There will be another NFC East matchup at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night that will be seen around the country. The Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) will host the Washington Redskins (3-2) at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN, PHL17) in a key divisional game.
These two teams battled each other to open the season with the Eagles coming away with a 30-17 win over the Redskins. Although quarterback Carson Wentz had a big game completing 26 of 39 passes for 307 yards with two touchdowns, it was the solid play of the defense that played a big role in the outcome.
The Eagles were able to come away with two fumbles and a interception in that contest. Defensive back Jalen Mills came up with a huge interception to stop a Redskins scoring drive in the second half. Also, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham forced a fumble by Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that was scooped up by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and returned 20 yards to put the Eagles over the top in this game. Graham and Cox played extremely well against the Redskins in the first contest. Despite their success, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz expects another strong effort from the Redskins’ offensive line.
“I think the Redskins have a fine offensive line,” Schwartz said. “It’s going to be one of our biggest challenges. I think where our success came was in those last couple drives when we really could pin our ears back. That game was tight throughout the game, and all of a sudden those last couple drives we could really get back and pin our ears back and be able to rush, and I think you saw some of those things particularly with Brandon.
“But they’re good across the line. They have a very good run game. They’re physical, and the quarterback is hard to hem in. It goes a little bit unreported, but he’s a lot like [Chiefs quarterback] Alex Smith in my mind, in his ability to keep the chains moving and to be able to create some plays. That’s going to have to be a big part of what we do defensively.”
Graham, a 6-foot-2, 265-pounder, has done a great job of getting to the quarterback this season. He leads the team in sacks with four. Graham has 17 total and 11 solo tackles and one forced fumble. He has been a real playmaker for the Eagles. The Birds will need another strong effort from him against the Redskins.