2012 NFL Week 11 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

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Sunday will mark the 155th time the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins play each other. Since that 1934 meeting when the Redskins won 6-0, they hold an all-time matchup lead with a 79-70-5 record. The highly anticipated face off between two of the league’s most exciting QBs, Michael Vick and Robert Griffin, will surely be one for the...

What? Vick’s out with a concussion? Great, now I’ve got to come up with a new slant on my story.

In a test of washed-up, stubborn coaches….

No, no…

In what will be a Battle of Untested Rookies, Nick Foles, 88th pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft will face off against Number One overall pick Robert Griffin (the Third). It will take place in Landover, Md. (close enough to still be considered Washington, D.C.), and there are a lot of numbers to sort through to try and come up with an answer as to who will win this game.

First of all, Foles knows that his position is a backup one. He is Vick’s biggest cheerleader, and his take on the game is that he’s going to go out there, do his job, and try his hardest. “I’m going to do my job until he gets healthy,” Foles said in a press conference. It’s that kind of humility and grace that makes not only great QBs, but also great leaders. And this is why I think Foles will not only have a great performance, but he may just convince that stubborn-as-a-mule coach of his to keep him starting for the rest of the season.

The ‘Skins have among the league’s worst passing defense, coughing up 397.7 (that’s almost 400, folks) yards per game. The Eagles are averaging 223 yards in the air, but that stat is about as good as a used tissue with Foles in the pocket. Will WR DeSean Jackson adapt to his new QB? In Foles’ debut as an Eagle, replacing the injured Vick in a loss to Dallas, he was 22-32 with a TD and INT. His completion rating was good, and he did throw for 219 yards, but he likes to drop waaay back in the pocket, meaning some 15-20-yard passes are only netting 7 or 8 yards at a time. Now that he’s lost his virginity to the NFL, he should be a little more comfortable behind his less-than stellar front line, and he should put up even bigger numbers.

But it’s not up to Foles whether or not Philly can pull this one out of Washington. Their defense needs to make an appearance, as does the offensive line. The Redskins are well-rested after a much-needed bye week, and Griffin was named as team captain this week. The ‘Skins are 3-4 in the NFC, while the Eagles are a pitiful 1-5. The home team Redkins has a record of 1-3 at FedEx Field. The Eagles are 1-3 on the road. Philly’s D is stingier than Washington’s, and their offense is 9 ypg better too. The game should come down to defense, and I think Philadelphia will shock Mike Shanahan and his team.

Finally, can you believe this: Two 3-6 teams in the same division are still mathematically vying for a playoff spot? If the Giants continue their losing ways, the entire NFC East is still up for grabs. In a season where the three teams below .500 (Eagles, ‘Skins and Cowboys) came in with new blood and reinvigorated hope, this is surely not where they expected to find themselves so late into the season. The Redskins play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, and they host the Giants on December 3. It’s so cliché, but it is football, and anything can happen.