Washington is coming off a playoff berth last season that saw their star Offensive Rookie of the Year quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) tear his ACL and require months of surgery and rehab as a result. Griffin III did not play a single down during the preseason, yet he was named the week one starter by coach Mike Shanahan after the team doctor cleared him to play just last week. Video snippets shown from practice appear to show a healthy and mobile RG3 and the team wouldn't clear him to play unless he were ready.
The big question for the Redskins and their fans is how will RG3 perform coming off the surgery with no preseason play to eliminate any rust? Philadelphia's front line will likely be coming after him hard to test that knee out in a game situation. Despite any concerns that fans have, the Redskins and Shanahan are convinced that RG3 is 100 percent and is ready to lead his team to victory against a division rival tonight.
For the Eagles, tonight marks the dawn of a new era as Chip Kelly takes over head coaching duties for departed Andy Reid. Kelly took the job and had to immediately settle a quarterback controversy between injury prone Michael Vick and Nick Foles. After week two of the preseason, Kelly ultimately chose the 33-year old veteran Vick despite Foles playing equally as well in exhibition games.
The Redskins will want to keep an eye on wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Vick aiming for the speedy receiver in hopes of big scoring plays. With wide receiver Jeremy Maclin out for the season, Vick may end up trying to use LeSean McCoy more on running plays and screen passes to keep the Redskins defense off-balance. Kelly is widely expected to utilize McCoy more than Reid did last season.
The Eagles finished 1-11 through their last 12 games last season while the Redskins surged into the playoffs and may have gotten further had RG3 not gone down. I'm going to predict a Redskins victory by four points tonight.
The first of two 2013 NFL Monday Night Football games going on tonight will officially kick off at 7:10pm EST / 4:10pm PST in high definition (HD) on ESPN. The cable network offers their channel subscribers the ability to watch a free live online streaming version of the Monday Night game here on mobile devices including cell phones, tablets, iPads and computers. The second MNF game gets underway at the west coast friendly start time of 10:20pm EST.