The final regular season for the Redskins is upon them. A dismal season draws to a close tonight when the Redskins meet their division rivals the Philadelphia Eagles. The teams last played in Week 5 of the regular season when the Birds squeaked out a 27-24 victory, but since then, their seasons have gone in polar opposite directions. The Eagles are playing for the division and home field advantage - the Redskins aren't playing for anything but pride and draft position.
Jeremiah Trotter v. Brian Westbrook
By Fran Farren
Out with the old, in with the new. As Jeremiah Trotter was leaving Philadelphia, a new young pup entered the town from Villanova with a little swagger in his walk. After showing many of his I-AA opponents a thing or two, it was time for Brian Westbrook to enter the pro ranks.
Westbrook’s first year was unremarkable, rushing only 46 times for 193 yards. This year, his 2nd year, with Duce Staley’s early holdout and Correll Buckhalter’s sporadic play, Westbrook has been used by the Eagles not only as a punt-return specialist, but also as a primary running back. He has excelled at both.
Westbrook is fast, he’s shifty, and extremely hard to tackle. So far this year, Westbrook has rushed 113 times for 607 yards and 7 TDs. Westbrook has also developed into a formidable threat out of the backfield as a receiver, amassing 317 yards on 35 receptions and 4 Tds. Don’t look now folks, but this guy is good. Brian Westbrook has the makings of an elite running back.
Is Jeremiah Trotter up to the task of stopping him. The short answer......is NO. The long answer......is HELL NO. The Redskins (a la Trotter & Co.) have been giving up a ton of yards on the ground lately and, unfortunately, fans should look for more of the same this week. Trotter will have to play his "A" game to contain Westbrook. Let’s face it, thus far this year, Trotter hasn’t even come close to bringing his "B-" game....so it will likely be another long day for the Redskins rushing defense.
The Eagles will be trying to win the NFC East and possibly home field advantage throughout the playoffs (if, by some miracle the Lions manage to beat the Rams). This will not be merely a scrimmage for them as some Redskins fans may have hoped for. With McNabb’s struggles last week against the 49ers, look for the Eagles to attempt to establish their running game early. Look for the Redskins rushing defense to fold like a bad poker player with a royal flush.