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Eagles-Skins predictions, key matchups

Here is how members of the Daily News sports staff see today's showdown between the Eagles and the Redskins at the Linc:

Les Bowen
I can't believe the Redskins' defense is as bad as it has looked the past few weeks. I also think Donovan McNabb is going to play well here, maybe real well.

The spread is getting pretty generous for a series that has featured one double-digit winning margin in the last seven meetings.

This will be Michael Vick's first start at home, as the main guy, and everything he does will be compared to what McNabb does. Dunno how that will affect Vick, if at affects him at all. (If Vick plays the way he has the past few weeks, the comparisons will skew in his favor, particularly on third down and in the red zone.)

I have to think the Eagles are the better team, but this is a divisional game, against a motivated opponent. If the Redskins roll over the way the Jaguars did last week, I'll be shocked.

Eagles 24, Redskins 20.

Paul Domowitch
How will Donovan McNabb react to returning to Philadelphia? Will the adrenaline rush he's going to get and the prospect of sticking it to the team that traded him propel him to great heights? Or will he be too amped up and struggle?

Hard to say. What isn't hard to say is that much of the offensive cast around him in Washington isn't very good. The Redskins are short on good receivers, and their ground game, so important to the success of a Mike Shanahan offense, has been stuck in the mud the first 3 weeks.

Then there's a defense that is struggling to make the switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and is last in the league in yards allowed and next to last in pass defense. If the Eagles' offensive line can give Mike Vick any protection at all, it's hard to see the Redskins stopping the Eagles' dynamic pass-catching tandem of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, who already have combined for six TDs.

Eagles 17, Redskins 13

Ed Barkowitz: Redskins, 17-13

Bill Conlin: Eagles, 27-17

Marcus Hayes: Redskins, 20-17

Vegas Vic: Eagles, 27-24


Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott v. Redskins QB Donovan McNabb. McNabb knows the Eagles' defense well. What, if any, advantage that will provide him remains to be seen. Advantage: Even

Eagles WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin v. Redskins CBs DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers. Jackson and Maclin already have combined for 6 TDs. Redskins are 31st in the league in pass defense. Advantage: Eagles

Eagles Eagles MLB Stewart Bradley v. Redskins RBs Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain. Redskins haven't run the ball very well. Bradley helped the Eagles neutralize the Jags' Maurice Jones-Drew last week. Advantage: Eagles