Everything is set up for Michael Vick and the Birds to have an easy victory over the Washington Redskins today, but it never seems to workout that way when NFC rivals face each other. Some way or another the game will probably wind up being a close one, but I’m confident the Birds will put points on the board.
They’ve got to block Skins linebacker Brian Orakpo on pass plays and keep an eye on Albert Haynesworth if he decides to show up and play today. If the Skins were to put Haynesworth on a banged-up Nick Cole or his backup, Max Jean-Gilles, things could get ugly quickly for the Birds. I don’t think they have enough sense to do that.
We’ll have to wait see how the Skins try to contain Vick. They’ll likely try to pressure him with a disciplined rush, where all the rushers will make sure to stay in the rush lanes, but that will make things more difficult to put pressure on him.
Eventually they’ll have to blitz him and that’s when the big plays will start. The Skins will either get to Vick and put some licks on him, or he’ll buy enough time to get the ball deep to his receivers. I also see Vick getting out of the pocket and taking off on some long quarterback scrambles. This will put the Skins in a “can’t win” situation, where Vick will get too much time to throw if they pressure him with a standard rush, but he takes off and runs when they try to blitz him.
It’s feast or famine when the Birds have the ball. It’s not a surprise to me that they scrapped the “classic west coast offense which they were going to run under Kevin Kolb. They’ve morphed into a similar offense that we saw last year when McNabb was running things. You see a lot of deep strikes to DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin.
I would imagine that McNabb is going to feel like the guy who sees his former girlfriend with another guy this afternoon when he watches the Eagles offense from the sidelines. Vick will be uncorking bombs deep to Jackson and Maclin, while hitting Brent Celek and Jason Avant in the short to intermediate areas.
I see a big day for the Birds unless, the Skins coaches allow the Redskins secondary to play the Eagles the way they have in the past by moving their corners up on the line of scrimmage and having them jam them before they release. This is especially effective against Jackson.
Anybody who lets Jackson release without a jam is asking for trouble. His speed will kill them if they playing man-to-man or zone.
I don’t think Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has a clue, so I see the Birds putting a lot of points on the board.