Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Scouting the Eagles | 4 things to know about Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

The Washington Football Team is headed to Philadelphia for their second straight NFC East matchup.

Washington, which still holds the second-place spot in the division, nearly overcame a 24-0 deficit against the Dallas Cowboys but fell just short in the fourth quarter, dropping to 6-7 on the season and 1-1 in the division.

The Philadelphia Eagles are coming out of their bye week after quarterback Gardner Minshew II and the Eagles took a victory over the Jets in Week 13. Philadelphia improved to 6-7 on the season, placing them third in the NFC East. The Eagles are 0-2 against division opponents this season.

Here's a few things to know about the Eagles ahead of the Week 15 game.

1. Washington must prepare for multiple options at quarterback.

Jalen Hurts is splitting reps with Minshew while he recovers from a high ankle sprain, leaving a chance for the former Jaguars quarterback to get another start. However, if Hurts is healthy, he is more than likely to suit up on Sunday. The second-year pro has thrown for 2,435 yards and 13 touchdowns. Hurts' legs have been some of his most potent weapons this season, as he adds another eight touchdowns for a total of 695 yards on the ground.

As for Minshew, the former Jacksonville Jaguar joined the Eagles in August. The quarterback hadn't seen much playing time until Week 13 when he replaced the injured Hurts. Minshew threw for two touchdowns in the Eagles win over the Jets. Washington will likely have a plan for both options throughout the week.

2. Philadelphia's top-ranked rushing offense.

The strength for this Philadelphia offense is by far the run game. The Eagles are the top rushing offense in the league, averaging 160 rush yards per game. Hurts has been the catalyst for that; he ranks 16th in the league and second among quarterbacks (only Lamar Jackson has more).

Additionally, running backs Miles Sanders and Boston Scott have also been a vital duo to the Eagles' ground game. The have combined for 863 yards and four rushing touchdowns on the season.

While the Washington defense will want to place a strong emphasis on defending against the run, there are still playmakers the Washington secondary will want to account for. Rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith is Hurts' main target with 50 receptions for over 700 yards. Tight end Dallas Goedert is also a top target with 41 receptions and just under 600 yards on the season.

3. The high points of the Eagles' defense.

The Eagles' defense has been steady throughout the season. While they don't stand out in any statistical category, they have proven they can hold their own in every facet. Philadelphia's defense has seen their greatest improvement defending against the run. Opponents average 109.4 rush yards per game, and in five of their last six matchups, they held opponents to under 100 rushing yards. When it comes to defending the passing game, the Eagles allow 227.1 yards per game.

Philadelphia hasn't had much success at pressuring the quarterback with a total of 21 sacks on the season. They also haven't forced many turnovers (13), ranking 25th in the league. However, given that there are still talented pass-rushers like Fletcher Cox on the roster, it will still be paramount for Washington to avoid being careless, especially after three of their turnovers led to 17 points against the Cowboys.

4. Some key names to know on defense.

When it comes to the Eagles' defense, one name to note will be Javon Hargrave. The defensive tackle has 7.5 sacks on the season with 1.5 sacks over the last two games. Hargraves also has 53 tackles on the season, including eight for a loss. Linebacker Alex Singleton has also been a force the Eagles leading the team with 109 tackles. In the secondary, Philadelphia has a trio of cornerbacks in Avonte Maddow, Darius Slay and Steven Nelson. The unit has combined for 5 interceptions and 20 passes defended on the season. It will be another challenge for Washington's receiving corps, which could be without several key players.

Related Content