The last time the Eagles and Redskins met on Monday Night Football, Michael Vick connected with Desean Jackson for an 88-yard touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage. Vick would then follow that with one of the most memorable Monday night performances ever, as he became the first player in NFL history with at least 300 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game. However, while it has only been three years since that game, both teams have reloaded their rosters and bring new weapons to the table. This is a matchup filled with great matchups. Lets take a look.
Chip Kelly vs. Mike Shanahan
New head coach Chip Kelly is looking to employ his offense that led the Oregon Ducks to a 12-1 2012 season. Meanwhile, Coach Mike Shanahan is preparing his defensive squad for this new Eagles offense by having them watch Oregon Ducks game tape. Coach Kelly unveiled parts of his offense during the pre season and we saw what we expected from an offense led by him. It was fast. And when I say that, I mean they rarely huddled. That is vintage Chip Kelly. The classic no-huddle, two minute drill, turned into the 60-minute drill. The Eagles were seen running a lot of read-options as well as lots of draws, and after each one the defense had only seconds to get ready for the next. Although they looked impressive in the pre- season, as they were efficient and for the most part error free, if you think Mike Shanahan and his defense haven’t thought up a steady game plan to counter the uniqueness of Coach Kelly’s offense, you are sadly mistaken.
Michael Vick vs. Robert Griffin III
The last time these teams met, an aging Donavon McNabb was at quarterback for an offense that struggled to stay on the field for longer than three plays. Nowadays, that is not the case. Despite an off-season full of distractions surrounding Robert Griffin III’s rehabilitated knee, he is going to be at the helm come Monday night. The man that he will be attempting to out perform is Michael Vick. Michael Vick reminds me of the very first iPhone. He was brand new, something nobody had ever seen before. He was a quarterback who was fast enough to be a wide receiver, but still had the arm and instincts to play quarterback. Are you kidding me? On the other hand, there is Robert Griffin III, A.K.A. “RGIII”, A.K.A. the iPhone 5. He is a replica of Michael Vick, but fresher and a bit refined. Now, like the iPhone 5, the unique skill sets of Vick and Griffin are not abnormalities, as the NFL is producing mass amounts of them (Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick). Technically, this is not really a matchup because there will not be any point in the game where Vick and RGIII will be on the field simultaneously. However, the two are so eerily similar and there are question marks surrounding both quarterbacks. If the Redskins can get a solid ground game established early on, Griffin’s transition back into the game of football will be greatly aided. Do not expect to see Griffin exposed in this game. He will not be extending plays like we are used to seeing, but more so a pocket passer, which is something RGIII is more than capable of doing. When it comes to Michael Vick, the question remains, which Michael Vick is going to show up? Is he going to force throws resulting in turnovers, or is he going to trust his O-line and make quick, precise throws? Both offenses have the talent to put up gaudy numbers; it’s going to be up to Vick and RGIII to get the season started off right.
Desean Jackson vs. Redskins Secondary
Jeremy Maclin, Michael Vick’s favorite target is out for the year with a torn ACL. This means Desean Jackson is going to be heavily targeted. Last season, Jackson found the end zone just twice and only eclipsed the 100 yard receiving mark in two games. Chip Kelly’s new offense is going to be featuring a lot of Desean Jackson’s dynamic skill set as he attempts to bounce back after a disappointing 2012 campaign. Jackson is one of the smallest players in the league as he stands at 5’10 and weighs only 175 pounds. But it’s his quickness and speed that make him so dangerous. While the Redskins defense was stout against the run last season, ranking fifth in the league in run defense, they had a tough time against the pass as they ranked 30th in pass defense. If the Eagles can get the run game going with Shady McCoy, look for Desean Jackson to slip by the Redskins secondary for a score.
Week 1 predictions
Alfred Morris rushes for more than 100 yards
Shady McCoy has 6 receptions for 72 yards
RGIII throws three touchdowns
Michael Vick has one passing and one rushing touchdown
Redskins win 31-17
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