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USATSI

The NFL's lone remaining unbeaten team is back in action on Monday night as the Philadelphia Eagles play host to NFC East division rival Washington Commanders

Philly is 8-0, with an average margin of victory over 11 points per game, and is coming off a dismantling of the Houston Texans last week. The Commanders enter this game at 4-5 and having just seen their three-game winning streak snapped by the Minnesota Vikings, who staged a fourth-quarter comeback to do it. 

With the Giants having improved to 7-2 and the Cowboys dropping to 6-3, there's a lot at stake in the surprisingly competitive NFC East on Monday night. Will the Eagles further solidify their hold on the division lead, or will the Commanders pull off a shocking upset? We'll find out soon enough. 

Before we break down the matchup, here's how you can watch the game.

How to watch

Date: Monday, Nov. 14 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)  
Follow: CBS Sports App 
Odds: Eagles -11, O/U 43.5 (courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)

When the Commanders have the ball

Washington's offense has looked better (aesthetically speaking) the past few weeks with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback in place of Carson Wentz, but the results haven't been all that great. The Commanders have averaged just 19 points in Heinicke's three starts, with a high of only 23. 

Heinicke has completed 63% of his passes at an average of only 6.5 yards per attempt, with five touchdowns against three interceptions. He has at least done a better job than Wentz of avoiding sacks, which is a plus. He's also focused the passing attack toward Terry McLaurin, who is by far the team's best skill-position player. McLaurin averaged just 3.7 catches, 6.2 targets, and 61.2 yards per game in Wentz's starts, but is up to 5.3 catches, 8.3 targets, and 80.7 yards with Heinicke in the lineup. The Commanders will get rookie Jahan Dotson back in the lineup on Monday night, which should help. 

However, they're set to go up against what has been one of the NFL's top coverage units to date. Cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry are playing All-Pro-caliber football. Slay has allowed only 17 of 37 passes thrown in his direction to be completed, for just 183 yards. He's yielded one touchdown while picking off three passes. Quarterbacks are 23 of 55 for 240 yards, one touchdown, and three picks targeting Bradberry. The idea of Heinicke getting the better of them seems far-fetched. 

Heinicke has been under constant pressure since taking over the job, with opposing defenses generating a sack, hit, or hurry on 47.7% of his dropbacks, according to TruMedia. He's just 17 of 38 for 170 yards, one touchdown, and all three of his picks on those plays. Washington's offensive line isn't likely to keep the Philadelphia pass rush at bay in this contest, and it could lead to some sloppiness on Heinicke's part. 

The Commanders will split the backfield work between Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr., neither of whom has been all that effective on the ground. The Eagles have been easier to run on when monster-sized defensive tackle Jordan Davis is not in the lineup, but given the struggles the Commanders will likely have stopping Philly's offense, they're unlikely to be in advantageous running situations anyway.

When the Eagles have the ball

Last time these two teams played, the Eagles put up 24 second-quarter points, and that was all they needed. They came courtesy of a Jake Elliott field goal, followed by Jalen Hurts touchdown passes to (in order) Dallas Goedert, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith

Washington has been far better against the run (second in Football Outsiders' DVOA) than the pass (25th), which would seemingly tilt things toward this being another game the Eagles will try to win on Hurts' right shoulder. Brown, Smith, and Goedert create all kinds of advantages for the Eagles with their size, speed, and athleticism, and after the Commanders traded away William Jackson III there might be even more room for them to run free in Washington's secondary. (They're actually fourth in DVOA on throws to tight ends, though, so it might be more of a Brown-and-Smith game than a Goedert game.) 

Philadelphia's offensive line remains arguably the best in the NFL, and should be able to keep Hurts clean for much of the evening. The Commanders would have a better chance of getting to him in the pocket if Chase Young were ready to return, but Ron Rivera threw cold water on that idea last week. Putting rushers in Hurts' face and forcing him to throw from a muddy pocket, and especially forcing him to try to escape to his left, remains the best chance of holding him in check -- but Washington seems unlikely to accomplish that. 

The Eagles will surely try to run the ball with Hurts and/or Miles Sanders, and given the strength of their offensive line they may even find success against a unit that has handled the run well. But the addition of Brown has made their offense much more capable of controlling things through the air than it was a year ago, and taking the path of least resistance makes sense. 

Prediction

Featured Game | Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders

Score: Eagles 30, Commanders 13