1. Jackson’s return to Philly
DeSean Jackson insists it won’t be personal when he plays his old team in prime time Saturday with the division title on the line. Yeah, sure. Jackson missed the first meeting against the Eagles this season, but last year he caught nine passes for 243 yards in two games vs. his former team. There’s absolutely nothing he’d rather do than shut up Eagles fans who said he wasn’t worth the drama. Jackson can be a diva, but he’s also Washington’s biggest playmaker. Look for him to dance at least once in the end zone and maybe on the midfield logo, too.
2. Pot Roast served
Forget Christmas turkey or ham. The Redskins are winning behind “Pot Roast.” Nose tackle Terrance Knighton led a goal-line stand Sunday, as Buffalo failed to budge the 354(ish)-pounder from the 1-yard line. “That’s what I do, man,” he said. “They challenge me three times in a row and they’ll learn.” The Redskins’ line is at its best in the red zone. The Eagles’ running game is awful and will get no relief Saturday against “Capital Punishment,” the line that’s now leading the pass rush, too.
3. A strong finish
The Redskins have had hot finishes to thank for their past two postseason berths. They took the final four games in 2007 to get a wild card and won their last seven to take the NFC East title in 2012. Riding its first winning streak of the season, Washington is again peaking at the right time. The Redskins will look to strike quickly. They have gotten off to 14-0 leads heir past two games and are 5-1 when leading after the first quarter this season.
4. One voice
One major problem last season was too many people were involved in the offensive play-calling. As a first-year coach, Jay Gruden didn’t want to completely give up his former gig and young offensive coordinator Sean McVay needed the input. It was too many cooks in the headset. Now the duo — plus offensive line coach Bill Callahan — hammer out plays on Tuesdays and McVay lets loose on game days. Gruden and Callahan still have input, but when it’s time to commit on a play, quarterback Kirk Cousins can focus on McVay.
5. Paging Pierre
Receiver Pierre Garcon has a quiet 62 catches this year, but he roared against Philadelphia with a season-high seven receptions and the winning touchdown in the Redskins’ 23-20 victory on Oct. 4. The Eagles will try to prevent Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed from beating them, which could make Garcon the busiest receiver. With little running game this season, Washington must defeat the Eagles behind Cousins, and he’ll be looking for Garcon across the middle when Jackson has two defenders on him downfield. Garcon’s game-sealing score against Buffalo on Sunday shows he still can produce big plays.