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Redskins-Eagles GameDay Preview


WEEK 17:
Redskins (5-10) @ Eagles (7-8)

The Redskins finish out the 2011 season on New Year's Day against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.

Lincoln Financial Field is a natural grass surface. The stadium seats 69,144.

Washington is in last place in the NFC East while Philadelphia is in third place. Both teams have been eliminated from postseason contention.

The Redskins are 2-3 in NFC East play, with their two wins coming against the New York Giants in Week 1 (28-14 at FedExField) and Week 15 (23-10 at MetLife Stadium).

The Eagles are 4-1 against NFC East teams. They defeated the Redskins in Week 6 by a 20-13 score at FedExField.

The Redskins are 3-4 in road games this season. They have won their last two road games, a 23-17 victory in Week 12 at Seattle and the 23-10 victory over the Giants in Week 15.

The Eagles are 2-5 at Lincoln Financial Field this season, including a 45-19 victory over the New York Jets in Week 15.

The Redskins have won four of the past six contests against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Redskins-Eagles game will be televised locally on FOX. Ron Pitts calls the play-by-play with analysis from Charles Davis. Drea Avent reports from the sidelines.

On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on the Redskins Radio Network. Larry Michael calls the play-by-play with former Redskins and Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff adding color commentary. Former Redskin Rick 'Doc' Walker reports from the sidelines.


**Pos.** **Redskins** **Eagles**
WR 89 Santana Moss 18 Jeremy Maclin
LT 69 Willie Smith 71 Jason Peters
LG 79 Maurice Hurt 69 Evan Mathis
C 63 Will Montgomery 62 Jason Kelce
RG 66 Chris Chester 63 Danny Watkins
RT 77 Jammal Brown 79 Todd Herremans
TE 82 Logan Paulsen 87 Brent Celek
WR 10 Jabar Gaffney 10 DeSean Jackson
QB 8 Rex Grossman 7 Michael Vick
FB 36 Darrel Young 32 Owen Schmitt
RB 29 Roy Helu 29 LeSean McCoy

**Pos.** **Redskins** **Eagles**
DE 94 Adam Carriker 93 Jason Babin
NT/DE 96 Barry Cofield 97 Cullen Jenkins
DE/DT 72 Stephen Bowen 98 Mike Patterson
LB/DE 91 Ryan Kerrigan 58 Trent Cole
LB 59 London Fletcher 59 Brian Rolle
LB 56 Perry Riley 51 Jamar Chaney
LB 98 Brian Orakpo 56 Akeem Jordan
CB 23 DeAngelo Hall 22 Asante Samuel
CB 26 Josh Brown 24 Nnamdi Asomugha
SS 37 Reed Doughty 42 Kurt Coleman
FS 24 DeJon Gomes 29 Nate Allen

**Pos.** **Redskins** **Eagles**
P 6 Sav Rocca 8 Chas Henry
K 4 Graham Gano 6 Alex Henery
H 6 Sav Rocca 8 Chas Henry
LS 57 Nick Sundberg 46 Jon Dorenbos
KOR 16 Brandon Banks 28 Dion Lewis
PR 16 Brandon Banks 10 DeSean Jackson


Washington and Philadelphia have met a total of 155 times during their long rivalry, which dates back to 1934. They have played a home-and-home series every year since 1936.

The Redskins hold the series edge at 79-70-6. Since 2000, the Eagles have won 15 of 23 games.

In Week 6 earlier this season, Philadelphia defeated Washington 20-13 at FedExField. The Eagles jumped out to a 20-0 first-half lead, with quarterback Michael Vick throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek and running back LeSean McCoy adding a 1-yard touchdown run. McCoy finished the game with 126 rushing yards.

Rex Grossman threw four interceptions -- three to safety Kurt Coleman -- and he was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of John Beck.

Last year, Philadelphia and Washington split the season series. In Week 10 last year, on Monday Night Football, the Eagles defeated the Redskins 59-28 in one of the more lopsided games in the series. In Week 4, the Redskins defeated the Eagles 17-12 at Lincoln Financial Field in Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia.

In 2009, the Eagles defeated the Redskins twice: 27-17 in Week 7 at FedExField and 27-24 in Week 12 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Redskins and Eagles have clashed once in the postseason, with Washington winning 20-6 on Jan. 4, 1991 at Veterans Stadium in the Wild Card playoff round.


**Offense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Offense 16 334.0
Rushing Offense 26 98.9
Passing Offense 14 235.1
**Defense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Defense 13 336.5
Rushing Defense 19 120.6
Passing Defense 11 215.9

**Offense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Offense 3 399.7
Rushing Offense 5 146.7
Passing Offense 10 253.0
**Defense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Defense 8 321.4
Rushing Defense 14 111.4
Passing Defense 8 210.0


Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon was on the Redskins' roster during 2009 training camp and preseason, but was released by the team in final roster cuts. He originally joined the Redskins as an undrafted rookie in May 2009. Dixon is currently on the Eagles' injured reserve list.

Cornerback Domonique "D.J." Johnson had a stint on the Redskins' roster earlier this season. He joined the roster on Nov. 8 and was released on Nov. 29. He did not see any game action in that span.

Director of pro personnel Louis Riddick served as director of pro personnel and pro scout with the Redskins from 2001-07.


-- On the Pro Bowl

The NFC and AFC Pro Bowl rosters were announced on Dec. 27 and the Redskins did not have any players on the NFC squad.

Unless the Redskins' Pro Bowl alternates are added to the squad in the coming weeks, it would be the first time since 1993 that the team did not have a Pro Bowl representative.

Linebacker London Fletcher is the most obvious snub from the Redskins' candidates. He currently leads the NFL in tackles with 163.

"It's not surprising," Fletcher said. "We need a better record than 5-10. The teams that win typically get more players in the Pro Bowl."

Fletcher had made the Pro Bowl each of the last two years but he earned it after other players had to pull out of the game.

In recent weeks Fletcher admitted he hoped to get voted into the squad this year.

"I was probably disappointed for maybe an hour or two when the results came out, but after that I was just thankful that I can still play at a high level," he said. "People still consider me worthy of the Pro Bowl. I've done what I can do and I can control what I can control.

"I try to play the game the right way and play with passion. I go hard each and every play. I prepare every week the same. It comes down to, we just need to win more games. That's the bottom line."

The Eagles, 7-8 heading into the regular season finale, had three Pro Bowlers in defensive end Jason Babin, left tackle Jason Peters and running back LeSean McCoy.

-- Gaffney's Coming On

Through 15 games this season, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney has posted a team-leading 64 catches for 919 yards and five touchdowns.

He is also the only receiver, and one of just three players on offense, who has started every game this season.

Gaffney has been particularly productive the last two weeks.

In the Redskins' 23-10 win over the New York Giants in Week 15, he posted six catches for 86 yards, including several clutch third- and fourth-down grabs.

Last Saturday vs. Minnesota, he had six catches for 77 yards, including a remarkable one-handed touchdown catch.

"Jabar has been healthy and he has been a consistent route runner, consistent catching the ball," quarterback Rex Grossman said. "That's all you can ask for. He has a lot of talent. He's a big receiver who knows exactly where to sit in zones. We're on the same page."

Gaffney has set career highs in receiving yards and touchdowns this season. With another 81 yards, he can register the first 1,000-yard campaign of his career.

"That would be great -- my first 1,000-yard season comes back with Rex," Gaffney mused. "We're on the same page, he looks for me, and that was one of my personal goals when I came here this season. It would be nice if I can finally do it."

-- Redskins' Youth Movement Is Underway

Last April, the Redskins set a franchise record for picks in a seven-round draft with 12. As of Week 12 of the season, 10 of the 12 picks had received playing time, the highest total in the NFL.

First-round linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has started every game this season, compiling 66 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles.

Second-round defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins' season ended on injured reserve in preseason. Third-round wide receiver was also placed on injured reserve after he caught 13 passes for 163 yards in four games.

Fourth-round running back Roy Helu is the Redskins' breakout player of the second half of the seaso. He rushed for 100+ yards in Weeks 11-13, becoming the first Redskins rookie ever to do so in three consecutive weeks. He also caught a franchise record 14 passes for 105 yards in Week 9.

Fifth-rounders safety DeJon Gomes and wide receiver Niles Paul have seen action in reserve roles this season.

Sixth-round running back Evan Royster saw his first significant NFL action last week vs. Minnesota. He started the game and rushed for 132 yards on 19 carres. He also caught two passes for 15 yards,

Seventh-round guard Maurice Hurt has emerged as the starting left guard since Week 8. Fellow seventh rounders cornerback Brandyn Thompson, linebacker Markus White and defensive tackle Chris Neild have seen action as backups.

Along with Jenkins, only sixth-round wide receiver Aldrick Robinson has not seen playing time this season. Robinson joined the Redskins' roster this week after serving on the practice squad all season.

-- Smith's Specials

Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith served as special teams coach with the Eagles from 1995-96. He was later named Eagles defensive backs coach from 1997-98.

Smith has been with the Redskins since 2004. This year, his special teams unit has established itself as one of the league's premiere coverage units.

The Redskins rank first in the NFC and second in the NFL in kickoff coverage with an average of 20.8 yards allowed per return.

The unit has once again been led by special teams stalwart Lorenzo Alexander. The Redskins' two-time reigning Special Teams Player of the Year has a team-high 20 tackles.

"He's a matchup nightmare for a lot of people because of his size, speed, attention to detail and technique," Smith said.

Kick returner Brandon Banks has a league-leading 49 kickoff returns for 1,121 yards. He is one of three in the league to reach the 1,000-yard plateau this season.

-- 'Rocc'-Star

Sav Rocca, the Redskins' 37-year-old Australian punter, began his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007.

He is off to a strong start in his first year in Washington. Overall, he is averaging 43.6 yards per punt.

He is fourth in the NFL with 26 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

Rocca enters Week 17 with a 39.7-yard net punting average, which if maintained would be the highest average in Redskins franchise history. Matt Turk currently hold the single-season record for net punting, having averaged 39.2 net yards in both 1996 and 1997.

"Net is really the team stat that we look at after my punt," Rocca explained. "If I give it as much hang time as possible for these guys to get down there, then they're not going to have any return yards."

Rocca has had just one touchback on his punts this season, which is also among the league's best.

-- How the Redskins' 53-Man Roster Was Built

The Redskins have 20 players on the roster that the team drafted, including this year's first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan .

Washington has used free agency to acquire 25 players, including Mike Sellers in 2004, London Fletcher in 2007, DeAngelo Hall in 2008, Rex Grossman in 2010 and Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen in 2011.

Four Redskins players were acquired as undrafted rookie free agents. This group includes cornerback Byron Westbrook, wide receiver Brandon Banks, tight end Logan Paulsen and offensive tackle Willie Smith

The team has acquired six players via trade: Santana Moss (Jets) in 2005, John Beck (Ravens), Jammal Brown (Saints) and Adam Carriker (Rams) in 2010 and Jabar Gaffney (Broncos) and Tim Hightower (Cardinals) in 2011.

-- London Calling

London Fletcher has been one of the NFL's most consistent and productive defensive players throughout his 14-year career.

That continued this season, his fifth in the nation's capital. The 5-foot-10, 245-pound Fletcher has earned Pro Bowl berths each of the last two years.

Fletcher enters this Sunday's game with a streak of 177 consecutive starts, second-best among active players behind Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber (197).

Fletcher has played in 223 consecutive games, which is tied with Barber for most in the league.

This year also marks the 14th straight in which Fletcher has recorded at least 100 tackles, dating back to 1999 when he was in his second season with the St. Louis Rams.

-- Redskins' Strength of Schedule

The Redskins have the NFL's 29th toughest schedule in 2011, according to the NFL. (Or, in other words, the Redskins have the NFL's fourth easiest schedule.)

The Redskins' opponents for the 2011 season produced a 121-135 record last year, a .473 winning percentage.

Only the Arizona Cardinals (.441), Baltimore Ravens (.457) and San Francisco 49ers (.465) have easier schedules than the Redskins.

The Redskins play six games against teams who finished .500 or better in 2010. They play five games against 2010 playoff opponents.

In the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys have the 15th toughest schedule (.504), the Philadelphia Eagles have the 17th toughest schedule (.504) and the New York Giants have the 23rd toughest schedule.

-- Shanahan Files

With the Redskins' Week 15 win over the New York Giants, Mike Shanahan recorded his 165th career win (regular season and postseason) as a head coach.

Shanahan's career record is 165-123, a .575 winning percentage. That win total is 15th best among all-time NFL head coaches. He surpassed Bill Cowher with the Redskins' Week 2 win over Arizona.

Shanahan has won games against every NFL opponent.

Among active head coaches, Shanahan's record is second only to New England's Bill Belichick, who has a 189-103 record.

Against the Eagles, Shanahan is 3-3 all-time, including 1-1 at Lincoln Financial Field.

-- Reid vs. Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid is in his 13th season as head coach. He is the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL.

Overall, Reid has posted a 135-90-1 record and guided the club to nine postseason berths, including from 2008-10.

Against the Redskins, Reid has a 16-9 mark. He won seven consecutive games against the Redskins from Dec. 16, 2001 through Dec. 12, 2004.

-- Grossman And 300

Rex Grossman's 314-yard passing performance in the Redskins' Week 12 win over the Seattle Seahawks was his fifth career 300-yard passing game.

Four of his five 300-yard games have come in his time with the Redskins.

Grossman passed for 322 yards on Dec. 19, 2010 against the Dallas Cowboys, 336 yards on Jan. 2 against the Giants and 305 yards also against the Giants on Sept. 11 to go along with his 314-yard passing performance vs. Seattle.

-- International Redskins

The Redskins have three players on the roster who were born outside the United States.

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe was born in Windsor, Ontario.

Kicker Graham Gano was born in Arbroath, Scotland.

Punter Sav Rocca was born in Melbourne, Australia.

-- What's Next?

The Redskins' regular season comes to an end. Head coach Mike Shanahan conducts his year-end press conference on Monday afternoon from Redskins Park. Position coaches and players hold exit interviews in the days following the Eagles game.

And then the long offseason begins. Team officials will chart a course to upgrade the roster in both free agency and the NFL Draft.

By virtue of finishing in last place, the Redskins' 2012 opponents are as follows: home and away vs. NFC East, the four teams in the NFC South, the four teams in the AFC North, and the Minnesota Vikings at home and the St. Louis Rams on the road.

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