coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
On 11/05/2013 05:17 PM in NFL

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers: Preview and Pick

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers: Preview and Pick

The Green Bay Packers are one of the best teams in the National Football League, but they could fall on some hard times in the next few weeks. In the Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured as he left the game. It was reported that Rodgers has a broken collar bone and will miss the next three weeks to include this game against the upstart Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game has yet to be released because Rodgers is that important to this Packers team. With the big performance by Nick Foles against the Oakland Raiders, the public may actually favor the Eagles as backup quarterback Seneca Wallace looked bad in relief against the Bears. Check the latest odds at the top rated sportsbooks to see what this number settles at before kickoff.

The team will really miss Rodgers. The Packers are 57-29 (.663) with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback since his first career start in 2008 (Week 1). That is the 6th-best win percentage among qualified NFL quarterbacks during that span. Rodgers ranks 2nd in the NFL in touchdown passes and Total QBR during that span. He also has the best touchdown-to-interception differential in that span. Without a quarterback they will need to run the ball.

Forced to compete without Aaron Rodgers for the majority of the game Monday, the Packers ran designed rushes on 28 of 55 (50.9%) offensive plays. Coming into the game, the Packers had a 33-2 record since 2008 when calling designed rushes at least 40% of the time.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal that the Packers do have the trends in their favor. The Eagles are 6-13-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 20 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game, 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 when playing the NFC and 7-17-1 ATS in their last 25 games overall.

The Packers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game, 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game and 35-17-2 ATS in their last 54 home games. The trends may be in favor of the Packers but it will be a difficult adjustment without Rodgers under center.

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/06/2013 02:16 PM

The defensive plans took an abrupt change in direction on Monday night when Aaron Rodgers was sacked and knocked out of Green Bay's game against Chicago. All of a sudden, the suspicion, later confirmed, was that the Eagles wouldn't face the star quarterback on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

All of a sudden, it's Seneca Wallace who will start.

Wallace is a solid veteran backup who is going to be asked to carry the day for Green Bay for a few weeks. He moves well, he's intelligent and he has some skills to take what the defense gives him.

What Wallace is not, however, is a mystery. Bill Davis, the Eagles' defensive coordinator, coached the linebackers while Wallace was a backup quarterback in Cleveland in 2010 and 2011. Pat Shurmur, the Eagles' offensive coordinator, was Cleveland's head coach, and he worked very closely with Wallace.

The Eagles saw Wallace when he started as a member of the Seattle Seahawks in 2008, and made a big splash on Seattle's first play from scrimmage, connecting with wide receiver Koren Robinson on a 90-yard touchdown play to give the Seahawks an early 7-0 lead. The rest of the night did not go as well for Wallace, who ended his game with 13 completions in 29 attempts for 169 yards and the touchdown. Wallace was sacked four times. After the big play to Robinson, Wallace was 12 of 28 for 79 yards. Seattle gained just 143 yards on its last 54 snaps, and punted 11 consecutive times, seven after three-and-out offensive series.

It was a tough night for Wallace.

The Eagles hope to have the same kind of success on Sunday at Lambeau Field, but before you count it as an easy one for the defense, understand just what the Eagles are facing. Green Bay, despite losing Rodgers, tight end Jermichael Finley and wide receiver Randall Cobb, have some outstanding receivers in Jordy Nelson and James Jones, a good running game featuring Eddie Lacy and James Starks (who is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and who trampled the Eagles for 123 rushing yards on 23 carries in Green Bay's 2010 playoff win at Lincoln Financial Field in 2010) and a very strong coaching staff and scheme.

Folks, this isn't going to be easy, no matter who is playing quarterback for Green Bay.

I could tell you all about the times the Eagles faced this same situation, and how it worked out. I remember how the Saints were forced to start John Fourcade at quarterback in 1989, and Fourcade went out and tossed three touchdown passes and scrambled away from pressure and drove the defense crazy to beat the Eagles, 30-20 in a December game that was just crushing. I could make sure you recall how Colts running back James Mungro ran for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns at Veterans Stadium in 2002 as Indianapolis stunned the Eagles, 35-13.

It wasn't that long ago (2006, to be exact) when Tampa Bay's Matt Bryant boomed a 62-yard field goal to stagger the Eagles in Florida, a field goal that was 12 yards longer than any in Bryant's NFL career to that point (he has since kicked a 55-yard field goal)

Those are just a few names that jump out as examples about the unpredictable nature of the NFL. Sometimes you think you know how this game is going to go, and then it turns 180 degrees in the other direction.

Such is the thinking with Wallace and the Packers on Sunday. The Packers are without their franchise quarterback, and that is a setback for Green Bay. No question about that. Injuries have played a major factor in the Packers' season.

But the good teams in the NFL rally together in times of adversity, and the Packers are a good team. They're going to play with vigor on Sunday. They're going to be physical. They're going to try to establish the running game with their outstanding rookie, Lacy, and with Starks. They're going to try to create easy throws for Wallace. They're going to move the pocket and allow Wallace to use his legs as weapons.

Green Bay will go after Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles and take some chances and look to create some turnovers to give the offense a short field.

And the crowd? Rabid. Nuts. Head coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles can't play their practice music loud enough to replicate what the offense will hear on Sunday on the not-frozen tundra at Lambeau Field.

Word of warning: Don't get ahead of yourselves here. No doubt the Packers suffer a hit without Rodgers, but Green Bay is still a quality football team and the Eagles have to bring an "A" game to the party to come home 5-5.

It's happened before. Those moments are painful memories and missed opportunities. The Eagles can't afford to slip up here, no matter who lines up for Green Bay's proud and talented Packers.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/06/2013 02:17 PM

Every football team catches good and bad breaks during the season. The Eagles are catching a very good one this week.

The Eagles will face the Green Bay Packers this Sunday and Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not play in the game. Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone during Green Bay’s Monday night loss to Chicago, so Seneca Wallace will be under center for the Packers. Eagles Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis says the Packers won’t change much even with Rodgers stuck on the sidelines on Sunday.

“The running backs are really playing well,” said Davis. There’s a lot of weapons on the field for them. The quarterback they put in there will distribute to the weapons and that’s what we have to defend.”

While the Eagles will likely talk about having to prepare the same way, the absence of Rodgers is a huge blow to the Packers. But even with Wallace under center, DeMeco Ryans says the Packers present a strong challenge with their rushing attack.

“We still have to look at the film and see what they did with Seneca in the game,” Ryans said. ”But we’re all out with stopping the run game. They have two good backs who can run the ball, so we have to focus on stopping the run game first and foremost.”

While the Packers will be missing their star quarterback, the Eagles are hoping Nick Foles will build on his spectacular performance in Oakland. Foles says he’s looking forward to playing at historic Lambeau Field for the first time, but added it will be all business once the game gets underway.

“It’ll be fun playing there,” said Foles. ”But when the game starts, you really zone out the stadium. It’s the same field that we practice on. You just block everything out and you just play the game.”

Foles’ seven touchdown passes against Oakland have helped the second-year quarterback win plenty of praise in the locker room Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson says Foles has been impressive both on and off the field.

“He’s able to stay around here and motivate guys,” Jackson said. ”He has that characteristic you want in a quarterback. I see a big change in him since last year

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/06/2013 02:19 PM

Everyone by now knows Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a broken collarbone and will be out multiple weeks. Well, OK, next man up, no excuses, right?

We all know how important A-Rod is to the Packers, and the skills and talent he brings to the table. However, the fact of the matter is the NFL stops for no one, and there is a game to be played on a short week this Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are fighting for a playoff spot themselves.

So ready or not, we line up on Sunday.

To win this game here is what needs to happen: The defensive line needs to take control of this game and be the bad SOBs they have been prior to them getting kicked and pushed around against Chicago.

Their performance throughout the game was most disappointing and couldn’t have come at a worse time. At a time when they needed to hold the fort, steady the ship and continue to play smashmouth football like they have the previous seven games and put the HAT on themselves, they were nowhere to be found. They allowed more than double their rushing yards per game (82/171), and tacking 10 yards on their per-game average of rushing yards allowed for the season!

The Band of Brothers seemed tired and worn out. Was it possibly because they’ve had half a season of literally punching and taking punches from men of equal size and strength? Whatever the reason, it was just a bad game for everyone. Moving forward this unit has to perform at and even above what they had been doing prior to Monday night.

There are fresh bodies in C.J. Wilson and Josh Boyd, and to a lesser extent Jerel Worthy (PUP), so there is a relief core should someone need it. The no excuses mantra applies to this group just like everyone else, and now with Rodgers out for a spell, this group, more than any other, has to take charge and return to the Nasty Boys that had them as a top five rushing defense prior to Monday.

These next three games (Philly, at the Giants, and Vikings) are all winnable, but now more than ever they are all lose-able, too. With Detroit and Chicago and GB neck-and-neck in the NFC North, and the 49ers or Seahawks almost assured of one wildcard entries, this next stretch of games is more critical than any three-game stretch since the end of the 2010 regular season.

Postseason berths may or may not be won or lost during this stretch, but it’s as close to crunch time as you can get. Crunch time will be the last five games; this three-game stretch is about surviving until we get to the final five game stretch.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/07/2013 01:44 PM

The Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles both saw massive surprises at quarterback last week.

As Green Bay's four-game win streak came to a stunning end after Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury, Philadelphia got back on track behind Nick Foles' historic performance.

Now, the Packers will try to recover behind a journeyman backup while the Eagles hope for an encore from Foles on Sunday in Green Bay.

It will mark just the third time in 372 games for the Packers (5-3) in which Brett Favre or Rodgers is not their starting quarterback. Seneca Wallace is expected to fill in for Rodgers, who said on his weekly radio show he suffered a fractured left collarbone on a first-quarter sack in Monday's 27-20 home loss to the Bears.

Green Bay had won 29 of its last 31 regular-season games at Lambeau Field.

"That's a significant injury," said Rodgers, whose 108.0 passer rating trails only Peyton Manning. "We'll know more about the severity and the timetable later this week."

While Rodgers is expected to miss just his second start since taking over for Favre in 2008, coach Mike McCarthy said his quarterback's season isn't over.

"I'm relieved, no doubt," McCarthy said. "How long? We don't have our hands around a timeline yet, but I know Aaron is very optimistic and he'll do everything he can to get back in a timely fashion."

For the time being, Green Bay will have to rely on Wallace, who is 6-15 as a starter and has lost nine of his last 10 with the most recent coming Jan. 1, 2012, for Cleveland. Wallace, who wasn't in camp with the Packers, was 11 of 19 for 114 yards with an interception and was sacked four times after relieving Rodgers on Monday. He lost his lone start against Philadelphia on Nov. 2, 2008, completing 44.8 percent of his passes.

Foles likely put an end to what has been a carousel at the position for the Eagles (4-5). He became the seventh player in NFL history to throw for seven TDs - and the only one with a perfect 158.3 passer rating - with a career-high 406 yards in a 49-20 victory at Oakland last Sunday. Philadelphia had managed 10 points in back-to-back losses.

Even if Michael Vick were healthy - he's still unable to practice due to a hamstring injury - coach Chip Kelly likely would have had a hard time sending Foles back to the bench.

Like his team, Foles has been much better on the road. He threw for three TDs and posted a 133.3 rating in a win at Tampa Bay on Oct. 13, then completed 11 of 29 passes for 80 yards in a 17-3 home loss to Dallas in which he suffered a concussion.

While the Eagles have dropped 10 straight home games but are 4-1 on the road this year, Foles is 0-4 in home starts but has won three straight outside Philadelphia.

"I think what happened in the Cowboys game was such a surprise to everybody because that's not what Nick expects out of himself, not what we expect out of him," Kelly said. "I thought that what happened in the Cowboys game was an exception, not the rule. That's not the Nick Foles I know."

Foles found five different players for scores against the Raiders, including Riley Cooper for three. Cooper has caught 17 passes for 360 yards over his last four games.

Sunday's matchup will feature two of the league's top running backs in LeSean McCoy and Eddie Lacy. McCoy ranks first with 777 rushing yards on the season but just 147 in the last three games, while Lacy's 545 since Oct. 1 are the most during that span.

Lacy's 596 rushing yards as a rookie are already more than any Packer totaled in either of the last two seasons. He's averaged 23.8 carries over the last five games - a number that could increase should the Packers lean on their running game more with Rodgers sidelined.

Green Bay ranks fifth in run defense at 94.5 yards per game, while Philadelphia gave up 210 yards on 33 carries to Oakland last week.

The Packers won't see the return of tight end Jermichael Finley this season after placing him on injured reserve Tuesday. Finley will wait until 2014 to try to return from a spinal cord contusion suffered Oct. 20 versus Cleveland.

They do hope to have Clay Matthews, who is practicing this week with a club on his hand after having pins removed from his injured right thumb. Matthews hasn't played since an Oct. 6 win over Detroit.

His brother, Casey, is a linebacker for Philadelphia.

The Eagles are 4-16 all time at Green Bay.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/08/2013 02:22 PM

If there's a silver lining to the temporary loss of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it would be the possible return of star linebacker Clay Matthews.

With Rodgers expected to miss a few weeks with a fractured clavicle, the Packers are hoping Matthews can return Sunday versus the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Matthews had pins removed from his surgically repaired thumb on Monday and is expected to practice with his hand wrapped in a club.

According to head coach Mike McCarthy, the doctors "feel very good about where Clay is right now."

But more importantly, the health of Rodgers has been the hot topic this week after he went down in Monday night's 27-20 loss to the rival Chicago Bears. Now the Bears, Packers and Detroit Lions are jammed at the top of the NFC North with identical 5-3 records.

Rodgers completed 1-of-2 passes for 27 yards and was replaced by Seneca Wallace, who threw for 114 yards with an interception on 11-of-19 passing. Wallace has made 21 career starts in the NFL.

"I'm preparing Seneca to be the starter, that's the way our game planning has gone," McCarthy said. "But let's not kid ourselves. If he (Rodgers) walked into your office and asked for the ball on Saturday, what would you do? So we'll just see what happens."

Wallace doesn't have the arm strength like Rodgers and will have a week to get more acclimated with his receivers. Right guard T.J. Lang is questionable Sunday and missed the second half of the Bears game with a concussion. Don Barclay moved from right tackle to right guard and Marshall Newhouse was called off the bench to play the vacant tackle spot.

Expect that to happen again if Lang misses the game.

Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy carried the load and ran for a season- high 150 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

"Eddie definitely carried the torch," McCarthy said. "I liked the way he ran. I thought he took a step forward as a runner. I thought he was more physical than he's been in the past, if you can believe that, and I think he has more to give."

Lacy will try to pound an Eagles run defense that is yielding 111.8 rushing yards per contest and has two 100-yard games this season and more than 22 carries in each of the past five games. His 545 rushing yards since Oct. 1 leads the NFL.

The Packers had a four-game winning streak come to an end and were unbeaten in 11 straight games at Lambeau Field, including the playoffs.

Philadelphia ended a two-game slide and won for the third time in five weeks by dismantling the Oakland Raiders 49-20 last Sunday. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles will most likely get the nod again with Michael Vick still nursing a bum hamstring.

Foles earned his second NFC Offensive Player of the Week award this season by shredding the Raiders for a career-high 406 yards on 22-of-28 passing with seven TD passes an no interceptions. The seven touchdown passes tied an NFL single-game record for Foles, as he joined Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle and Peyton Manning as the only players to throw for seven scores without a pick. Manning did it in Week 1 this season.

For his effort, Foles' jersey and shoes were sent to the Hall of Fame to be on display. He has 13 touchdown passes to no interceptions this season.

"It's very humbling to know that the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be displaying memorabilia from the game we played this past weekend against Oakland," Foles said. "I've visited the Hall of Fame in Canton before and have a great appreciation for the history of this game. As I've said all week, it was a great team win for us."

Riley Cooper was on the receiving end of three of Foles' TD passes and finished with 139 yards on just five catches. DeSean Jackson had a touchdown and 150 yards receiving on five receptions for the Eagles, who have won three straight away from Lincoln Financial Field.

Philly's defense has vastly improved over the past few weeks and intercepted Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor twice and sacked him three times. Pryor is a mobile QB, just like Wallace, and ran for 94 yards on 10 scrambles. Raiders running back Rashad Jennings had 102 yards and a score on 15 carries, so the Eagles will have to improve in that area against Green Bay's Lacy and James Starks.

"They made a concerted effort even before Aaron got hurt to run the ball," Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said. "They had been running the ball pretty effectively. I think it's a real concern of ours because they're two big backs, two physical backs. It's a tough task when you have physical guys like that because you may have one unblocked guy at the point of attack, but you might need to have two or three. It's about getting 11 guys to the ball and gang-tackling."

The Packers lead the all-time series with the Eagles by a 26-15 margin and have won each of the last three meetings. Philadelphia is only 4-16 as the visitor against Green Bay, going 4-8 at Lambeau Field.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/08/2013 02:22 PM

Don't expect Foles to cough up another seven-TD performance and in fact he may even throw an interception this week. Foles, though, seems to have a solid grasp on the offense and was able to hit all targets with pin-point accuracy.

It will be interesting to see if the Packers can slow down Philly's quick offense, most notably Jackson, who leads the NFC with 823 receiving yards. Running the football has been an issue for Eagles back LeSean McCoy, who hasn't hit the 100-yard mark in each of the past three games (147 total). McCoy had 44 yards on 12 carries in Oakland, but did catch one of Foles' touchdown passes.

McCoy hasn't scored a rushing touchdown since Oct. 6 against the Giants.

"I'm not frustrated," McCoy said. "I'm just (thinking about) from the last game and we won the game. We didn't run the ball much, but we were scoring and striking every time that we had the ball. I wasn't frustrated with the carries or the yardage. You can't really worry about that type of stuff. I think the individual yards will come out at the end, but the biggest thing is winning. I'd rather be winning than having a ton of yards. Plus, I still lead the NFL in rushing so I can't be that (upset)."

McCoy has 777 rushing yards and leads the NFC with 1,097 yards from scrimmage.

Green Bay is one of the best at stopping the run, allowing just 94.5 rushing yards per game. If Matthews is healthy enough to return, he will make the Packers' defense that much better.

Look for Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji to play a role up front.

Wallace, meanwhile, has big shoes to fill under center and will try to attack the Eagles' defense early and often. He has the ability to escape and could be a threat if he gets to the defensive backfield with his feet.

The Packers made a move this week by signing QB Scott Tolzien to the active roster.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0
coleryan Posts:12114 Followers:20
11/08/2013 06:59 PM

The Eagles listed cornerback Bradley Fletcher (pectoral) as questionable, while quarterback Michael Vick (hamstring) is on track to miss another game.

It’s hard to imagine you were unaware that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) is out. Linebacker Nick Perry (foot) and guard T.J. Lang (concussion) are both questionable while linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb) is set to make his return

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-5-0