Washington vs Philadelphia keys to a week 1 upset

Washington vs Philadelphia: keys to a week 1 upset

  • 2020 nfl
  • Andre Dillard
  • Brandon Brooks
  • Chase Young
  • Jack Del Rio
  • Jason Peters
  • Lane Johnson
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Redskins Brawl
  • washington football team
  • Washington Redskins
By David Opperman September 10, 2020 0 Comment
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Following a weekend of some surprise Washington cuts including Adrian Peterson, the 53-man roster has taken shape. As Washington enters week 1 vs NFC East rival Philadelphia we certainly have more questions than answers offensively.

The defense however is quite intriguing. To be more specific the Washington defensive line unit looks loaded with both the starting 4 and the rotational players. Potentially the NFC East’s most talented front going up against this depleted offensive line unit could be key to a Week 1 NFC East upset.

With Philadelphia already down an All-Pro guard in Brandon Brooks and promising left tackle Andre Dillard, could Washington’s defense line feast week 1?

Ryan Kerrigan vs Lane Johnson

Lane Johnson is regarded as a top right tackle in the NFL. He is a three-time Pro-Bowler who also received All-Pro honors in 2017. He has been a reliable mainstay for the Philadelphia Eagles and will come into this matchup 100% healthy.

While Johnson has been impressive in his NFL career, he’s been pedestrian vs Ryan Kerrigan. In 16 games vs the Eagles, Kerrigan has tallied 11.5 sacks while disrupting in the passing game.

While not your prototypical elite edge rusher, Kerrigan has been a nightmare against the division rivals. Coming into the 2020 season he now plays in a 4-3 scheme tailored made for his skill set. Expect he and Chase Young to flip sides throughout the game, so Lane Johnson won’t have a break all game long.

Matt Pryor in for Brandon Brooks

To compound the matchup on the outside, Lane Johnson will be without All-Pro right guard Brandon Brooks. In the last few years they’ve worked as a strong cohesive unit especially in the running but that’s sure to change this week.

As the lack of continuity between him and backup Matt Pryor exist, the lack of preseason games compounds this situation. You will likely see this take effect on presnap adjustments made at the line especially on run plays. While they both find their footing together you’d have to imagine Ryan Kerrigan will take full advantage this week.

Matt Pryor played well versus Seattle in the playoff game in relief of Brandon Brooks. A 6th round pick in 2018 who didn’t have great athleticism, Matt was a raw talent needing time to develop. As a strong lineman with good length and power, Matt fits well against power rushers.

He will match up against a rotation of Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis who present more than just a power rush. Allen is a powerful lineman with a good get-off. Ioannidis, on the other hand, has become a technician off the ball and quickly recognized a top pass rusher in the league.

Expect Jack Del Rio to utilize stunts to confuse and challenge the young guard. A weak interior pocket could create an uncomfortable situation in crunch time for Carson Wentz. This matchup edge goes to Jack Del Rio and his defensive line.

Jason Peters: the ageless wonder

Jason Peter started 13 games last year for the Eagles. This 16-year veteran has certainly had a Hall of Fame career while putting together a solid year in 2019.

While he still appears to be playing well, the 38-year-old LT has missed 12 games in the last 3 years. A time comes when the game just catches up to you and could this be it for Jason Peters. He Philadelphia in penalties last season.

There was a reason Philadelphia was ready to move on with promising talent Andre Dillard. And it could be more than just youth. Peters has lost some of his athleticism. His false start penalties indicate this overcompensation.

As the Washington depth chart indicates, Chase Young will line up against Jason Peters quite often. The elite pass rush ability Young brings, compared to Nick Bosa, is a matchup Peters will surely struggle with. The veteran will take advantage of the rookie’s inexperience at times, but Young just needs one release to create an impact.

Behind Young comes another first-round talent, Montez Sweat. In the second half of 2019, the game seemed to slow down for Sweat where he registered 5.5 of his 7 sacks while generating pressure consistently. With that said he spent nearly 30% of his snaps dropping back into coverage which says a lot about his final eight games.

Washington fan base perspective

The Washington Brawl Podcast team ran a poll to gauge what the fans felt entering this week’s matchup. The question, “With an injury riddled OL, does this give Washington the edge week 1?” Although it doesn’t speak to the majority, the base who did vote overwhelmingly agree Washington has an edge.

In a couple of responses, the mood certainly goes toward the sentiment within this article. Our talented front has an opportunity against a weakened Philadelphia o-line.

One fan mentioned that if there’s any week to steal a win this is the time. Especially since most experts have minimal to no expectations for Washington entering this season.

There is even some admittance of doubt entering week 1 vs Washington by Philadelphia beat reporter Elliot Shorr-Parks.

Final thoughts on Washington vs Philadelphia week 1

With the question marks around Washington’s offensive line, the defensive line could dictate the tempo of this game. A much faster Eagles’ offense will look much different this. Thus, it becomes imperative Washington exploits this advantage in the trenched. Even this won’t be enough against Carson Wentz who thrives under pressure completed 66% in 2019.

The back end must play disciplined as well to prevent Wentz from scrambling upfield.

If Washington’s secondary can contain Philadelphia’s receiver group and this talented frton get home they can absolutely win week 1. Considering Del Rio’s track record, especially utilizing elite talents like Chase Young, there is potential for a big week 1 upset.

While a month ago I saw a 17-10 type grind for a loss, I’m leaning towards an upset 24-13 win.

Washington Brawl podcast

Check out Washington Brawl’s latest podcast as they had special guest Mitch Tischler of NBC Washington breaking down the o-line. The crew also discusses many of Tischler’s camp reactions and observations as Washington enters game week preparations vs Philadelphia.

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