The Philadelphia Eagles are set to host the Washington Redskins for a Week 11 matchup on Sunday. Philadelphia is 5-5, clawing their way back to .500 with two consecutive wins with Nick Foles at the helm, while the Redskins are 3-6, and have alternated wins and losses in their past seven games.
Washington lost its last game, a 34-27 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. The NFC East is still wide open, especially given that the Eagles are on top with a .500 record. The Redskins need to win these kinds of games, but they also have to be able to beat teams like the Vikings if they're to actually compete.
We'll talk about both teams below, starting with the home team.
Meet the Eagles
The Eagles won the first matchup between the two teams, but those Eagles were a different team. Michael Vick was the quarterback and he looked a lot better than Robert Griffin III, who was slow in comparison due to his injuries. But the Eagles went on to lose their next three games, and have lost two more since then, but also have picked up four wins.
The big change, as noted, is Foles is now in at quarterback. Vick was injured (and Foles was injured briefly as well, leading to a Matt Barkley appearance), so Foles came in and played against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9.
Foles threw seven touchdown passes in that game, and then led the Eagles to a solid win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 10 with another three touchdowns. The Eagles have the No. 9 passing attack and the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL.
Meet the Redskins
Washington is faring pretty well on offense, as well. They have the No. 10 passing offense in the NFL at 259.2 passing yards per game, and the No. 3 rushing attack, with 151.2 rushing yards per game. They pass, on average, a yard fewer per game than the Eagles do, and rush for roughly two fewer yards than the Eagles do.
On the defensive side of the ball, both teams underwhelm. The Redskins should have an easier time throwing the ball against the Eagles, given that the Eagles are the No. 31 ranked passing defense in the league, but they are also the No. 14 rush defense. Washington, meanwhile, has the No. 26 ranked pass defense and No. 18 rush defense in the league.
Local Takes: Eagles
Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation notes that this is the first game Foles will need to be able to step up and deliver a win in big fashion. The pressure is on:
Let's focus on the Eagles' quarterback for a second. The last time Nick Foles started a game at Lincoln Financial Field, well, let's just say it didn't go so well. The young quarterback had a terrible outing. Whatever caused that performance, it simply can't happen this time around. Foles needs to show he can step up and deliver in a big game. Putting up gaudy stats is one thing, but it's not just enough for Foles to play well. It's time to seal the deal with a win.
Local Takes: Redskins
Kevin Ewoldt of Hogs Havennames Alfred Morris as a player that needs to step up on Sunday:
Both the Eagles and Redskins rank middle of the pack averaging 4.0 (and just over) yards per carry allowed. The Redskins need to get Morris pounding early then hit them with a fresh Roy Helu's speed and power in the 4th. ALFRED MORRIS?
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If it weren't for the heroics in 2012, we would be able to begin the grieving process for the 2013 season. http://t.co/rUdoLpwNgz— HogsHaven.com (@HogsHaven) November 12, 2013
Four of SB Nation's six experts think the Eagles are in a better place and will win this one, with Joel Thorman and Stephen White being the dissenters who believe the Redskins will win this one on the road.
The Eagles opened up as 3-point favorites for the matchup, and the line didn't move too much throughout the week. According to OddsShark, it actually widened slightly, with the Eagles favored by as much as 3.5 points on some books.