Three Keys to Victory for the Washington Commanders against the Philadelphia Eagles

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Three Keys to Victory for the Washington Commanders against the Philadelphia Eagles

Football

Three Keys to Victory for the Washington Commanders against the Philadelphia Eagles

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Washington Commanders are major underdogs against their divisional rival, Philadelphia Eagles. After an expectedly slow start to the season, the Commanders find themselves last in the NFC East with a record of 4-5. They have struggled with injuries before and during the season, including significant injuries to Chase Young, Carson Wentz, Jahan Dotson, and Brian Robinson. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, have been dominant, crushing opposing teams and are the last undefeated team in the NFL. As in most sports, division rivalries can change the characteristics of a game and provide an extra flame fueling the underdogs, and this divisional matchup is no different. Don’t rule the Commanders out, as they can come away with a win if they emphasize a few key aspects of their matchup. 

Turn Your Weakness into a Strength

The Washington Commanders have been torched by opponent passing attacks all year. They have given up the third most number of passing touchdowns this season, and they also have the second least number of interceptions forced this season as well. The flip side to this is that the Commanders have given up the second-fewest rushing touchdowns of any team thus far. The Philadelphia Eagles have scored the most amount of rushing touchdowns in the entire NFL so far this season. The Commanders need to stop the run in the red zone and force Jalen Hurts to pass the ball in short field situations where defenses are typically more congested and are more likely to force an interception. If the Commanders can force the Eagles to play in ways that make their offense uncomfortable, the Eagles may slip up and make some mistakes along the way. 

 

Fight for Your Life in the First Half

The Eagles lead the league in first half scoring, with 20.1 points in the first half per game. The next closest team is the Buffalo Bills with 16.3 points in the first half, giving comparison for how explosive the Eagles offense has been this season. The Commanders currently have the second-fewest points in the first half per game with six. The Commanders will need to keep the game close going into halftime and cannot let this game slip away in the early stages. There is a light at the end of that tunnel, and that is because the Commanders are 13th in the league with 11.7 points per game in the second half, while the Eagles rank 26th and only score eight points per game in the second half. There is a high likelihood that the Commanders can outplay the Eagles late in the game, so it is crucial to keep things close early on.  

 

Put the Ball in Your Playmakers Hands

This Commanders team is surprisingly talented at the receiver position, as they have three players who are simply electric on the field. Terry McLaurin is your prototypical wide receiver who can do it all, excels in route running, and high pointing the ball.  Curtis Samuel is a Deebo Samuel-like gadget player who excels after the catch and can be used out of the backfield in unique offensive formations. Jahan Dotson simply has a nose for the end zone and always seems to convert some of the more difficult plays. This Eagles defense has allowed the second least amount of passing yards this season and is first in interceptions forced, so I don’t expect this to be easy. With Dotson finally expected to return from injury for his first game since Week Four, the Commanders absolutely must utilize all three of these talented receivers and put them in positions to break big plays.

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