NFL Wire News

Week 16 Preview: Eagles at Redskins

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Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) at Washington Redskins (3-11)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, at FedExField, Landover, Md. – TV: NFL Network

*TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Stacy Dales

*Keys to the game: When the teams met back in Week 3, the Redskins did an excellent job of bottling up Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, who managed just 22 yards on 19 carries. He has since worked through an early-season funk, and Philadelphia wants to get him untracked to ease the burden on QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has been waffling with his accuracy, including several high passes last week, and turnovers are the Eagles’ biggest threat.

The Redskins turn back to QB Robert Griffin III, who coach Jay Gruden has alternately said has an opportunity to take control of the offense while also saying Washington must get a lead and not force RGIII to win the game from the pocket. He did get out and make some plays with his feet last week, but the Eagles sport a fast defense that won’t get beat often on the edges. RB Alfred Morris tends to be more effective with the dual-threat QB occupying some of the defense’s attention, and must be a factor out of the gate because the Redskins’ pass protection has been horrid of late.

*Matchup to watch – Eagles CB Bradley Fletcher vs. Redskins WR DeSean Jackson: Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Fletcher will remain in the starting lineup despite getting beat for three touchdowns by Cowboys WR Dez Bryant last week. Jackson lacks Bryant’s size, but he did catch five passes for 117 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown, in the first meeting. However, he has not established great chemistry with RGIII, and had just 15 yards while catching three of eight targets last week.

*Player spotlight – Eagles WR Jordan Matthews: The rookie caught eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting, and his size out of the slot presents a matchup issue for the Redskins.

*Fast facts: According to FOX Sports last week, the Redskins are only the second team in the past 50 seasons to allow at least five sacks in six straight games. The Eagles lead the league in sacks per pass attempt.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Eagles are in a must-win situation for their playoff lives. The Redskins have become increasingly less competitive as their six-game losing streak has gone on, and in-fighting continues to drag down morale.

*Our pick: Eagles 30-20


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