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Eagle game plans: our strategy vs their strategy

Atlanta Skins Fan

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I think it would be interesting to put on a coach's hat and think what the Redskin and Eagle game plans should be. I'll go first.

Redskin offensive strategy:

Run first to set up pass. With the Redskins OL soft in the center, use sweeps and reverses to spread the field and set up blocking mismatches. Challenge the replacement DE by rushing straight at him. Then, whenever the safeties cheat up to support the run defense, strike deep on play action passes. Find out how to get the MLB in coverage, then attack his spot.

Redskin defensive strategy:

Champ and Smoot in man coverage. LaVar as McNabb spy, playing *off* the LOS. Stunts and delayed blitzes against the replacement guard. Blitzes from everyone *except* LaVar, with LaVar waiting as spy to pursue McNabb when flushed and finish him.

Eagle offensive strategy:

Screens and reverses to counter over-aggressive Redskin pursuit. If LaVar plays the line, hold him and hurt him, and run right at him. Attack Trotter and make him look bad. Find out how to get Shade and Terrell in coverage, then attack that spot. Be physical against Smoot and Green -- punch them early, even if a flag is taken. If Redskins play zone, find intermediate seams and attack for short gains. Find a way to feature Freeman early, to get him up and into game. Challenge Redskin pursuit with McNabb scrambles, but avoid LaVar.

Eagle defensive strategy:

Play man coverage with deep safety help. Blitz up middle and blow up Moore right at the snap. Wherever Flemister lines up at TE, blitz and stunt his spot. If Doering or Green appear, hurt them early physically. Shadow Davis and prevent cheap dump-offs. With Matthews not a threat to run, don't worry about QB containment and instead overload parts of the OL and attack. Show constantly changing looks right up to the snap.

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If I were the Redskins, I would come out and run the ball against a smaller front four, but I would also try Troy Vincent at corner. This is Vincent's first action after being on the bench the past couple of weeks and I want to see whether he is really back to 100%.

The real key to beating the Eagles defense is to keep third downs makeable, within 3 or 4 yards. That prevents them from being able to full out blitz the line.

Last year the Redskins beat the Eagles in Philly doing just that, running Davis, completing a high percentage of passes and staying away from 3rd and 15.

You don't complete too many 3rd and 15's against Johnson's defense.

On the other side of the ball, the example of what the Broncos did to the Rams last week is instructive.

Play deep and put a hat on everything that moves, especially quarterback Donovan McNabb when he scrambles out of the pocket.

To me this game, at home on Monday night against the primary division rival is a statement game for Arrington and the defense.

Time to intimidate McNabb and the Eagles' offense physically :)

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Interesting. However, I gotta disagree with what the Eagles strategy will be. The Eagles are going to run short patterns all over the field, and Chad Lewis will be McNabb's dump off guy if none of the receivers get open. The Eagles will use 3 and 4 receiver sets to spread out the defense. Then they will punch it up the middle. On defense, the Eagles strategy is simple. Blitz. The D-line will stunt and bump and run all game long to keep Matthews from setting. The Eagles will then blitz anywhere and everywhere and force Matthews to make a quick read and deliver. Since Washington is still gettng used to the new offense, it will be tough for Matthews to make these quick reads AND get the ball away.

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As far as Washington's game plan, I think it is going to be very difficult to throw against the Eagles secondary. With pass rushers in Matthews' face all night, they are going to have to run the ball more than Spurrier would probably like to. And Kirkland and Gardner kept Eddie George to 42 yards rushing last week on 18 carries. The interesting part of the Eagles secondary is that they don't match up to a receiver. Bobby Taylor plays one side while Vincent plays the other. Taylor might match up this game since Vincent is coming off of an injury...and it will probably be Gardner. Vincent will get Lockett. They might also play a couple cover 2 schemes with some nickel packages to defend against the pass.

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Redskins will look burn the Eagles early. Being MNF and at FedEx field, the HBC will probably look to hit a homerun on the first series and not let up. Especially when the Eagles blitz, blitz, blitz. Mathews has become more familiar with this system, more so than another veteran QB comming into a system that they have never seen before. With this being the 7th game of the year, I would look to see exploited mismatches being attacked on each and every read. Look for S.Davis to catch the ball accross the middle after faking a draw, a quick block, and off to the races!!

The Eagles really only have a couple of weapons that are not hurt. Of course McNabb is the factor, but look for Levens to run and Staley to catch. If McNabb can avoid the LaVarr missle attack, he might not get past the Trotter revenge. This could be a bad night for McNabb.

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I expect the Eagles to bring the house early and often. For me, the difference in the game will be how we react to this pressure. If we can slide Mathews laterally and buy our receivers a few seconds I look for the Skins to roll.

Even if Davis isn’t 100% I look for us to be able to run the ball well. Betts is a very similar back to Davis and although there is a drop off there we will have to exploit the Iggles undersized front four.

The defensive question for us is (obviously) controlling McNabb. The biggest way I think he can hurt us is running the ball and creating something out of nothing. If we can keep him in the pocket he doesn’t scare me at all.

Not really breaking new ground with these thought am I?

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Gardner and Thompson are both 6'2 + and 220, they are going to be a greater challenge to the Eagles corners because they can go up and fight for catches even when there is close coverage.

This is a big change from the Tennessee receivers who are all smurfs and can be muscled :)

Lewis will get his chances to catch the ball over the middle but with #56 waiting to put a hat on him, we will see how long he stands in there............

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