When the Eagles have the ball

The Eagles offense will look considerably different than it did  against Washington last season. Having Lane Johnson back at right tackle will be a major help after Johnson missed both 2016 losses to the Redskins  because of suspension. The additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith upgrade  the Eagles on the outsides, and Carson Wentz should be farther along in Year 2.

The Eagles scored only one offensive touchdown in the two losses to Washington last season, but they should be more explosive Sunday. Tight end Zach Ertz could have a big game as Wentz's safety blanket – he has hurt the Redskins before, and he could take advantage of the attention that's likely to go to Jeffery.

The Eagles anticipate top Redskins cornerback Josh Norman will shadow Jeffery wherever he goes. That's how Norman played against Jeffery last Christmas Eve, when Jeffery had five catches for 92 yards for the Bears. Jeffery will be a factor  Sunday even with the attention from Norman.

Washington has first-round pick Jonathan Allen at defensive end in the 3-4 defense, and he's a big addition. They lost nose tackle Chris Baker from last year and are missing outside linebacker Trent Murphy and safety Su'a Cravens. Their top pass rusher is Ryan Kerrigan, who will have more of a challenge with Johnson blocking him.

The Redskins also replaced their defensive coordinator, promoting Greg Manusky from outside linebackers coach in an effort to upgrade from the NFL's 28th-ranked defense.

The Eagles should have opportunities, but it will be more difficult if they're one-dimensional. They'll play Darren Sproles after keeping him on the shelf in the preseason, but LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood will likely be counted on to rush the ball.

When the Redskins have the ball

Just as the Eagles changed their wide receivers, Washington also overhauled the position. It's unknown whether they upgraded. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are out; Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson are now the starters. They provide bigger targets, with Pryor posing a particular challenge. He had 77 catches for 1,007 yards in his first year as a receiver last season with Cleveland.

Washington's best weapons are in the middle of the field. Tight end Jordan Reed is one of the best in the NFL, and Jamison Crowder is dangerous as a slot receiver. The Eagles' defensive success might depend upon how they cover those two.

Look for safety Malcolm Jenkins to be used against Reed, with slot cornerback Patrick Robinson  covering Crowder, who is questionable with a hip injury.

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown for 12 career touchdown passes and only three interceptions against the Eagles, although both his interceptions last year were returned for touchdowns. The Eagles respect Cousins because they have seen how he can carve them up – he has quarterbacked the last four wins.

It helps that he has one of the NFL's best offensive lines. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses form a formidable tackle combination, and the Eagles edge rushers must find a way to get penetration.

The Eagles will use a four-man rotation, including first-round pick Derek Barnett. He will spell Vinny Curry, who is making his first start. Center Spencer Long has been limited all week with a knee injury and is questionable.

The offensive line has done an outstanding job run-blocking against the Eagles, because Washington has gashed the Eagles on the  ground  in recent games. Rob Kelley will be their top rusher Sunday.

Big number: 5

That's how many consecutive games Washington has won in the series. The last time the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins, Chip Kelly could have run for mayor of Philadelphia, LeSean McCoy still wore an Eagles uniform, and Nick Foles was trying to prove he could be the Eagles' franchise quarterback.

The Eagles last beat Washington in September 2014. December losses in 2014 and 2015 spoiled the Eagles' playoff hopes, and Washington went undefeated against Doug Pederson in Pederson's first year as coach. The last time the Eagles dropped six in a row to a team was to the New York Giants from 1997 to 1999.


Zach Berman: Eagles 27, Redskins 24

Jeff McLane: Redskins 24, Eagles 20.​

Les Bowen: Eagles 26, Redskins 21

Paul Domowitch: Eagles 27, Redskins 24