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Posted at 03:19 PM ET, 10/14/2011

Eagles vs. Redskins: Will reality finally set in?

Nearly everyone had the Eagles and Redskins pegged wrong. The self-proclaimed “dream team” fell off the bed and woke up. Flying under the radar has kept the Redskins from getting shot down. So here they sit; the Eagles fighting for their life in a division that keeps trying to break away, and the Redskins fighting to hold onto the slight advantage they possess.

Perhaps the Phillies’ fall foreshadowed the faltering and fumbling Eagles. Buying talent only gets you more talent — chemistry not included. It’s a lesson every Redskins fan learns over and over again. Maybe it’s time the Redskins retire as the offseason champs and hand that tiny trophy over to the Eagles. At least they’d have something to put in that hollow trophy case of theirs.

The 1-4 Eagles are still favored to beat the 3-1 Redskins in Washington. I guess talent also gets you the odds. But this makes sense. The Eagles’ record doesn’t make them any less intimidating. The anticipation actually makes them scarier: like waiting for some crazy person to snap. Right now it’s a waiting game. Eagles fans are waiting for it to click, and Redskins fans are waiting for reality to set back in.

Both teams seem to be battling themselves as much as their opponents. The Eagles can’t seem to hold onto a lead. Shoddy defense, hasty turnovers, and the lack of any short yardage, power running game to shed away minutes are all guilty contributors.

How do you keep the Redskins off your lawn? Put up a goal post.

The Redskins have a better defense, a better offense and better special teams, but they’re still struggling to put points on the board. It’s a travesty that winning is solely determined by the main thing the Redskins struggle with: points.

Devising a game plan is actually pretty simple against Philly. On offense the Redskins need to run the football, then run it some more. Torain, Hightower, Helu, Sellers and Young need to pound it on the ground. Control the game clock, tire out the Eagles defense, and keep their offensive weapons cold on the sidelines. On defense, the Redskins need to attack an injury and size-depleted Eagles offensive line. Get to Vick fast so he has to scramble and pop the ball out when he carries it like an apple.

The game plan is simple to draw up, but far more difficult to execute. Part of what makes Vick great is his ability to improvise and extend plays. He has incredibly talented receivers in Jackson, Maclin, Avant and Smith. Shady McCoy is emerging as one of the top-five running backs in the league. The Redskins won’t stop them all — they can’t — but if they can slow them down and keep the game close going into the fourth quarter they’ll have a good chance.

Each NFL game is meaningful, but Eagles-Redskins games always tend to direct the course of the season. A loss for the Eagles keeps them on the downward spiral questioning the existence of God and what they did to deserve such a harsh sentence (ask Chief Zee and Santa Claus). A loss for the Redskins only drops them to 3-2, but 1-2 in the division. It’s difficult to imagine the Eagles slipping to 1-5, and equally difficult to imagine the Redskins being 4-1 and 2-1 in the NFC East.

I’m going to have to assume that reality starts to set back in and the Redskins get caught sleeping-in after their bye-week. Eagles 31, Redskins 20.

By Evan Bliss  |  03:19 PM ET, 10/14/2011

Tags:  Redskins, Evan Bliss

 
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