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Eagles Look to Bounce Back at Fed Ex Field

Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Eric Hartline/ USA TODAY Sports

Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Eric Hartline/ USA TODAY Sports


At the beginning of training camp, if you were to ask most fans of the Philadelphia Eagles what the team’s record would be through five weeks of the season, it’s doubtful any replies would be 3-1 or better. Yet after last week, many fans were left with a sour taste in their mouth. It was a tale of two halves last Sunday. If the Eagles team that showed up the second half last week, one that was present during convincing wins against the Browns, Bears and Steelers, then quarterback Kirk Cousins and his team are in for a rough time Sunday afternoon.

The D.C. team lost their first two games, but have posted three straight wins and certainly remember the last time the two teams met, a 14-point drubbing in a game that sealed Chip Kelly’s fate last December.

“Defensive line, secondary, everything, they’re different,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “Some of the same players that are good players, but their scheme is totally different. It’ll be a different approach, how you attack them, how you get after them, and we’ll see how we do. But he [QB Kirk Cousins] has good success against Philly last two or three times, which is a good thing, but this a different deal.”

Washington receiver Desean Jackson was asked about a return to the Eagles this offseason, and didn’t exactly quash the possibility. The Eagles receiving corps has seen better days, and even a 30-year old Jackson would immensely upgrade a unit rife with drops, and lacking a true speed receiver. Imagine Carson Wentz with the playmakers Chip Kelly was given when he took over the reigns here in Philadelphia. An exercise in futility surely but one thing is for certain, the Eagles current crop of receivers is simply not cutting it. Despite all of his flaws, D Jax would be a welcome option. Since leaving for Washington, he’s torched the Eagles for 13 catches for 283 yards and one touchdown.

“I never really had hard feelings toward Philadelphia, beside being released by whoever released me, you know that’s different,” Jackson said. “I guess he’s not there anymore. There have never really been hard feelings toward the city, the team, the organization. Like I say, things happen, you move on.”

It also appears that Washington will be without TE Jordan Reed who suffered a concussion during last week’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens and has sat out the entire week of practice. He also happens to be Cousins’ favorite weapon, leading the team with 33 receptions on 46 targets the season for 316 yards and two touchdowns. It’s his sixth documented concussion, a major health concern for the third year tight end out of Florida.

The Eagles look to rebound after last week’s letdown, but they will be without tackle Lane Johnson, whose 10-game suspension was upheld by the NFL on Tuesday. Johnson won’t be eligible to return until week 16 against the Giants. Rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai will take his place and the team isn’t short on confidence in ‘Big V’.

“It’s time for him to step up,” quarterback Carson Wentz said. “He’s been doing a great job with the reps he’s been getting, and he’s already progressed tremendously from OTA’s through training camp and I know the coaches have utmost confidence in him. I do as well, so it’ll be fun for him.”

The Eagles have the toughest remaining schedule, with games against the Vikings, Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Bengals and Ravens, along with the familiar NFC East foes. Coach Pederson feels that despite a tough loss to the Lions, the Eagles will be locked in and ready for Washington on Sunday.

“I have no doubt in my mind this group will be focused,” coach Pederson said. “They’ll be laser focused. They’ll be ready to get back out on the practice field. We don’t play the game on Wednesday obviously. It’s gonna take another hard week of preparation and study and practice. You want to see who your leaders are gonna be, how your team is gonna react. I saw it all the way flying home. The guys were on the iPads watching the game, making the corrections. To me, that’s the sign of a good football team, that they’re into it that way. They were mad.”

The prediction is in and it’s the good guys over Washington 34-13 in a game that will see both Zach Ertz and Brent Celek find the end zone.





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