Redskins.com looks at two key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
"Redskins-Eagles: Marquee Matchup" is presented by Papa John's.
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QB Donovan McNabb vs. Eagles Pass Rush
For years, Donovan McNabb has competed against the Eagles' aggressive defense in practice. Now he faces off against the blitz-happy scheme for real.
McNabb has been sacked just five times this season, 12th best in the league. He continues to use his mobility to escape pressure and find receivers downfield.
He has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 833 yards, two touchdowns and one interception this season.
The Eagles have 11 sacks in three games and are ranked third in the league in that category.
They have a deep defensive line, so they may not have to blitz as often. Juqua Parker leads the defense with four sacks – and he's a backup to starters Trent Cole (three sacks) and rookie Brandon Graham (one sack).
The Eagles' philosophy is to force the issue whenever possible, so look for the occasional cornerback blitz or safety blitz. (Rookie safety Nate Allen, named NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for September, has one sack to go along with two interceptions.)
They have not faced a particularly mobile quarterback like McNabb, though.
Redskins Pass Rush vs. QB Michael Vick
All offseason, the Redskins' defense has put an emphasis on sacks and turnovers. This week, they get a supreme test against the resurgent Michael Vick.
Vick, of course, is always a threat to run with the ball – he has 170 rushing yards on 23 carries – but he has been equally effective as a passer in the Eagles' offense. He has completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 750 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Redskins may try to contain Vick in the pocket and then get pressure on him. He tends to scramble to his left, so that could open up pass-rushing opportunities for Brian Orakpo, who leads the Redskins with two sacks.
Overall, the Redskins have posted seven sacks, ranked 17th in the NFL.
The Redskins may have to put a spy on Vick to help minimize big plays when he scrambles out of the pocket.
LaRon Landry could be a candidate, but defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that Landry has too many other responsibilities. Another candidate could be Andre Carter, who has good mobility as a pass rusher.