Under normal circumstances a game featuring any team from the NFC East wouldn’t get the attention of the networks. Heck, the Cowboys were flexed out of a primetime slot a few weeks ago. But these are hardly normal times and with a playoff spot on the line the matchup between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles will take over the Sunday night window. The team formerly known as the Redskins can secure its first NFC East title and playoff appearance since 2015 with a win while the Eagles can play spoiler.
The matchup between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles will take place on Sunday, January 3, 2021, at 8:20 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised nationally on NBC.
Washington vs Eagles Week 17 Odds
Washington Football Team -2
Philadelphia Eagles +2
Washington wasted a golden opportunity last week with a 20-13 loss to Carolina, their second straight. The Football Team failed to cover the 1-point line ending a streak of five straight payouts. Philadelphia hit the board as a 1-point favorite, but with so much at stake for the visitors the line jumped the fence to Washington -2. Uncertainty at the quarterback spot will likely make for more line shifts ahead of kickoff. Seldom used Taylor Heinicke will get the start if Alex Smith can’t go.
A win over the Saints a few weeks ago had the Eagles in the hunt for the division title. They have since gone 0-2 SU and ATS ending their run of three straight playoff appearances. Philly is just 4-10-1 SU and 5-10 ATS. Giving them something else to play for, the Eagles can avoid matching their fewest wins in season since 1998 by avenging the opening day loss. Washington’s 27-17 payout win in Week 1 ended Philly’s six-game winning streak in the series that also saw them go 5-1 ATS. The teams have cashed the OVER in each of the last three meetings.
Washington (Redskins) Football Team
The fate of their playoff future rests in their hands. All the WFT has to do is win in order to keep playing. That’s something much easier said than done in the inept NFC East, though. And we don’t have a clear picture of the team’s quarterback situation. Dwayne Haskins was released after committing three turnovers in last week’s loss. That came after he broke COVID protocols, which resulted in the team fining him. The former first round pick never lived up to his draft status making the decision easier.
The hope now is that Alex Smith has recovered enough to get the start. Smith was behind center in each game of a recent four-game winning streak that propelled the Football Team to the top of the division. The team is 4-1 SU and ATS in games Smith started this season and he’s 10-5 as a starter since joining the club. When Smith doesn’t start the team is 6-26. We’ve also watched the Football Team thrive when playing in the national spotlight. They hammered Dallas on Thanksgiving Day and dealt the Steelers their first loss of the season in a game that was moved to Monday. Both of those were on the road.
The Eagles can’t win the division but they will certainly play a part in who does. A loss on Sunday hands the crown to Washington. Should Philly prevail, the winner of the Giants-Cowboys game will take home the prize. And the Eagles have their own dilemma at quarterback. Carson Wentz struggled most of the season and was replaced by Jalen Hurts a few weeks ago with the offense looking much better. Hurts threw for over 330 yards and ran for over 60 yards in each of the last two games accounting for five touchdowns. The Eagles cashed the OVER in both games and three straight overall.
Unfortunately the Eagles lost both games behind a shaky defense. Arizona boasts one of the top offenses in the NFL and shredded Philly for 526 total yards. Dallas amassed 513 yards last week in a 37-17 win. Things look better for the unit this week, however. Washington has struggled all season averaging only 321.9 yards and 21 points. They could also be without leading rusher Antonio Gibson and leading receiver Terry McLaurin, making Philly’s job a little easier.
Washington vs Eagles Prediction
Best Bet: Washington -2 and OVER 43
A lot has changed since the first meeting with both starting quarterbacks in the opener no longer starting. You have to think Smith is ready to go or the WFT wouldn’t have released Haskins. That move could have been made after the final game. And with Smith behind center the Football Team has done quite well winning four of his five starts. And one thing we didn’t mention was Washington’s defense, which has been solid all year. Smith is a winner and gets the job done as long as he finishes what he starts.