Redskins week five preview

Oct. 2, 2003, midnight | By Zach Mellman | 20 years, 8 months ago

By now you've probably noticed that the ‘Skins, yes those Washington Deadskins, are currently 3-1, having faced teams that all had winning records last season. The Redskins are sitting pretty atop the NFC's eastern division, and intend to remain there after they face the division rival, Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Washington is coming off a 20-17 win against the New England Patriots, the 2002 Superbowl champions. Even though the Redskins have yet to win a game by more than three points, they have their best record in twelve years.

The Redskins' offense, anchored by second-year quarterback Patrick Ramsey, has the third most yards in the NFL. Ramsey, along with his favorite target, Laveranues Coles, have lit up defenses all year long, but face a real test against the Eagles, who have the league's best rush defense.

The game may hinge on whether the Eagles' star QB, Donovan McNabb, plays up to his game-breaking potential. McNabb currently has a 12-year contract worth up to an NFL record $115-million, but so far this season he has a 51.1 pass rating and no touchdowns. Fortunately for the Redskins, he has few, if any, offensive weapons to help him.

McNabb will undoubtedly be out to prove that conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh's bigoted statement on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown on Sept 28 is just as outrageous as it sounds. Limbaugh said that the press is exaggerating McNabb's ability because he is African-American. "The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well," Limbaugh said. "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve." Limbaugh has resigned from the show, but remains unapologetic about his comment.

The Redskins have lost three straight games to the Eagles and will play at Philadelphia this week. The Eagles rushed for 177 yards last week in a win over Buffalo and will go against a Redskins team with a weak interior defensive line. McNabb should get back to his usual form any time now, especially with his added motivation.

However, in the offseason, the Eagles lost key players such as defensive end Hugh Douglas and kick returner Brian Mitchell to free-agency. This, along with several defensive injuries, may hurt the Eagles' chances of moving out of the cellar of the division. Washington's offense, which can be explosive at times, should be able to cancel out the Eagles' wounded defense.

Prediction: Redskins 21, Eagles 20

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Zach Mellman. Zach Mellman was born on October 18, 1956 (he was held back once or twice). He has lived in Takoma Park, Maryland his entire life. He is currently a senior at Blair enrolled in honors classes. He is also a member of Blair's golf team, … More »

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