On Monday September 9, the Washington Redskins have been picked to win at home by 3.5 points over the Philadelphia Eagles. Even with the Packers playing the 49ers on Sunday, this NFC East match has been the most anticipated of week one. Kickoff is set to begin at 6:55 p.m.
Part of the reason for the great anticipation of the Monday night opener, is to see the new and improved Robert Griffin III. After injuring his knee in the fourth quarter of the wild card playoff round, Griffin will be making his first appearance in any game since that fateful Sunday. All eyes will be on Robert Griffin’s mobility and durability. There will be a lot of deep breathes once he takes his first hit.
On the other sideline, Chip Kelly brings his fast breaking style of offense to the NFL. With Michael Vick running the quarterback position, many people think the Eagles can fly in week one.
Offensively, Philadelphia will spread the Redskins out. What they do after that may come as a surprise. Although Chip Kelly’s offense may look like a heavy passing offense, they’ll try to create running lanes with the obscure formations. LeSean McCoy has the chance to show flashes of things to come this season. His speed and elusiveness seem to be a perfect fit within Chip Kelly’s offense.
The Eagles had a lot of turmoil with the receivers so far. From injuries, to misguided quotes, Philadelphia’s wide receivers could hamper what the Eagles want to get accomplished. DeSean Jackson should have a major role in their big play ability.
If Michael Vick is at his best, he will test this Redskins defense all night long. With their speedy tempo, Philadelphia must get first downs. While not being overly concerned with time of possession, going three and out will greatly hinder the Eagles’ chances.
Last season, it was truly a pleasure watching the Redskins play, and Washington hopes for more of the same on Monday. Still, the fan base is anxiously waiting with cautious optimism.
The biggest question for Washington is, can they continue to run the ball via the zone read. They pounded opponents up the middle and their play action passes were devastating late in the season. If Washington can duplicate the ground game with Alfred Morris, they’ll have a lot of success against Philadelphia’s defense.
The biggest concern for Robert Griffin is to remain upright. As long as he’s getting protection, shakes off the rust early, the Redskins will move the ball.
Defensively, Washington will have to make decisions on the fly. It will be interesting if they get beat for long plays early in the game. Will they stick with the game plan, or make instant adjustments?
Although the Eagles have tape on Griffin, it is unknown how he will be used in during the first game. There’s no doubt that both teams will have to make adjustments throughout the game, especially in the second half.
The Verdict: Although it will be fascinating to see Michael Vick with the revamped Eagles, it should be Washington’s game to win. The Monday night game should be highly entertaining, and it will come down to big plays and turnovers.
When: Monday September 9, 6:55 p.m.
Where: Fedex Field