Team: Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Record: 9-7 (2nd, NFC East)
2019 Record: 0-0 (Duh)
Outlook: The Eagles managed to shake off a Super Bowl hangover mid-season in 2018, rallying from a 4-6 start to finish 9-7 and earn a wild card. They managed to upset the Bears at Soldier Field in the “double-doink” game before falling 20-14 to the Saints after leading 14-0 early.
Former playoff hero Nick Foles is gone, as the Eagles made a huge investment in quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz played well last year, but was ultimately 5-6 as a starter, while Foles went 4-1. Philly also made sure to protect that long-term investment by using a first-round pick on Andre Dillard, who will be Jason Peters’ understudy. They’re all part of a talented OL corps anchored by center Jason Kelce. The Eagles made a trade for former Bear running back Jordan Howard, as well as bringing old friend DeSean Jackson back into the fold. Philly also boasts one of the better tight ends in football in Zach Ertz.
Defensively, Chris Long retired, and Michael Bennett is gone to the Patriots. That may take some sting out of the Eagles’ pass-rush. All-Pro tackle Fletcher Cox is back, but he’s nursing a foot injury that might impact his play against the Redskins. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, who has made the Pro Bowl three of the past four years, is a playmaker. Another old friend, Zach Brown, is slated to start at outside linebacker.
How Worried Should the Redskins Be?: Pretty worried! A little over halfway through the 2018 season, the Eagles found themselves staring up at the division-leading Redskins. But Philadelphia had yet to play Washington.
As everyone reading this undoubtedly remembers, the Redskins got swept by the Eagles, with Philly having the good fortune to play Washington twice after the Redskins lost Alex Smith. And the first loss was the game in which Colt McCoy broke his leg.
The Redskins may not have been at full strength last season against the Eagles, but the 2019 Redskins will open with a host of unanswered questions. Trent Williams’ absence, Case Keenum’s ability to lead this offense, an unproven receiving corps, Jordan Reed coming off of another concussion, Derrius Guice getting his first official NFL action after missing all of last year.
Taken together, this list does not inspire confidence.
Having said that, unknowns are a lot better than definitive negatives. Optimism seems to be in the marrow of most Redskins fans, and I’m no exception. I’m excited to see what Guice can do. I’m hopeful Trent Williams will somehow make it back soon (or at least be traded for a first-round pick). Keenum obviously isn’t the quarterback of the future, but he’s a solid pro and can be very effective with a good running game behind him.
The defense could absolutely be a top-ten unit, and they’ll likely need to carry the team early for all the reasons I just outlined. They’ll also be tested by the Eagles. A now-healthy Wentz with the full confidence (and cash) of the organization behind him is a formidable early challenge.
A team that is coming off of two successful seasons, at home, against an opponent it swept a year ago is legitimate reason for moderate concern. I think the big (by NFL standards) point spread may be a little excessive, but there’s no question the Eagles should be favored at home against a Redskins squad that hasn’t shown us anything in preseason to make us think they can move the ball consistently.
A Word about the Title: Finally, a quick word about the title of these articles. Last year, the title was “Should the Redskins Be Worried . . .” which frustrated some people. It was intended to be rhetorical, but, for the sake of clarity, I’ve adjusted the title this year to one that presupposes that the Redskins and their fans should be worried to some degree. Everybody happy now?
How worried should the Redskins be about the Philadelphia Eagles?
This poll is closed
Not too worried