Washington Redskins Primed for Success in Week 1

David Shockey@ShockInSacContributor IISeptember 4, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Pierre Garcon #88 of the Washington Redskins celebrates their first quarter touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Last year, the Washington Redskins faced off twice against the Philadelphia Eagles for a combined score of 58-26 in two Redskins victories.  Although there have been many changes in Philly over the past year, they're bringing back many of the same players.  Based on knowledge of these teams, here are some players ready for an explosive Monday night opener.


Alfred Morris

The stars are aligning for a huge night for Alfred Morris against the Eagles.  According to ESPN's John Keim, Morris looks faster and more comfortable overall in his role in the offense.  

Morris' production increased over the course of the year as he became more confident in his abilities.  He finished his final six games with eight touchdowns and 124 yards per game on the ground.

Philadelphia has looked questionable against the run so far in 2013.  Pro Football Focus (subscription required) gave the Eagles' defense a combined run defense rating of minus-8.6, good enough for 30th out of 32 teams.

Switching to a 3-4 defense, Chip Kelly is asking for trouble by forcing his players into a scheme that doesn't fit them.  It's still a mystery how much base scheme they will play this year, but it's unlikely that a major defensive shift will lead to overall success in the short term.


Ryan Kerrigan

While Brian Orakpo will be battling with Pro Bowler Jason Peters, Ryan Kerrigan will be matched up against rookie Lane Johnson.  Johnson is considered a great prospect and a perfect fit for Kelly's assumed uptempo offense.  This will be an exciting battle, but expect Kerrigan to get the better of the rookie.

Kerrigan is stout against both the pass and the run, racking up 8.5 sacks last year.  Kerrigan excels in reading defenses and making plays on the ball, as evidenced by his pick-six this preseason.

LeSean McCoy will be featured heavily in the Eagles' offense.  Having a savvy veteran linebacker who can read running back screens quickly could prove invaluable.  Add in the fact that Vick is turnover prone, with 17 giveaways in 10 games played, and Kerrigan could be looking at a huge game.


Pierre Garcon

Garcon was one of the surprise success stories of 2012.  He earned his high-price paycheck last year, and it looks to be only the beginning.

After an offseason of questions surrounding Garcon's injured toe, he claims it has completely healed.  "Foot's good.  Hundred percent," he said Monday, per Mike Jones of The Washington Post.

A 100 percent Pierre Garcon is a scary thought.  The Redskins went 9-1 with Garcon during the regular season last year.  Now that fellow offensive weapons Fred Davis, Josh Morgan and Roy Helu are all healthy as well, the Eagles' defense will have trouble keying in on any one player.

Robert Griffin III targeted Garcon on 35.3 percent of all routes run when both were on the field together.  This puts him third among all wide receivers, behind only Brandon Marshall and Percy Harvin.

Griffin makes his much-anticipated return Monday night.  Seeing the field for the first time in eight months, expect Griffin to hit Garcon, his go-to wide receiver, early and often.