Redskins.com's Brian Tinsman breaks down the key players and matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Eagles showdown at FedExField.
“Redskins-Eagles: 4 Keys To the Game” is presented by Papa John’s.
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ROOKIE VS. ROOKIE SHOWDOWN
The numbers suggest Griffin III can be a better passer and an equal rusher to Vick, in time. Vick has an NFL quarterback record 5,526 career rushing yards in 120 career games, while Griffin III has 523 in nine career games. Vick is the only quarterback to ever rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season, a number that Griffin III could eclipse this season if he scrambles over the next seven games.
Unfortunately for intrigued NFL fans, the two are unlikely to face-off this weekend as Vick recoveres from a concussion sustained last week against the Cowboys. If he is unable to go, Griffin III will be pitted against a fellow rookie in Nick Foles, and should have every opportunity to show his dynamic ability.
FEED THE BEAST
Forget any notion of time of possession, balanced offense or old school Redskins football. The Redskins need to run
Against the Carolina Panthers in Week 9, Morris rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries in the first half, despite suffering a shoulder stinger in the first quarter. When his production should have declined in the second half, he rushed three more times for 18 yards, and finished with a 5.8 yards per carry average. No matter what the score is, that kind of production keeps offenses in games, and to abandon the run is to abandon the most-consistent offensive asset.
The Eagles enter Sunday's contest as the 15th ranked defense against the run, and a unit in the middle of a transition under new coordinator Todd Bowles. Look for the Redskins to control the line of scrimmage and open up running lanes to take advantage of Morris's thunderous running ability.
RELEASE THE KRAKEN
The Redskins' pass rush has felt the effects of losing
The Redskins are winless in the last eight starts against NFL rookies, but history is a poor determinant for future success. The Redskins need
The Redskins secondary needs to force Foles to make decisions in the pocket, and then take advantage of poorly thrown passes on the back end of the play. If the defense can put together their best overall performance of the season, they should be able to limit the Eagles' vaunted passing attack.
FIND A SPARK ON SPECIAL TEAMS
While the Redskins have been solid on special teams this season, they have yet to be "special" in comparison to other teams.
The Redskins need to find production out of the kick and punt return coverage, winning the battle of field position and providing the offense with a spark.
If Banks and his blockers can break a long return this week, it will inject life into the Redskins' offense and change the way teams defend Redskins' returns. Look for special teams to play a key role in this week's game.