Five Keys to an Eagles Win Over the Redskins
LeSean McCoy's numbers would be even better if he were getting a few more touches per game, and Shady is already fourth in the league in rushing.
5. Feed LeSean McCoy – Shady is fourth in the NFL through five games with 443 rushing yards, on pace for more than 1,400. McCoy’s five rushing touchdowns are just one off the league lead, and his 42 overall points lead all running backs and sit 12 points behind Calvin Johnson for the scoring lead among position players. All of that is despite the fact that McCoy isn’t getting the ball too often of late. McCoy’s 77 carries are the fewest among running backs in the top 10 in the league in yards. McCoy is tops in the NFL amongst running backs with over 50 carries with 5.8 yards per carry. Still, in the last two games he’s gotten a grand total of 20 rushing attempts after averaging 19 in the first three games of the season.
4. Stop the Redskins Run – Washington has the eighth best rushing offense in the NFL, and they can come at you with three different running backs. The smallest of the Redskins trio is Roy Helu, at 5’11 and 219 pounds. Helu, in his rookie season out of Iowa, is averaging more than five yards per carry. Ryan Torain averages more than seven yards a run, and Tim Hightower leads the team, on pace for nearly 1,000 yards despite averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.
3. Offensive Tackles – The Eagles are battered, bruised and nearly broken at offensive tackle. Actually, they’re strained (Jason Peters’ hamstring), spasmed (King Dunlap’s back) and gimpy (Winston Justice’s knee). With Peters officially out and Dunlap doubtful, it looks like the Eagles will have to move Todd Herremans to left tackle and play Winston Justice at right tackle, in the veteran’s first significant action of the season. Those two will have to hold up against Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo, part of a talented front seven for the Redskins defense. If there are struggles, the backup plan would be to play Jamaal Jackson at center, move Jason Kelce to left guard, kick Evan Mathis out to left tackle and keep Todd Herremans at right tackle, all while leaving Danny Watkins at right guard.
2. Quick Start – The Eagles need some confidence, and their defense is built to play with the lead. The Redskins will remain committed to the run unless they’re down at least two touchdowns, one would think, but it’s still important for the Eagles to get themselves the chance to build that big of an early lead by scoring first in this one. Otherwise, the wheels could start to come off on the road in front of a crowd starved for a consistent competitor and excited about its division leading Redskins.
1. Turnovers – It’s hard to say something that hasn’t already been said. The Eagles are tied for last in the league with a -10 turnover margin, lead the league with 15 giveaways and have the fourth-fewest takeaways with five. Michael Vick has 10 turnovers through five games and 20 in his last 12. Further, every 1-4 team that went on to make the playoffs had a major improvement in the turnover category. The Eagles must take care of the ball today.
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