Man, is it nice to have the NFL back. From Broncos-Ravens on Thursday through a good slate of 1 p.m. games on Sunday, to that 49ers-Packers game and Cowboys-Giants on Sunday night, it’s been an entertaining return to pro football.
Now it’s your turn. Finally, after 246 days, or eight months and three days, or 5,900 hours or 354, 240 minutes — but who’s counting? — the Redskins can finally attempt to get rid of that sour taste from the Seattle playoff loss with another meaningful game.
So, what’s your prediction? Scores and 2-3 sentences of explanation please.
That’s what I asked four Philadelphia writers for, as part of a traditional feature on our print game day page. Remarkably, their score predictions were pretty similar, and not that far off from what I’d pick myself (I’d go 37-31, Redskins). Their logic varies, however:
Redskins 38, Eagles 26: Robert Griffin III might be a bit rusty, with no preseason, but the Eagles’ secondary made Chad Henne look like Peyton Manning in the preseason. So both Eagles safeties and all the corners might as well wear jersey No. WD-40. Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis said this game will tell him what he has. Spoiler alert: What he has is a big mess. Six new starters join a unit that has run a 4-3 for two decades and now is trying to transition to 3-4. Yes, Chip Kelly’s offense ought to be able to manage a few surprises, even on the road against a good defense, but it’s unclear how often the Redskins will feel like letting the Eagles have the ball. — Les Bowen, Philadelphia Daily News
Redskins 34, Eagles 24: With a healthy offensive line, a talented group of running backs and a focused DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick has the pieces around him to succeed. But the Eagles have turned the ball over 75 times in their past 32 games, meaning yards may not lead to points. The defense features an unproven secondary and is very much a work-in-progress. Even if Griffin is a statue, he’ll be able to light them up. — Sheil Kapadia, PhillyMag.com
Redskins 34, Eagles 29: The Eagles showed nothing in the way of being able to stop the run during the preseason, and the Redskins were the No. 1-ranked rushing offense a year ago. Expect Washington to find success on the ground, then hit on big plays on play action. This will be a fun, high-scoring game, but ultimately the Redskins simply have the better quarterback, who will make fewer mistakes. — Jimmy Kempski, Philly.com
Redskins 35, Eagles 24: RGIII probably is going to be a little rusty, but not Alfred Morris and the Redskins’ offensive line. The Eagles’ defensive transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 isn’t going smoothly, particularly against the run. Big game for Morris, big night for Redskins’ offense. — Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News
I see the Eagles putting up some points — maybe a LeSean McCoy open-field juke of Baccari Rambo is Philly’s highlight. But the Redskins are going to get big contributions from a couple of players who missed the entire seven-game win streak and run to the playoffs last season, in Brian Orakpo and Fred Davis (not to mention 100 percent Pierre Garcon), and they put up their fair share of points as well against that transitioning Eagles D.
Do you see it differently?
From The Post:
With the just-released preview section and the run-up to the opener, we’ve hit the season from so many angles it’d be impossible to link to it all here. We’ve got columns, stories and unique features on our sports front and Redskins Web page, and I wanted to draw your attention to a few things here. The live blog for tonight’s game will open up about two hours before kickoff, and if you’re heading to the game against D.C.’s rush hour traffic, check out Dr. Gridlock’s tips below.
Dr. Gridlock: Getting to FedEx Field on Monday night
Around the Web:
● The Washington Times sees an air of mystery around the Redskins tonight.
● With the Eagles set to run Chip Kelly’s offense and the Redskins likely to run a bunch of Inside and Outside zone plays, today’s as good a day as any to visit or re-visit Fishduck. Mark Saltveit has been following Kelly, and gets into the comparision of Kelly to Greasy Neale made by Ray Didinger.
● If you’ve read every story about Robert Griffin III, the Newark Star-Ledger traced the road opposing quarterback Michael Vick has traveled since he last opened a season on Monday Night Football in 2005.
● Oh, fine, one last group of season predictions: Bill Simmons has the Redskins 17th, behind the Giants and Cowboys, but it’s an amusing read nonetheless.
● As if you weren’t aware, the Redskins’ season kicks off at 7:10 p.m. ESPN goes on air for Monday Night Football at 6:55.