How can the Washington Football Team beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15 despite massive COVID-19 outbreak?
The Philadelphia Eagles have a big question heading into Week 15. Is starting quarterback Jalen Hurts going to be healthy and play? Or will they need to start backup Gardner Minshew (who played great in Week 14)? As for the Washington Football Team? Well, they make that question look like child’s play, as they might be missing over 20 players due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the team.
So how could Washington find a way to defeat the Eagles in Week 15 despite this massive COVID issue?
To be clear, these aren’t just random background players either. Let’s start with the defensive line. Jonathan Allen, Matthew Ioannidis, Montez Sweat, Tim Settle, James Smith-Williams, and Casey Toohill are all down with COVID. They were already missing Chase Young. That leaves Da’Ron Payne as the lone regular starter. As well as missing a bunch of key reserves.
Centers Tyler Larsen and Keith Ismael are out. And starter Chase Roullier was already hurt, so they’ll be down to the fourth-string there.
There’s more too. Other offensive linemen, weapons, defensive players, etc. Throw in that J.D. McKissic is dealing with a concussion like McLaurin and we’ve got some insane issues.
So how can Washington win? They’re signing people that might actually have to play this week. A ridiculous amount of starters are out.
Worst of all, Washington’s biggest strength is their rushing defense (fifth in the NFL with 93.6 rushing yards allowed per game). That’s going to take a serious blow with all the players out. And oh, look at that. Philadelphia’s biggest strength is their rushing offense (first in the NFL with 160 rushing yards per game).
How do they counter this? I could say the new players step up and take over. But that’s a cop-out. Just saying, “New guys do great and you win,” is boring, obvious, and a really tall task.
If they were healthy I would say to stop the run and force Hurts (or Minshew) to throw the ball. Show your strength is better than their strength. That’s out of the window now though.
What Washington has to do is control the clock. It will be hard with Heinicke hurting and his backup out. McKissic being out hurts their running game (and short passing game). McLaurin’s going to be sorely missed if he can’t play. This would’ve been a perfect week for Samuel and Sims to step up, they might be out too now.
Logan Thomas was already out for the year too. And now the offensive line is hurting bad, so what does the offense do? How do they control the clock with so many men missing?
The quarterback situation is dire. Washington now has Garrett Gilbert, Kyle Shurmur, and Jordan Ta’amu as the three healthy QBs on the roster. Don’t worry, no one is going to blame you if you don’t really know anything about those three. Gilbert is the only one with any NFL experience, and he has a whopping 44 pass attempts since being drafted in 2014.
You still have Adam Humphries, DeAndre Carter, Dyami Brown, and Dax Milne at receiver. They can pick up some of the slack. Most importantly you still have Antonio Gibson.
Yes, he’s had fumble issues in 2021. And his 3.9 yards per carry isn’t going to win him any awards. But he can make big plays and he’s had monster games. There’s a reason so many people were so high on him. Greatness is still there. And you have to lean on him and backup Jaret Patterson. Run the ball, run it some more, and maybe throw in some short, easy passes.
This probably won’t be a pretty game. But Washington needs to do everything they can to run out a lot of that clock. Keep the defense off the field. You have to beat the Eagles at their own game.
The Washington Football Team is going to have a tough road ahead of them. Even without the COVID and injuries, they were going to have to fight as they have multiple games against playoff contenders left. This just makes things harder.
But they can still win. You have to play through the run. Even if you go three-and-out, you can still waste two minutes of the clock. Take as much time away from Philadelphia as you possibly can. If the Washington Football Team wants to win, they’re going to have to play the smashiest (making up a word to prove how much they need to do it) of smash-mouth football.
Hope that some players on defense can step up, make a few big plays on either side of the ball, and control the clock. That gives the Washington Football Team their best chances of walking out of Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles with a much-needed win.