Three Keys to Victory for Washington to Defeat Philadelphia

Needless to say last week did not go as planned as the Buffalo Bills humbled the Commanders in a 37-3 defeat. We must remember however that the team is still 2-1 and off to a pretty good start. With all the gloom and doom after last week the Commanders go on the road today to face their first NFC East opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles. The defending division and conference champions are off to an undefeated start at 3-0 and look every bit the part to repeat this year. However last season an 8-0 undefeated Eagles team fell to the Commanders in a Monday Night Football upset where Washington dictated the game. Can the Commanders pull off the upset again? For that to happen here are my three keys to pull off the upset.


1. Unbalanced Offense

Antonio Gibson celebrates during the Commanders win over the Eagles.

Normally you want to your offense to be balanced, equal running and passing plays, but for Washington to win they must run more than they pass. In defeat last week Washington dropped back to pass 37 times and only rushed for 14 plays. That is not the formula for success today. Last year in the upset Washington stuck to the run regardless of the result and won the time of possession battle 40 minutes to 19 minutes. That is a winning formula and takes the pressure off of Sam Howell would be in his fifth overall start, and first road division game. Brian Robinson is a workhorse and he must carry the load and needs to be near the 20 rushing attempts target. Goal Brian Robinson 20 rushing attempts 120 yards


2. Rush With Purpose

Chase Young and Montez Sweat celebrate a sack of Russell Wilson. 9/17/23

The defensive line in the first two weeks of the season dictated the tone and flat out took over games. Last week however the Bills and Josh Allen neutralized the front four in a way that no matter what they did they were wrong. The Bills mixed up max protections with Allen extending plays and the team registered no sacks. Today they face another dynamic running quarterback in Jalen Hurts who “hurts” teams with power running and play extension. Hurts is trying to convert to more of a pass first guy but he can certainly affect the game with his legs. The front four must keep him in the pocket and rush smart and not allow him to get outside. He always wants to scramble right so its imperative that Montez Sweat keep him in the pocket or turn him the other direction. Hurts loses effectiveness scrambling to the left. Goal Three sacks, Six QB Hits, and Nine QB Pressures


3. Help Out Howell

Sam Howell attempts to complete a pass against the Bills.

Sam Howell had the worst game of his NFL career last week. By no metric did Howell play well and he started to press more and more. The Bills read some tendencies and took advantage of them last week. However the rest of the offense had a part to play in that as well. First the line must communicate better and give Howell some time. Antonio Gibson has to hold on to the football, and receivers must get separation to help Howell out. And Eric Bieniemy can help with play calls that are quick and give Howell clean reads. The offense as a whole must step up for the Commanders to win. Goal Time of Possession 35 minutes



Last week was my first incorrect prediction as I called for the Washington upset. Last year the Commanders were able to catch the Eagles coming off of a bye and punched them in the mouth. This year the Eagles are coming off of a short week playing Monday Night on the road. I believe the Commanders compete in this game but the Eagles are a bit stronger at this moment. Prediction Eagles 28, Commanders 20.


Felix Trammell