Philadelphia Eagles (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (2-4
SU, 1-4-1 ATS), 8:30 p.m. EST, Monday, October 26, 2009, FedEx Field,
Hyattsville, Md., TV: ESPN
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Eagles -7/Redskins +7
Two teams looking to move past highly publicized and embarrassing losses last week will have the whole world watching this week to see
how they respond when the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles visit
the Washington Redskins at FexEx Field on Monday Night Football.
The Eagles traveled to the West Coast last Sunday and were stunned, along with everyone else on the planet, when the Oakland Raiders
handed them a 12-9 upset. Donovan McNabb was held to 47 percent
passing and was sacked six times, and the Eagles normally reliable
kicker David Akers missed two chip shots that proved costly in the
But as bad and embarrassing as the folks in Philly must be feeling this week, things cant get any worse then the state of affairs in
Redskins Park these days.
Fans were already revolting against the Redskins, their morbid offense, their head coach Jim Zorn and their owner Dan Snyder, but the final straw may have finally come last Sunday in the form of a
12-6 loss to Kansas City at home in FedEx Field. The Skins only had
seven first downs in a horrible display of offense (265 total yards)
against a Chiefs team that came into the game as 6.5-point underdogs
with the 29th-ranked defense in the league.
The game may be Zorns last as head coach too. It took less than 24
hours following the loss to K.C. for Snyder and his lackey GM Vinny
Cerrato to take away the play-calling duties of Zorn on offense, and
give them to veteran coach Sherman Lewis, who they hired as a
consultant only last week. Rumors are running rampant that Zorn
will be gone by the time the Redskins hit their bye week, which comes
the week following the Monday Night Football tilt.
Oddsmakers originally opened the game with the visiting Eagles as 6.5-point favorites, but when news of Zorns reduced role on offense
broke on Monday the point spread jumped to Eagles minus 7-points at
most offshore sportsbooks with a few 7.5s mixed in here and there.
The over/under total opened at 38.5 and it too had some quick line
movement early in the week, dropping a full point to 37.5 at most of
the books in Las Vegas, and a few 37 at the books offshore.
The team that figures out their issues on offense quicker is likely
to win this game, because both teams feature top-5 defenses.
The Redskins sacked Kansas Citys Matt Cassell five times and forced
the Chiefs to kick four field goals (0-for-2 in red zone), but it
still wasnt good enough for a win last Sunday. For the season the
Skins are 5th overall in yards allowed (286.5 ypg) and 5th in points
allowed at 16.0 per game.
The Eagles defense is still a dangerous, unpredictable unit that is ranked 4th overall after five games (282.8 ypg), but they have been giving up too many big plays (19.8 ppg 16th) including an 80-yard
touchdown to Oaklands tight end last weekend.
Offensively its no secret the Eagles should hold an edge, and they
do statistically (Philly 12th 351.6 ypg; Wash. 24th 294 ypg), but
coach Andy Reid and coordinator Marty Mornhingwig always seem to lose
the balance on their play-calling. Last week the Eagles called for 46
pass plays, while only calling for 12 runs (two runs by McNabb were
scrambles), so it depends on what kind of game plan the Eagles decide
to use every other week.
Predicting the offense the Redskins will run under new coordinator Lewis is a crapshoot, but it cant be too different than what theyve
been trying to do all year. Quarterback Jason Campbell was pulled at
halftime of the Chiefs game, but Todd Collins didnt do much better
so expect Campbell back in there, at least at the start.
The Redskins swept the season series last year, winning 23-17 in
Philly as 6.5-point underdogs in October, then dumping them 10-3 at
home as 4.5-point dogs in late December.
The Skins have now won three of the last four meetings, but they are
6-3-1 ATS for loyal (and crazy) bettors of the team from D.C. in the
last 10 meetings including a 3-1-1 ATS mark at home in FedEx. A few
other betting trends favor the Skins as well, including the fact the
underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five games, with the road team
sporting a 3-1-1 ATS record in the same five game span.
Both games came in under the total last season, and the under is
8-2-1 in the last 11 head-to-head meetings. The under has
traditionally been a strong play at FedEx as well, as the under is
5-1-2 in the last eight meetings in Washington (er, Maryland).
Badgers Pick: You only need to look at how these two teams played,
and lost, last week to realize that the NFL is full of surprises.
Everyone and their brother is on the side of Philly in this one,
which is a big reason Im leaning toward the Redskins here. Take
Washington plus the full touchdown 7-points.