Monday Night Storylines as Eagles Visit Redskins

Eagles head coach Andy Reid at the start of Flight Night.

Andy Reid's Eagles will finish the night either second or ninth in the NFC and first or third in the division.

As with most Monday Night Football games, there are plenty of storylines headed into the matchup.  Tonight is no different.  Here is a look at a few of the most interesting stories to keep an eye on tonight.

Division Lead On the Line – With a win, the Eagles move into a first place tie with the Giants atop the division.  Philadelphia would hold the tiebreaker and sit second in the NFC, in line for a first-round bye in the playoffs.  With a loss, the Eagles fall to 5-4 and lose a tiebreaker with the Redskins that drops them to third in the division and ninth in the NFC.  Clearly a lot hinges on tonight’s game.

Donovan McNabb Tries to Turn Around His Season – By now, everyone knows that number five was benched for Rex Grossman at the end of the Redskins’ last game against the Lions.  Somewhat hidden amid all of the controversy is the fact that McNabb hasn’t had a very good season.  The 12th year veteran has tossed 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions through eight games, while completing just 57.4 percent of his passes, the second worst percentage since McNabb became a full-time starter.  The former Eagle also has the second lowest passer rating of his career – the 76.0 mark is worse than all but his rookie season.  Can McNabb turn things around against his old team?

Can the Eagles Defense Stop the Team That Caused Their Turnaround? – Philadelphia is known for having a weak run defense, but that hasn’t been the case in four games since the Birds lost to Washington 17-12 and gave up 169 rushing yards.  The Eagles haven’t allowed more than 75 rushing yards in a game since.  Can they stop the team that tore them up badly enough to cause the turnaround?

Can Michael Vick Continue His Streak? – Michael Vick has not turned the ball over as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.  His last turnover was an interception on December 24, 2006 when his Falcons lost to the Panthers.   Since, Vick has thrown 152 passes without an interception.  Can he continue to protect the ball tonight?

Ernie Sims Makes his Monday Night Football Debut – After spending four years in Detroit, Ernie Sims came to Philadelphia lacking experience winning and playing in primetime.  He’ll look to win a sixth game for just the second time in his career while playing on a Monday night for the first time.  Can Sims bring the intensity without allowing the added excitement to cause him to over pursue?

Kurt Coleman is Eagles 11th First-Time Starter – A slew of injuries have forced the Eagles to start 11 players for the first time in their career.  Nate Allen is out tonight with a neck injury, leaving Coleman to get the start at free safety.  The rookie was solid when he stepped in against the Colts, but how will he perform when the opposition has a week to consider picking on him early and often?

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Tags: Andy Reid Donovan McNabb Michael Vick Monday Night Football Nfc East Division Lead NFC Playoff Picture Philadelphia Eagles Washington Redskins

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