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Lots On The Line


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Lots On The Line

Posted: January 1st, 2022 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

The Washington Football Team is 6-9 and coming off a 42-point loss. But this is the insane 2021 NFL season and that means they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. They have to upset the Eagles on Sunday, beat the hapless Giants next week and cheer for a few specific outcomes of other NFC games. This team shouldn’t be sniffing the playoffs, but they are.

Combine that with the humiliation of last week’s loss to the Cowboys and you can bet Washington will be one motivated football team. This week will be their Super Bowl.

Some people don’t agree with me and see the blowout loss as a sign that the team has given up. Ron Rivera is a veteran NFL coach and he’s still got some good players. I expect Rivera to push the right buttons to get his guys fired up and ready to play. Their issues will be more a lack of talent than a lack of motivation.

The Eagles are the better team and should win this game. It would be great to see them break their recent habit of falling behind early and then dominating the second half. We haven’t seen a complete game out of the Eagles in a while. Sunday would be a good time to change that. If you do get a lead on WFT, they just might go into shutdown mode.

Since the X-factor these days is Covid, let’s start there.


The Eagles will have all their DEs, making it interesting that they elevated Malveaux. I wonder if he’ll play over Ryan Kerrigan. Malveaux showed more last week than Kerrigan has all year. Malveaux is bigger, younger and has fresh legs. We knew Kerrigan was a declining player, but he’s gone off the cliff this year.

One non-move that caught my eye was not elevating any RBs. That could be a sign that Jordan Howard is good to go. If so, that’s huge. A combination of Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell and Howard is enough to keep the ground game going at a high level.

Overall, the Eagles are a healthy team. They have no excuses if they can’t win this game.

As for WFT…


They’ll be missing Gibson, who is their best offensive player, as well as a pair of starting OL. They are thin at CB and will be without their stud punter. Washington will be without some key pieces once again.

They will have QB Taylor Heinecke this time out. Heinecke moves well and has playmaking ability. The Eagles tend to struggle more with pocket passers, but Heinecke can make a difference becaue of his willingness to take chances and ability to make plays.

With a couple of OL out, the Eagles DL needs to come up big. This would be a great time to have 6 or 7 sacks, but I’ll settle for regular pressure. The Eagles have been shutting down bad offenses recently. Washington hasn’t scored more than 20 points in five weeks. They only went above 300 yards once in that span. This would seem to be a team the Eagles should shut down.

Last week the Eagles got good performances out of Rodney McLeod, Alex Singleton and Genard Avery. Was that an anomaly because the Giants offense is so horrible or are the non-stars of the D starting to make plays?

I’m really curious about the Eagles offense. They just faced Washington a couple of weeks back. Washington had no answer for the Eagles run game and it was frustrating for them. That spilled over to last week’s game, with the sideline "punch” thrown by one DL at another DL. Rivera and DC Jack Del Rio will try to come up with something to stop the Eagles ground game.

Can Jalen Hurts win by throwing? He threw the ball really well in the first meeting so that bodes well for him, but this will be a different game. You can’t automatically count on that result happening again. WFT got to see the Eagles scheme in action and will have adjustments.

The Eagles will have Landon Dickerson back at LG and will make some adjustments of their own. This game will be a good test for the coaching staff. By the end of the season, there aren’t a lot of surprises. The game boils down to execution and small tweaks. We’ll see which coaching staff has more answers.

I thought last Sunday would be run, run, run and run some more. Instead, the Eagles came out throwing. You could see this as bad coaching by Nick Sirianni or him trying to work on the Eagles passing game. At some point, they will have to throw the ball, beyond just screens and play-action passes.

WFT is better against the run than the pass so this might be a week to throw the ball around. This would be the old school plan of throwing early to build a lead and then running late to put the game away.

No matter what plan of attack the Eagles choose, Jalen Hurts must protect the ball better. He’s been sloppy in recent weeks. The Eagles overcame his mistakes outside of the first Giants game, but this trend must stop or the Eagles aren’t going to do much when they do play a good team.

A win by the Eagles moves them closer to clinching a playoff spot. They could even have that wrapped up by Sunday night.


A loss would keep WFT alive and have Eagles fans saying WTF!?!

After the team’s 2-5 start and last year’s 4-11-1 disaster, it is exciting to have a big game late in the year. Now let’s hope the Eagles show up and play like a winning team.


Need to get fired up?

The Jason Kelce speech in this video (half at the beginning and half at the end) is fantastic. My love for him grows every year. Philly legend.



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I'm worried about this one I have to say. We are a better team but this is a division game and they are coming off a bad loss. At home I think they'll be fired up to really go out there and play well. 

Hurts isn't 100% with the ankle and now we have Sanders out and Howard an injury concern. That's going to impact the run game to some extent even if the main reason for our run success is the OL.

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