Could the key to winning Sunday be special teams? I think so. The Eagles have one of the most unique special teams units in the league and the Redskins must contain their weapons and take advantage of their weaknesses to win on Sunday. The good news is Danny Smith has one of the most solid special teams units in the league and the Skins should be ready for whatever the Eagles bring at them.
When you think Eagles special teams the first thing that comes to mind is DeSean Jackson and his game winning return against the Giants last year. But the Redskins have every weapon imaginable to counter Jackson, and it starts with Aussie boomer, and former Eagle Sav Rocca. Rocca has been phenomenal in the punt game this year, not only from a distance and placement standpoint, but from a hang time standpoint. He has let our gunners and guys like Niles Paul, Lorenzo Alexander, and Perry Riley get down the field and make a play. Just ask Austin Pettis.
The Eagles sport a rookie punter out of Florida named Chaz Henry. Henry has been ok averaging about 41 yards per punt, but the most important fact is he's punting to a dangerous man in Brandon Banks and just ask Tom Coughlin how rough a rookie punter can make your life. If there is anytime for Banks to put his stamp on this season then its Sunday.
The other half of the Eagles kicking game is another rookie, Alex Henery out of Nebraska. Kickoff-wise, Henery is allowing just over two returns per game. But it could be the actual field goals that could come to haunt the Eagles. First, Henery has never kicked in a environment, in the NFL, like the amped FedEx Field he'll encounter Sunday. Henery has been solid thus far this year, but he's hasn't made a field goal over 38 yards and he had a rough day that factored heavily in the Eagles loss to San Francisco. FedEx does some strange things to kickers and I think Eagles fans will be longing for David Akers come Sunday.
In short, I believe special teams will have a huge factor in this game and the Redskins have the upper-hand in this department. It will certainly be a fun battle to watch, with a lot of interesting players being thrust into a potentially crucial role.