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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

Prediction: WAS 10, PHI 23

The Eagles stumble home after an opening loss in Green Bay while the Redskins managed an overtime win over the visiting Fins. On paper this should be an Eagles win since they swept the Redskins last year, winning 27-3 in Philadelphia during week 10 and later on the road 21-19 in week 14. But McNabb is clearly not the 2006 version and the Redskins defense has improved.

Washington Redskins (1-0)
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 16-13 -3 35
2 @PHI 17-Sep +7 40
3 NYG 23-Sep SUN 4:15 PM
4 BYE - - -
5 DET 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 @GB 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 ARI 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @NE 28-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
9 @NYJ 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 PHI 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @DAL 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @TB 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 BUF 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CHI 6-Dec THU 8:15 PM
15 @NYG 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @MIN 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DAL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
WAS at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 30   200
RB Clinton Portis 60,1 10  
RB LaDell Betts 30 20  
TE Chris Cooley   40  
WR Santana Moss   40  
WR Antwaan Randle El   70  
WR Brandon Lloyd   20  
PK Shaun Suisham 1 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: The Redskins had the good fortune to open their season at home against a team that is rebuilding and even then it required overtime to win. Now they get to travel to Philadelphia where they lost by 24 points last year. The Dolphins brought a solid defense and yet the Skins still produced decent offense even if the points were lacking. This will be a better test than last week to see if the Skins really are any better than last year.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell only completed 12 of 21 passes for 222 yards and two interceptions against the aggressive secondary of the Dolphins last week and what was more troublesome was that he didn't use Cooley at all but instead exploited a nice match-up that Antwaan Randle El had. The Skins have struggled with passing the last few years since Santana Moss was the only wideout apparently capable of a nice game and while Randle El now has stepped up, no other receiver did much of anything. Campbell only has a handful of starts to his credit so far and will improve. Just maybe not this week.

Campbell threw for 182 yards and one score against the visiting Eagles last year.

Running Backs: There is no doubt now that the Skins will be using a committee backfield from now on. Both Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts had exactly 17 carries last week with Portis gaining 98 yards and one score and Betts turning in 59 yards. The two combined for only one catch which was less than last year but it was only one game against solid linebackers.

Betts was the starter during both meetings against the Eagles last year and ran for 83 yards on the road and later 171 yards at home. He never scored.

Wide Receivers: While Santana Moss has been the best wideout for the Redskins for a couple of seasons now, he only managed three receptions for 28 yards last week. But Antwaan Randle El had a career best game when he caught five passes for 162 yards. Campbell has been playing more attention to Randle El than Brunell ever did. He had six catches for 85 yards and a score from Campbell in the last meeting with the Eagles. Moss never had more than 34 yards in either game.

Tight Ends: The second year of the "KC-Style" offense was supposed to increase the use of Chris Cooley but the first game only had him with three targets and one catch for ten yards. It was only one game against a solid defense but Cooley was rarely in the sights of Campbell last week.

Cooley never had more than 46 yards against the Eagles in 2006 and never scored.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles had little trouble with Brandon Jackson last week but Betts and Portis are far better. Then again, the Eagles are back at home for their opener and will want to make amends for their bad showing last week. Look for only moderate rushing numbers here that will be split up anyway. Also a decent chance for one rushing score.

The Eagles held Favre to just 206 yards last week and at home the results should be about the same against Campbell. Cooley should have a much better game here and the Eagles lost CB Lito Shepherd to a sprained MCL this week. He would have matched against Randle El who now gets the replacement. Moss should be kept in check but once again, Randle El gets the better match-up that will be more heavily exploited. Since Shepherd is out, the safety help may go here and negate any advantage.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 19 5 14 31 6 24
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 6 6 10 21 27 28


Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 13-16 -3 43.5
2 WAS 17-Sep -7 40
3 DET 23-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
4 @NYG 30-Sep SUN 8:15 PM
5 BYE - - -
6 @NYJ 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 CHI 21-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
8 @MIN 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 DAL 4-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
10 @WAS 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 MIA 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @NE 25-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
13 SEA 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 NYG 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @DAL 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @NO 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 BUF 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
PHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 10   230,2
RB Brian Westbrook 70 60,1  
TE L.J. Smith   20  
WR Reggie Brown   70,1  
WR Kevin Curtis   50  
WR Jason Avant   20  
PK David Akers 2 XP 3 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Eagles defense played pretty well last week and was not given much help by the offense. Quite a turnaround from last year and a sign that McNabb is not nearly as healed as he was last year. Westbrook was just as good as ever but the passing game went into the tank against the Packers last week. Fortunately the Eagles have a very nice three game stretch before their bye week - WAS, DET and @NYG which should get McNabb back in shape. He better - the schedule turns rather dark for much of the rest of the season.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb opened his 2006 season with 314 yards and three scores against the Texans. This year? He only managed to complete 15 of 33 passes for 184 yards and one score with one interception. He looked out of synch with his receivers and while he ran four times it was more about desperation and he only gained nine yards in Green Bay. This week should be a much easier time but McNabb is clearly bothered by a knee not fully healed and it is affecting his passing.

McNabb threw for 222 yards and one score when the Skins visited last season.

Running Backs: While the passing game suffered last week, Brian Westbrook was in good form when he ran for 85 yards on 20 carries and added six catches for 46 more yards. He ran for 113 yards and added 37 yards on three catches in Philly last year when the Skins showed up. He had 126 total yards in the road game though he never scored in either.

Wide Receivers: This unit was the biggest disappointment last week though it was not completely their fault. Reggie Brown had six passes but only managed to catch one for 14 yards. Kevin Curtis was little better with just two receptions for 53 yards. The Packers corners had little trouble keeping up with them and slot receiver Jason Avant ended up the lead wideout with three catches for 54 yards and the lone passing score. This has to improve or the offense will get no better. Westbrook cannot do it alone.

Donte Stallworth was the big receiver last year against the Skins. He scored in both meetings and had six catches for 139 yards in the home meeting. Brown only managed two catches for 38 yards in that game.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith is still bothered by his groin injury but played last week and had two catches for 14 yards. No other tight end even had a pass.

Match Against the Defense: Philly playing at home after a disappointing season opener should be the recipe for a far better game than last week. The Dolphins were unable to mount a rushing attack but had incredibly bad blocking. Westbrook is a dual threat and Chatman and Brown combined for 12 catches and 88 yards last week. Westbrook will be fine here.

McNabb needs a solid game badly and should bounce back this week. He's not going to rise to the heights of last year this week but will improve and throw for a couple of scores here. It won't really prove that McNabb is back so much as just show the power of playing at home. Brown should draw Fred Smoot on most plays and he's a gambler that can be beaten. Look for a bounce back game from Brown here as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 18 18 15 30 19 14
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 18 12 13 27 18 16

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