division.
At 5-3, everyone knows what Philadelphia's offense is capable of with Vick at quarterback, but they need to string together three or four wins in a row in order to gain momentum.
Here are five keys to success for the Philadelphia Eagles when they play the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
Get Into The End Zone First
The Philadelphia Eagles are 4-0 this season when they score the first touchdown of game.
On several occasions, the offense has been forced to settle for field goals early in the game.
It happened against the Tennessee Titans in one of their three losses and it almost cost them the game last week against the Indianapolis Colts.
After scoring a quick touchdown on their first drive of the game, the Eagles were within ten yards of the end zone on two more first quarter drives. However, the team settled for a 22-yard field goal and a 21-yard field goal.
Philadelphia should have headed into the second quarter with at least a 17-point lead.
In Week 4 against the Washington Redskins, the Eagles faced a 14-point deficit by end of the first quarter.
It will be especially important to try and bury the Redskins early in order to silence the crowd.
An early lead may also stir up controversy among Washington's players and coaches regarding the Donovan McNabb situation.
Stop The Run
The Washington Redskins are only averaging 94.6 rushing yards a game this season.
However, they rushed for 169 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4.
Ryan Torain rushed for 70 yards and score one touchdown.
Philadelphia ranks 12th in the NFL in defending the run, allowing 103.9 yards a game.
Given that fact, there is no reason why one of worst rushing teams in the NFL should gain more than 100 yards against the Eagles.
An early lead should force the Redskins to become one-dimensional and force Donovan McNabb into third-and-long situations.
Establish Consistent Running Game With LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy has been great this season. In fact, not enough people are talking about how well he has played in his second year in the NFL.
Five times this season, McCoy has combined to rush and receive for more than 100 yards.
However, he has only one 100-yard rushing performance this season, which came in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions.
In fact, McCoy has only scored one touchdown in the last six games.
Last weekend against the Indianapolis Colts, McCoy did rush for 95 yards on only 16 attempts, but that stat can be very deceiving. In the first quarter, Shady broke off a 62-yard run. That means that he barely averaged more than two yards per carry for the remaining 15 attempts.
It is most likely the offensive line's fault, but it is a problem that must be fixed in order for the Eagles to become a strong NFC contender.
It will be crucial for the Eagles to establish a consistent running game Monday against Washington, especially when trying to close out the game.
DeSean Jackson Must Win Matchup Against DeAngelo Hall
The matchup of DeSean Jackson against DeAngelo Hall will certainly be one of the most important and entertaining ones on Monday night.
Jackson and Michael Vick have been a great combination this year. In the three games where the two dynamic athletes have started and finished together, DeSean has received for more than 100 yards each time.
In the Week 4 game against the Washington Redskins, Jackson only caught three passes for 19 yards.
Kevin Kolb was the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback for majority of the game, but credit is still due to DeAngelo Hall.
Hall intercepted the Hail Mary on the last play of the game and recorded four tackles.
This season, the often-loud cornerback has racked up six interceptions, including four against the Chicago Bears.
If Jackson cannot create enough separation, Philadelphia must find other ways to get the explosive player the ball.
Look for Vick and Jackson to connect for at least one play over 50 yards.
Secondary Must Continue Success
The Philadelphia Eagles secondary must continue to play well this week against Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins.
Last week against the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning did throw for 294 yards, but it took 51 attempts.
Asante Samuel intercepted Manning twice, including one late in the fourth quarter that sealed the win for the Eagles.
Donovan McNabb played awful in the first matchup between the two division rivals. He completed only eight of his 19 pass attempts for 125 yards. His passing rating was an embarrassing 60.2.
The Eagles rank 15th in the NFL in passing defense, allowing 214.9 yards per game. The Redskins' passing offense ranks 13th in the NFL, throwing for 230.9 yards a game.
Although, there is still concern among fans regarding Philadelphia's secondary.
Once again, CB Dimitri Patterson will and should start over Ellis Hobbs, who may have cost the Eagles the game in Tennessee.
Patterson held his own last weekend against Peyton Manning, as he will look to improve throughout the season.
Santana Moss is only wide receiver from Washington that may scare Philadelphia, but the secondary must make sure that they do not get burned by the deep ball.
The Philadelphia Eagles will avenge the Week 4/Donovan's Homecoming loss and defeat the Washington Redskins. Michael Vick, who will remain undefeated as the Eagles' starting quarterback, will be too much for Washington's defense and will throw for at least two touchdowns.
Philadelphia Eagles: 27
Washington Redskins: 13
Monday Night, 8:30 PM ET
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