The 6-5 Washington Redskins:
The 6-5 Washington Redskins will have had a long week-and-a-half rest after their Thanksgiving day defeat to the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 23-31.
With starting quarterback Alex Smith (leg) now out for the season, it will be veteran backup Colt McCoy’s job to lead this team to victory against last year’s Super Bowl Champs, and hopefully it will go better than it did against the Cowboys when he threw 24-for-38 for 268 yards, two touchdowns but three interceptions and the loss.
Washington is 3-2 on the road and 2-1 against divisional rivals, so they’re capable of winning this one if McCoy can protect the ball better and take over as the team’s leader.
The 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles:
Even thought the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles won in Week 12 against the struggling New York Giants, they only did it 25-22 with a last minute field goal kick by Jake Elliot.
Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz threw 20-for-28 for 236 yards and a touchdown without any interceptions but remains 19th ranked overall in total passing yards this season with 2,540, along with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
Philadelphia is split at home with 3 wins and 3 losses and are 2-1 against divisional rivals but seem to be hit-or-miss this season when it comes to victories, having only won 3 of their last 8.
What’s at stake:
These two teams have met 166 times (including 1 postseason game), with Philadelphia winning 75 games and Washington winning 86 games. They have also tied 5 times. The Eagles won both meetings last season, but the Redskins were victorious the five times they met before that.
If the Redskins win this matchup, their record will be 6-5 and they’ll move to just one game behind the Eagles in the AFC South.
But if the Eagles come out on top, they’ll be 8-3 and with at least a 2-game lead over the Indianapolis Colts remain atop the AFC South.
Questions to answer…
Who’s favored to win this Week 13 Redskins-Eagles matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to compare the Redskins and the Eagles and attempt to answer those questions and more.
The 2018 Redskins offense shaky under McCoy
Whenever a backup quarterback takes over, it takes time for him to gel with the offense, and McCoy seems to be going through exactly that with his offense that’s currently ranked 27th overall.
Receivers Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris are also having to step up with Jamison Crowder still recovering from his ankle injury (see below).
Tight end Jordan Reed is having a decent season, so far having caught 50-for-78 for 537 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 10.7 yards per reception.
Redskins rushing attack now one-dimensional
With running backs Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine both listed as questionable for this one (see below), the Redskin rushing duties once again fall on the veteran shoulders of 7x Pro-Bowler and 3x First-team All-Pro back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson has been effective on the ground and through the air this season, ranked 9th overall having rushed 183 times for 758 yards and 6 touchdowns while catching 16-for-20 for 177 yards and a touchdown.
Washington offensive Injuries
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 13.
Running backs Chris Thompson (ribs) and Samaje Perine (calf) are both listed as questionable for Week 13.
Tight end Jordan Reed (undisclosed) is also listed as questionable against the Eagles.
The 2018 Eagles offense below average
It’s shocking to see last year’s Super Bowl Champions play this season, their offense under a healthy Wentz only scoring 20.9 points and averaging 353.9 total yards of offense per game, 19th best in a league of 32.
Hoping to spark their air attack and counter their run game, the Eagles traded the Detroit Lions for receiver Goldon Tate, but in the 3 games Tate has played for the Eagles (starting in just one of those), he’s caught just 11-for-20 for 97 yards and zero touchdowns.
Receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor as well as tight end Zach Ertz make up Wentz’s other main targets, who have combined for a 13th ranked 253.1 passing yards per game.
Philadelphia’s run game
Running backs Josh Adams and Wendell Smallwood are having to do all of the running for the Eagles since Jay Ajayi (torn ACL) was placed on injured reserve in Week 6 and Darren Sproles (hamstring) is in and out of the lineup (see below).
With those injuries, the Philadelphia running attack is ranked 24th in the league, averaging just 100.8 total rushing yards per game.
Philadelphia offensive Injuries
Running back Darren Sproles (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week 13..
Redskins Defense ranks 18th in the league
The Redskins only allow opponents to score 20.8 points per game, 7th best in that category, but they are 18th in total yards allowed per game with 361.2.
Washington is ranked 8th against the run, but 23rd against the pass and are tied for 6th most interceptions with 11, and are tied for 9th most sacks with 32.
Redskins Defensive Players to watch:
Inside linebacker Mason Foster has 97 combined tackles (2nd most in the league) and two passes defended, an interception and two fumble recoveries.
Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has 8.0 sacks and defensive end Matthew Ioannidis has 7.5 sacks.
Free safety D.J. Swearinger is tied for 4th most interceptions in the NFL with 4, along with 14 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Foster, Cassanova out
Recently acquired controversial linebacker Reuben Foster was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and won’t play until his latest legal situation concludes.
Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy (pectoral) was placed on injured reserve.
Eagles Defense is 24th overall
Anyone playing against Philadelphia averages 380.1 total offensive yards and 23.0 points per game, their run defense ranked 11th but their passing defense ranked 28th.
The Eagles only have 5 team interceptions (T-28th least), 28 quarterback sacks (T-16th) and have 10 total forced fumbles (T-13th).
Eagles Defensive Players to watch:
Defensive end (and wearer of the league’s tiniest shoulder pads) Michael Bennett has 6.5 sacks, 21 combined tackles (8 for loss), 21 quarterback hits, a pass defended and a forced fumble.
Second-team All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has 4.0 sacks, 32 combined tackles (5 for loss), 21 quarterback hits and a pass defended.
Defensive injuries could be a Phili factor
Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks (calf) and his T-15th ranked 85 combined tackles is listed as out for Week 13.
Listed as questionable in Week 13 are: cornerback Jalen Mills (foot), free safety Avonte Maddox (knee) and cornerback Sidney Jones (hamstring).
Special Teams Stats Comparison
Washington’s punter, Tress Way, in his 5th season, all with the Redskins, has punted 52 times for a net average of 41.2 yards per punt, ranked 11th in the NFL.
Philadelphia’s second-year punter, Cameron Johnston, signed as an undrafted free agent last season, has punted 45 times for a net average of 42.7 yards per punt, ranked 4th in the NFL.
Washington’s placekicker, Dustin Hopkins, in his 5th NFL season (his fourth with the Redskins), is 18-for-21, his longest has been a 56-yarder.
Hopkins has missed an extra point attempt (22/23).
Philadelphia’s placekicker, Jake Elliott, promoted from the practice squad last season, has gone 17-for-21, his longest was a 56-yarder.
Elliott hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (21/21).
Washington’s punt returner, Greg Stroman, is ranked 50th in the league in return average.
Stroman has returned 5 punts for 28 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per return, his longest for 10 yards.
Philadelphia’s punter is newly acquired wide receiver Golden Tate, currently ranked 72nd in the league in return average.
Tate has returned 5 punts so far for 13 yards, averaging 2.6 yards per return, his longest for 12 yards.
Redskins–Eagles prediction and odds
The oddsmakers have the Eagles favored over the Redskins by 6.5 with an over/under of 44.0.
CBSSports.com has two final score predictions:
Pete Prisco goes with the under and has it Eagles 23, Redskins 16
John Breech takes the under and predicts it Eagles 20, Redskins 17