Week 13 of the NFL season concludes with a critical matchup in the NFC East between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. Kickoff is set for 8:15 EST on Monday, December 3, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Eagles are currently listed as 6.5-point favorites at home. The over/under is set at 44 points. Click here to check out betting odds and game previews for all of the Week 13 NFL games.
After last week’s win over the Giants, the Eagles are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The defending Super Bowl champs have struggled to find any consistency this season, which is why they begin the month of December at 5-6. On the bright side, they are just one game behind the Cowboys and Redskins in the loss column inside the tight NFC East. They are also just as close in the equally compact wild-card race.
That being said, the Eagles have a long road ahead. All five of Philadelphia’s remaining games are against teams with winning records. In addition to two games with Washington, the Eagles will play the Cowboys and Rams on the road and have a home game against the Texans. After Monday, the Eagles will play three of their last four games on the road, giving them a brutal schedule down the stretch.
Washington, meanwhile, has been knocked out of their top spot in the NFC East after back-to-back losses to the Texans and Cowboys. After Dallas won on Thursday, the Redskins will be under pressure to win on Monday in order to keep pace at the top of the division. They are also part of a three-way tie with Seattle and Carolina for the final wild-card spot heading into Week 13 action.
Keep in mind that the Redskins will be relying on Colt McCoy to lead them the rest of the way after Alex Smith’s brutal injury. On the bright side, all of Washington’s remaining games are against losing teams. In addition to their two games with the Eagles, the Redskins are set to play the Giants, Jaguars, and Titans to finish the season. That should give Washington some hope that they can get back on track and find their way to the playoffs.
Of course, this is a rivalry game with plenty of history between these two teams. Naturally, the Eagles swept the season series on their way to the Super Bowl last year. However, the Redskins won five straight against Philadelphia prior to that and have won in four of their seven visits to Lincoln Financial Field this decade.
It doesn’t matter who’s starting at quarterback for Washington, this is a lot of points for the Eagles to cover. Philadelphia was a little lucky to come back and beat a bad Giants team last week. Also, only one of their five wins this year have come by more than six points. Given Philadelphia’s inconsistency this year, I just can’t buy them beating any team by a comfortable margin. I’ll take my chances with the Redskins at least beating the spread.
Obviously, there are some concerns about McCoy after he threw three interceptions against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. But remember that he had just a few days to prepare for that start and hasn’t taken a lot of practice reps all season. After playing on Thanksgiving, the Redskins will have well over a week between games, so it’s reasonable for McCoy to be a little more prepared for this game.
The extra time off should also be good news for Adrian Peterson. The aging running back has struggled over the last four games, with Washington going 1-3 in that span. But he should be well-rested and ready to face a Philadelphia defense giving up 4.9 yards per carry this season. McCoy, in his one start, also showed more of a willingness to throw the ball down the field. That should open up the running game a little more and challenge a banged-up Philadelphia secondary.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles still have plenty of issues offensively. Josh Adams has started to give them an answer in the backfield, although the running game is still not providing enough support for Carson Wentz. The same can be said of Philadelphia’s wide receivers. Tight end Zach Ertz has been the only consistent receiver for the Eagles this season. Obviously, Ertz is a serious threat, but not getting more out of the wide receivers makes the Eagles a little easier to defend.
Meanwhile, the Washington defense has been steady all season. Only three teams have scored more than 23 points against them all season. If the Eagles are held to that total, covering 6.5 points will be tough. Last week, the Redskins got burned by Amari Cooper for a couple long touchdowns. But getting beat like that should be less of an issue against Philadelphia. They should be able to keep everything in front of them and make the Eagles work, which should keep scoring to a minimum.
In the end, both teams have shortcomings offensively, which should lead to a low-scoring game. With Wentz facing McCoy, the Eagles are a little more likely to pull out the win. But I don’t think the Eagles have enough to win by a comfortable margin, so I like my chances with Washington beating the spread.