The Eagles (3-0) are back home this weekend to host the Commanders (2-1) on Sunday afternoon.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (3-0)
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Washington has one of the NFL’s best defensive fronts and they’ve got an elite weapon in Terry McLaurin and they run the ball well. They also have a young quarterback who faced an elite pressure team last weekend and responded by getting sacked nine times and throwing four interceptions. Sam Howell managed just 125 net passing yards (on 38 dropbacks) in Washington’s 37-3 loss to the Bills at FedEx Field, and now he’s got to contend with an Eagles’ front that’s just as loaded as Buffalo’s. And now he’s on the road playing in front of 68,000 screaming loonies and I’m not sure he can handle this. Washington isn’t a terrible team – they did beat the Cards at home and Broncos on the road to open the season – but I don’t think they’ll be able to do much against the Eagles’ defense. Nobody has run yet on the Eagles, and if the Eagles can stuff Washington’s running attack – and remember, Washington ran 49 times for 152 yards and two TDs when they beat the Eagles at the Linc in November, so you know they’re going to try to hammer it – that will force Howell into known-pass, and that will allow the Eagles pass rushers to take advantage of this over-matched Washington offensive line and tee off on Howell. Washington has already allowed 19 sacks – 5th-most in NFL history through three games – and this should be a chance for the Eagles’ d-line to really take over the game. The Eagles become the first team since the 1998 Packers to open a season 4-0 after losing the Super Bowl.
Eagles 27, Commanders 17
Dave Zangaro (3-0)
Give the Commanders credit for the way they beat the Eagles in Week 10 last season. They dominated in time of possession and successfully played keep away from Jalen Hurts. That’s a tough recipe to repeat this year because the Eagles are so good against the run. If they’re weak anywhere it’s in the secondary but I just don’t think Sam Howell will be able to beat them, especially not from the seat of his pants. Howell has been sacked 19 times through three games and they probably won’t be able to block the Eagles long enough for Howell to look down the field.
And while the Commanders definitely have some pieces on defense, starting with their starting defensive line, the Eagles still have an advantage. They should be able to throw against the Commanders as long as Hurts has some time. And as good as the Commanders’ front has been, they are somewhat susceptible against the run. The Commanders’ starting defensive line is great but they’re not as deep as the Eagles so the Birds have a chance to wear them down. I think the Eagles win and cover this game at home.
Eagles 33, Commanders 24
Mike Mulhern (3-0)
There’s no doubt the Eagles haven’t forgotten their last home game against the Commanders. It was the first blemish on their run to the Super Bowl. That Monday night, Washington played ball-control football to keep the Eagles high-powered offense off the field and managed to force four turnovers that proved extremely costly. This time the Eagles are coming off a short week and it’s a division game, but I just don’t see any way the Commanders can do it again. Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, and the best run defense in football aren’t going to allow them any room to run. Plus, it’ll be turnover machine Sam Howell under center this year and not Taylor Heinike.
If I’m Nick Sirianni, I’m running the Tush Push/Brotherly Shove on the very first play of the game after Commanders Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said it’s “not a football play.” Set the tone early and don’t look back. Lean on the offensive line and let D’Andre Swift run wild on a defense giving up almost 130 yards per game on the ground. And if Del Rio decides to commit more resources to stopping the run? It’ll be a field day for DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown.
Eagles 34, Commanders 17