The NFC East is turning out to be the NFL’s most competitive division in the 2016 season, and a Week 6 matchup could go a long way in determining the ultimate winner. The Philadelphia Eagles visit the Washington Redskins on Sunday with both teams no more than one game out of first place.
Philadelphia had their first misstep in Week 5, losing to the Detroit Lions and dropping to 3-1. Washington won their third game in a row, winning on the road against the Baltimore Ravens and improving to 3-2. With oddsmakers naming the Eagles as two-point favorites, the game features the second-smallest line on the Week 6 schedule. The over/under is 45.
For the Eagles, it’s their first divisional game of the year. The Redskins have already lost to the Dallas Cowboys, who sit atop the NFC East at 4-1. Washington beat the 2-3 New York Giants, who occupy sole possession of last place.
If the Eagles of the first three weeks show up in Washington, they will be very difficult to beat. They boasted a top defense, and quarterback Carson Wentz looked like a future All-Pro. But Philadelphia allowed 24 points last week, and the rookie threw his first career interception in the loss.
A closer look at Philadelphia’s first defeat, however, indicates that they could bounce back in Week 6. The Eagles’ defense only struggled for one half in Detroit, and the Lions’ only second-half points came after the team kicked a field goal following a Ryan Mathews fumble in Philadelphia territory. Matthew Stafford was limited to just 180 passing yards, and the Lions were limited to three yards per carry.
Wentz had another strong game, posting a 102.8 passer rating with 238 yards and two touchdowns. He was picked off on Philadelphia’s last play of the game when he threw a desperation heave deep into Detroit territory, looking for a big gain in the final seconds.
The Redskins have allowed just 30 points in their last two games, but it will be difficult for them to keep up that pace against the Eagles. Washington gave up 20 points to the Cleveland Browns’ No.3 quarterback, and they were fortunate to only give up 10 points to Baltimore. The Ravens failed to convert on multiple fourth downs, and they averaged 6.2 yards per rush.
Washington ranks 27th in total defense, and it’ll be up to Kirk Cousins to keep the Redskins in the game against the league’s No.2 defense. The quarterback continues to complete a high percentage of his passes, but his mistakes have cost Washington against good teams. He was picked off three times in the first two games as the Redskins lost to the Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. Cousins has performed better in the last three games against subpar competition.
The Redskins don’t have much of a running game, ranking 25th in yards on the ground. Unless they can force multiple turnovers, Washington won’t be able to score enough points to steal a victory against the Eagles.
Prediction: Philadelphia over Washington, 24-17