The Philadelphia Eagles (5-3, 3-1 road) travel down I-95 to face their NFC East rival, the Washington Redskins (4-4, 2-2 home), tonight on Monday Night Football.
The last time these two teams met, it was the first time Donovan McNabb played a game in Philadelphia as a visitor. In that week 4 match-up, Washington won the game, 17-12. That was the game where Michael Vick exited the game due to rib and chest injuries. Vick passed seven times and rushed three times for a total of 66 yards.
This time around, Vick is healthy, and looks like the ever-elusive Michael Vick of old.
These two teams are coming off of very different week 9 games.
Washington lost to Detroit for the second time in two years, while Philadelphia became only the third team to beat the Colts this season.
So the Eagles have the better record, have the momentum and a healthy Michael Vick. The Redskins are just getting over the McNabb/Grossman/cardiovascular controversy.
I’m going with the Eagles in this one. Vick is auditioning for a starting job in 2011, and is showing how he is the best athlete that plays quarterback in the history of football.
It won’t be easy for the Eagles, as they will be without S Nate Allen and CB Ellis Hobbs. Also, Washington boasts four of the top 25 tacklers in the NFL (LaRon Landry-8th, London Fletcher-14th, DeAngelo Hall-25th and Rocky McIntosh-25th).
This should be the game where the Eagles separate themselves from the Redskins and Cowboys and solidify their contention for the 2010 NFC East title.
Cue the Monday Night Football theme, find a TV, grab some beers, get some food and make sure you tune into MNF as the Eagles travel to Washington to take on the Redskins. Not only is this a NFC East divisional battle, it is also round two of McNabb vs. his former team (this time he gets home field advantage).
Michael Vick and Desean Jackson are back from their injuries and are coming off a huge win over the Indianapolis Colts. As the Eagles offense is coming back together and looking strong, the Redskins defense isn’t just going to lay down. DeAngelo Hall (Defensive Player of the Year Candidate) leads the league in interceptions with six.
OLB Brain Orakpo is a fierce defender, coming off the edge with seven sacks. When he’s playing well, DT Albert Haynesworth is an animal and a force to be reckoned when barreling down the middle. You also have LaRon Landry, a hard hitting safety who’s always capable of making a game changing play.
The Redskins defense will have their hands full with Michael Vick, who can beat you with his arm and his legs. Then they have to make sure to keep the speedster WR Desean Jackson in check, while knowing where WR Jeremy Maclin is at all times.
These two guys are a 1-2 punch. If one isn’t beating you the other is. Now throw in the tough, reliable hands of TE Brent Celek and the all-around athletic RB LeSean McCoy and you got one potent offense.
McNabb and the Redskins have their work cut out for them if they want to get an important divisional win and have a any shot at making the playoffs this year. At times the Skins have looked solid, but then other times have looked clueless(benching starting QB McNabb for Rex Grossman during the two minute offense in a potential game-winning drive because he’s in better shape for it?).
Either way tonight is gearing up to be a good old fashioned NFC East fist fight.
I think the Eagles have found their groove, they are healthy, organized and coming off of a big win. Once the smoke clears, the Eagles will move to 6-3 on the season, leaving the Redskins at 4-5 and pushing them one step farther from making the playoffs.
Odds are that the Eagles will win tonight (they’re favored by 3.5 points).
It should be very interesting to see the pure athleticism of Vick versus the wisdom of McNabb.
One player that could be the X-Factor, and another advantage for the Eagles, is CB Asante Samuel, who intercepted Peyton Manning twice last week.
Eagles @ Redskins. Tonight at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Thanks for reading.