Every week we trade five questions with the opponent’s FanSided site. This week we talked with Ryan Estorninos, who writes about the Redskins over at Riggos Rag. Here’s what Ryan had to say about the Redskins.
1. What’s up with Donovan McNabb? Is he out of shape or having a tough time learning the system, or do the coaches just think he’s not playing well?
Ryan Estorninos: “I will be as striaght forward with you on this one. The offense is weeeeaaaaak. They have shown signs of life at times, but more often than not are not up to the standard people had been expecting. I think all the speculation the last few weeks was more fodder than anything.
To sum it up: McNabb threw a pick, Shanny got [angry] and benched #5.
As far as his play, he has not been stellar, but his presence still has made a difference and the guys are all behind him.”
2. In the first meeting, the Redskins played a lot of Cover 2 and took away the deep ball. The Eagles said it was the first time this year the Redskins used that style of defense. Have they used it since? Do you expect to see it again on Monday night?
RE: “Depended on the scheme for the week. In Chicago they used plenty of man-to-man looks.
On Monday I expect them to do a little bit of both, now that the Eagles know what to expect. Look for them to play with a lot of help up top with the safeties. I also expect them to be very physical.”
3. The Redskins are 24 percent on third downs, second-worst in the league. What’s causing that?
RE: “The Redskins have not said this out loud, but they look deep first and progress down more often than not. With this said, it is no secret that the Redskins have been a pass first type of team. This mentality has forced the Skins into difficult third down situations. If they will have more scoring success they definitely have to address this.”
4. Washington’s defense is third in the league in turnover margin (the Eagles are first, by the way). How much of that is attributed to the way the team has played overall, and how much is from the stats-boost that Jay Cutler provided DeAngelo Hall?
RE: “Hall’s 4 interception game definitely was boost, but they have forced turnovers in every game and are still at plus-8, not to mention two scores off turnovers. I think they will continue to have this success and will definitely need to cash in on these on Monday if they want to have some offensive success.”
5. The Redskins have played a lot of close games that have been relatively low scoring. Should we expect to see them try to slow down the tempo of this game and turn it into one of those old-fashioned, ugly, low-scoring NFC East battles?
RE: “The Redskins have not intentionally played close games…but then again, have not been able to win comfortably. A low scoring game plays in the Skins favor but that alone will not give them the edge over the Eagles. The Eagles were a Jason “Butterfingers” Avant dropped pass away from a win in week 4. I think whatever the tone set in the first quarter will dictate the pace of this game. In game one, the Redskins set a pace both offensively and defensively. Whichever team establishes their position first, will likely win the game. So my guess, whoever gets a touchdown first will win. Not a field goal, a touchdown.”