Eagles at Washington Preview- Week 1, 2020-21

A photo taken during the Eagles' limited 2020 training camp.

bleedinggreennation.com

A photo taken during the Eagles’ limited 2020 training camp.

Thomas Tait '22, Editor-in-Chief

On Sunday, September 13, 2020, most of the NFL (Kansas City and Houston played this past Thursday) will take the field for the first time in more than seven months. Following an offseason that contained more questions than answers because of COVID-19, this season will be one of the most unpredictable in league history. No rookie minicamps, a shortened and restricted training camp, and no preseason, has already led to a bewildering situation heading into this season.  

Perhaps one of the teams that has been most hurt by these new rules from the NFL and NFLPA is the Philadelphia Eagles: a team that is coming into the 2020 season with new acquisitions on both sides of the ball that will be relied upon to make an impact. Even further, injuries have already begun piling up for Philly, with right guard Brandon Brooks (torn Achilles) and left tackle Andre Dillard (torn bicep) out for the season. Going into Week 1 against the Washington Football Team, the final injury report had significant contributors on the list, including DT Javon Hargrave (Out), WR Alshon Jeffery (Out), DE Derek Barnett (Out), RT Lane Johnson (Questionable), and RB Miles Sanders (Out).  

So knowing this, how does this Eagles team fare for Week 1 against the newly rebranded Washington Football Team? The Eagles head into this game with a lot of question marks and uncertainty, but Washington seems to have even more: a new coach in Ron Rivera, a young and inexperienced QB in sophomore Dwayne Haskins, and turnover and turmoil within the organization over the past couple months.  

The Eagles have clear advantages at many positions, but the game will come down to how well the injured Eagles offensive line can hold up against a ferocious Washington front featuring rookie Chase YoungIf the Eagles o-line can’t hold up, Washington can keep it close and put themselves in a position to win it late.  

However, the rest of the matchups aren’t quite as optimistic for Washington. The remaining members of the Eagles offense matches up well with the Washington defense, with Philly having the weapons to blast a hole in the defense. If the Eagles can get Wentz and his receivers going early, it opens up the opportunity for Boston Scott and Corey Clement to start cutting through a defense on their back foot from the beginning.  

On the opposite side of the ball, the Philly defense shouldn’t have much trouble with a young and inexperienced Washington offense. The Eagles need pressure more than anything on the defensive side of the ball. If they can manage to force Haskins into rushed, panicked mistakes, the Eagles will win this game handedlyDarius Slay has the tools to lock up the explosive Terry McLaurin, and the running back room in Landover has gotten weaker following the release of Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson, with the team relying on Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Bryce Love, and Peyton Barber to make their plays.  

The Eagles should win this game. They are the better team, with a more prepared and deeper roster. However, the Washington Football Team can keep this game close if they can abuse the shaky Eagles offensive line. This game will be close going into halftime while both teams get their footing, but the Eagles will pull away late behind some explosive plays from Carson Wentz, with Washington getting a garbage time touchdown to make the final score look closer than the game really was.  

My final score prediction: Philadelphia 28, Washington 17.