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1. A Race To 30 Points
Who will be victorious? The team who hits (or gets closest to) 30 points will draw a green tally under their win column at the end of Monday night.
That's approximately a touchdown every quarter from either team.
The Eagles, on paper, are well-rounded on all cylinders. Keenly observe how Philadelphia's 3-4 defense reacts to the movements of the fully-healed messiah in burgundy-and-gold.
Watch how well their starting linebackers - Connor Barwin, DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, and Bradley Fletcher - communicate with eachother and stump RGIII with their sheer athleticism.
The Eagles' offense, obviously, will be under national attention - check out how smoothly Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and the offensive linemen transition to an upgraded pace of flow under HC Chip Kelly.
For Redskins fans, fix your gaze on No. 10. Every time he's hit, flushed out of the pocket, (or) sacked, look at how he gets back up. Does he hop back into the huddle? Does he limp? Then stare at his face when he's on the sideline. Is he wincing? Is he expressing any sign of pain?
Without any playing time in the preseason, athletes - no matter how superhuman - need time adjust to the pro speed. In the sophomore's case, he's doubled the jetlag. Take a gander on Griffin's throwing mechanics as he steps into the pocket, and plants on his right foot.
More than just the physicalities, this game carries in the mental pressure and emotional burden for No. 10 and HC Mike Shanahan -- and with the world tuning in on Monday night, how well will they handle the exposure and maintain their cool?
2. Michael Vick's BACK! 15-25, 215 yards, 8.6 ypa, 2 TDs, 8 rushing attempts, 65 yards, 1 TD
These were my three favorite words in 2012. Behind a damaged offensive line, the quarterback was usually hit as he threw, and left on his back, hench "Michael Vick's (poor) back!".
This time, I'm using the word back in a different connotation because behind a healthy bunch - Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Todd Herremans, Jason Kelce and first-round draft selection Lane Johnson - Vick won't be getting jiggy with it in the backfield as long.
In HC Chip Kelly's up-tempo and spread option scheme, Vick should make quick decisions and deliver the ball with conviction, much like he did in his 2010 debut season with the Eagles. No. 7 passed for 21 touchdowns and registered a QB Rating of 100.2.
Which approach is OC Kyle Shanahan taking to this game? We know that they use the zone-read option, as sometimes they line up tight ends in the backfield to draw defenses closer to the line of scrimmage. When the front seven is close enough, Shahanan is ready to go deep - that's right - the play-action.
Under heavy speculation though, I predict that the Redskins will ground and pound the ball with their sturdy running back Morris for a decent amount of the game. As much as I'd like for Washington to come out of the gate, pass eight or nine times in their opening drive and score, this may not be the case.
Shanahan will build the quarterback's confidence from the bottom up, reminding him to do what's necessary to minimize the risk of injury: throw the ball out of bounds or slide when scrambling out of the pocket.
With Morris and RGIII not on the same page, I see the Redskins' offense sputtering like a broken garden sprinkler: going three-and-out on multiple occasions.
Football Nation, who do you think will win this matchup? Even without my biases, I'm going with the Midnight Green.
Let the coronation begin! Go long, until next time.