When Washington faced Philadelphia on Nov. 18, the Redskins were saddled with a 3-6 record and mired in a season-threatening three-game losing streak.
When the NFC East rivals meet Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, the Redskins will arrive as the hottest team in the NFC, having won five games in a row and in good position to secure the franchise’s first playoff berth in five years.
After studying video of the Redskins’ recent games, embattled Eagles Coach Andy Reid said the difference isn’t scheme, it's execution.
“They’re playing confident football,” Reid told Washington area reporters this week. “Schematically, they’re doing basically the same stuff. But they’re confident in what they’re doing.”
Reid also praised quarterback the impact Robert Griffin III has made on the league in his rookie season.
“He sure does a nice job,” Reid said. “The league is lucky to have him. I think he’s a good person and a good football player. That’s good for everybody.”
Reid added that the current crop of rookie quarterbacks – Griffin, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden – will go down as one of the best classes of all-time.
“Listen, when it’s all said and done, I think this will be – if not the best – one of the best,” Reid said. I would tell you that [it’s] because colleges are throwing the football more is why you’re seeing it. These guys are good players, don’t get me wrong there. [But] they’re coming in more experienced than what you’ve seen in the past.”
Asked if he had any advice for Coach Mike Shanahan about managing a dual threat quarterback and the increased risk of injury, Reid said Shanahan and Griffin will figure it out on their own. Reid has coached Michael Vick for four seasons.
“I don’t need to give Mike anything there,” Reid said. “He’s a Hall of Fame football coach. There’s nothing I’m going to tell him that he doesn’t already know. RG3 will be fine. He’s young and he’s learning the game just like the other young quarterbacks are.”
Griffin’s status for Sunday’s game hasn’t been announced, but the rookie practiced fully on Wednesday and took all of his first team repetitions. He was back on the practice field Thursday morning. Reid, however, said the Eagles are leaving nothing to chance in their preparation.
“You prepare for both of them,” Reid said. “The pass game is very similar. The run game is a little bit different, but you’ve got to prepare for both.”