Redskins-Eagles Preview: Can Carson Wentz Light Up the Washington Defense?

The Redskins’ zone defense may be pressed by the Eagles’ multi-route combinations on Monday night.
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Three things to watch as Washington visits Philadelphia on Monday Night Football...

1. With so much excitement over Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff and especially Patrick Mahomes, America seems to be forgetting Carson Wentz’s place in the discussion for NFL’s best young quarterback. From a standpoint of long-term potential, Wentz still leads it, even if Mahomes shows the early makings of an all-time great. Wentz runs an expansive offense and plays with near-perfect fundamentals. His improvised playmaking ability is top-notch, and more importantly, so is his pocket poise, where he always keeps his eyes downfield when avoiding pass rushers. Central to all of this is Wentz’s arm strength, which allows him to make difficult throws from various platforms.

2. The Redskins knew there’d be blowback for claiming ex-49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (who is now on the Commissioner’s Exempt list). They’re willing to endure it because offenses have realized that their incumbent Foster linebacker, eighth-year veteran Mason Foster, can’t run. Foster is stout in confined areas but struggles in space, which is partly why the Redskins, who allowed just 80 yards rushing a game through Week 8, have given up an average of 135.5 yards on the ground over their last four outings.

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3. At their core, Washington remains a zone-based defense, though dating back to last season and early this season, there were stretches where they’d predominantly play man-to-man. We could see that again Monday night, as Philadelphia is one of the league’s best at exploiting zone coverages with multi-receiver route combinations.

Bold prediction: Eagles stud right tackle Lane Johnson will give up multiple sacks to Redskins defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, who has the NFL’s best “long-arm” pass rushing move.

Score prediction: Eagles 26, Redskins 17