Monday Night Football Preview: Eagles at Redskins
by Matt Severance - 10/26/2009
Maybe playing a team that actually has a victory will be the perfect tonic for the struggling Washington Redskins.
Seriously, do you realize every single team the Redskins have played this season had a zero in the win column? Obviously that counts the season opener, but you get my point. Of course the Skins have won only two of those games and have lost the past two, to Carolina and Kansas City. Somehow head coach Jim Zorn still has a job, but he was forced to give up playcalling duties after that ugly outing against the Chiefs last Sunday. Sherm Lewis, who wasn't even with the team a few weeks ago, will call the plays. Zorn was told this week that he would not be fired this season - the players had said his weekly job status was a distraction.
"That should relieve a lot of tension and a lot of stress," QB Jason Campbell said. "Guys don't have to worry about thinking about it or talking about it."
And Campbell still is the starting QB for Washington despite being pulled in the loss to Kansas City after going 9-for-16 for 89 yards and a pick. Campbell, who has started the past 22 games for the Skins, has completed 65.6 percent of his passes this year with six TDs and six interceptions. However, Zorn also told backup Todd Collins to "be ready" on Sunday, so it's pretty clear that the coach doesn't have full confidence in Campbell. Washington averages just 13.2 points (yet to score more than 17), fourth fewest in league, and hasn't scored a touchdown in two of three home games.
Campbell has the Eagles' number, however, going 3-2 against them since 2006 (Washington is just 24-30 overall in that span) and leading a sweep last year. Campbell's numbers against Philly last year actually weren't great, as he had just 320 yards passing combined in the two games with no touchdowns. But he also didn't throw an interception. Clinton Portis rushed for 215 total yards in the 23-17 and 10-3 victories.
The Eagles, who are seven-point favorites (37.5 over/under) this week on Bodog, enter off an inexplicable home loss to the Raiders when they were 2-for-16 on third-down conversions. Somehow that Philly defense gave up 325 yards to the worst offense in the NFL. Yet the Eagle defense does rank fourth overall in yards allowed and is tied for No. 1 in interceptions with 11.
Perhaps the Oakland loss was a wake-up call that the Eagles needed. Last year they lost 36-7 at Baltimore in the worst game of the season, then rallied to win six of their next seven to reach the NFC title game.
The Eagles will be without a few key players this week. Defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee), WR Kevin Curtis (knee) and LB Omar Gaither (foot) are all out. Gaither is done for the season, so the Eagles traded for Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon, who is expected to start. The Philly offense line is expecting both left tackle Jason Peters and left guard Todd Herremans to play. Herremans will make his season debut after injuring his foot in camp, while Peters left last Sunday's loss in the first quarter with a knee contusion and ankle sprain. The Skins don't have anyone listed on the injury report.
Philly is 3-2 ATS this year, while the Skins are 2-4. Washington is just 1-8 ATS in its past nine home games but 6-2-1 ATS in the past nine in this series. Philadelphia is 35-15-1 in games following a loss under coach Andy Reid since 2000.
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