Monday Night Football Picks: Eagles vs. Redskins

Jordan Sharp

Friday, September 6, 2013 6:22 PM GMT

Monday night will finale Week 1 of the 2013 NFL regular season, and because it’s the opening week, we get not one, but two Monday Night Football games

For this week, the Eagles and their new coach head into Landover, MD to play the Redskins, and the NFL Odds favor Washington at -3, with a total of 52. In what could be a shootout, let’s take a look at what team will have the edge going into Monday. 

Defenses; retooled and revamped 

For Washington, health on their defense is the number one concern. With the return of London Fletcher for another season, along with the comebacks of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, this defense is looking ready up front. Their secondary may be a different story, but for this game, the likelihood of the Eagles going deep in a Chip Kelly offense are less likely. Washington will get great push from their front three, all of whom are 300 + pounders. 

For the Eagles, their defense may need some work. Philly did not look great during the preseason on defense, especially stopping the run. The Eagles gave up over 134 rushing yards per game on average, including giving up over 200 yards rushing to the Jaguars in Week 3 of the preseason. In a game where the Skins will want to acclimate Robert Griffin III back slowly, the Skins will rely heavily on Alfred Morris and the running game. That spells bad news for the Eagles’ defense, because if Griffin is back to his old self or even really close to it, he might hurt them as well. Already the Redskins are looking like the play.

Last season the Skins won and covered in both of their games against the Eagles, but that isn’t saying much considering the year Philadelphia had both SU and ATS in the NFL Odds. The Eagles have such a wide ceiling and floor in this game, this season and especially on offense, that’s it’s going to be hard to handicap them. However for this game, their weakness on defense is exactly the strength of Washington, who was the #1 rushing team in the NFL in 2012. Expect a ton of ground work to not only protect their quarterback, but to wear down the Eagles’ weak defense.

The Sharp Pick

Washington has covered in six of their last ten meetings overall with the Eagles, and even though before last season the Eagles dominated this matchup, the trend took a big 180 last season, and it might be time for Washington to dominate for a while. Before their two wins last season over Philly, the Redskins were 6-15 SU in their last 21 games against the Eagles. Also before last season, the Eagles were on a four game winning and covering streak against the Redskins in Washington.

[gameodds]16/226882/?r-1=19-349-43-192/us[/gameodds]

Like last year though I think the trend has finally reversed. The Skins have the vastly superior offense and defense, and should win this game by close to, if not into double figures. With the Eagles having a rookie head coach against one of the best NFL minds in the game today in Mike Shanahan, it won’t be a contest by the second half. Lay the points with Washington, and add it to your Monday night NFL Picks.

My Pick: Redskins -3 at Bet 365