Philadelphia Eagles (0-0 SU, 0-0-0 PS, 0-0-0 O/U) vs Washington Redskins (0-0 SU, 0-0-0 PS, 0-0-0 O/U)
When: 1:00 PM EDT, Sunday, September 10, 2017
Where: FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland
Lines: Philadelphia -1
Week One of the NFL season and a pair of NFC East foes will square off as the Philadelphia Eagles invade FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland to do battle with the Washington Redskins. The Eagles come in off a pair of 7-9 seasons, while the Skins were 8-7-1 last year and just missed out on a postseason berth. The Redskins won both meetings between these teams last year and have now take the last five games in this series.
Eagles Are Hoping Wentz Leads Them To The Playoffs
The Philadelphia Eagles have missed the playoffs the last year years, but they are hoping to change things this year. They are in the 2nd year of Doug Pederson’s schemes and also in the 2nd year of having Carson Wentz at QB and while he did have just a 79.3 QBR last year, he has shown great improvements this year in Training Camp and is expected to have a big year. The Eagles have also added WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, along with RB LeGarrette Blount. Wentz has some new toys to play with to go along with WR Nelson Agholor, TE Zach Ertz and RB Darren Sproles. This offense should be improved and put up more than the 22.9 ppg that they averaged a year ago.
A couple of years ago, the defense really struggled as the Chip Kelly offense went at warp speed and thus it meant the defense was on the field a lot more and they really tired down the stretch. In 2015, they allowed 26.9 ppg, which was 28th in the league, but last year the offense slowed down and the defense stayed fresher and they ended up allowing just 20.7 ppg, which was 11th in the league. This year, that defense didn’t look great in the preseason, especially in the dress rehearsal game, where they allowed Miami to put up 31 points and really struggled against their first-team offense in that game. This defense will have its hands full with what has the potential of being a very good Washington pass offense.
The Skins Need Their Ground Game To Improve
The Redskins missed out on the postseason party last year and are hoping to get back there this year behind the arm of Kirk Cousins, who signed a big one year contract after the team couldn’t agree on a long-term contract with him. He had a strong season last year as he threw for 4917 with 25 TDs and 12 INTs, but still, it wasn’t enough. Part of the reason was a run game that was 20th in the league, putting up just 106.0 ypg. They will need to get much more for their run game this year as it will then open up more throwing lanes for Cousins to hit some big plays downfield to a fine group of receivers that will be led by Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor, and Brian Quick. The running game will be inexperienced as they have just one player on that group with more than two years of experience. This still should be a good offense this year.
The problem for Washington last year was their defense as they ranked 28th in yards allowed and 19th in points allowed, giving up 123.9 ppg. They really struggled against the pass as they allowed 258.1 ypg through the air, which was 25th in the league. The Skins addressed their need for help in the secondary, by taking three DBs in the draft and adding free agent CB D.J. Swearinger from Arizona. If the defense can improve on defending the pass, then this will be an improved group. They will get a good test in this game against what should be a good Philadelphia passing game. I will look for the Redskins to make a strong push for a playoff spot this year.
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on grass
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in September
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games in Week one
The Eagles are the favorites in this game and I thought that was a bit of a surprise as the Redskins will be in the mix for a playoff berth this year. The Eagles will as well, especially if Carson Wentz plays like he did in the preseason. The Eagles were a very mediocre team on offense last year, but that will be improved this time around and the Redskins do have holes on defense. The Eagles should be able to exploit it. Philadelphia really improved on defense last year and it should be a solid unit this year as well, even though it didn’t play well in the game against Miami in the Preseason. The Eagles are 0-6 ATS the last six games in this series, but I say they break that trend in this one.
Pick: Philadelphia -1
This should be a really good opening week game between a couple of teams that have playoff aspirations this year. The Eagles were a much-improved team on defense last year, but their first team did allow Jay Cutler of Miami to have a good game against them. Kirk Cousins could have a good showing as well. The Washington defense struggled to defend the pass last year year and Carson Wentz looked good in the preseason and he has the added weapons of Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith at his disposable. I look for him to put up big numbers in this one. The over is 11-1 in the Eagles’ last 12 road games and 8-2 in Washington’s last 10 home games, plus the Over is 5-1 the last six games in this series. I look for a shootout in this one.