Friday, November 08, 2013

Preview: Eagles at Green Bay Packers

Without QB Aaron Rodgers, it's hard for me to see how the Packers are going to win their upcoming game against the Eagles. On the other hand, the Eagles have been the most inconsistent team on offense this season, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see them fall apart on any given Sunday. Looking back over the past nine weeks, the Packers and Eagles are both pretty similar teams. Great offenses, lousy defenses, and lousy special teams. Unfortunately those stats are looking backward and don't reflect how lost the pass offense will be without Rodgers.

QB Seneca Wallace won't be as bad as he was last week for a couple reasons. First he'll have a full week with the first team offense in practice to get ready and second he can't go much lower than a QBR of 7.7 against the Bears. Unfortunately he's shown no recent signs that he's any good. His last quality start was in December 2011. The last time he threw for more than one touchdown in a game was 2008. The best thing he can do on Sunday is hand off the ball.

The Eagles' run defense is currently ranked No. 24 overall (much lower than the Bears) so RB Eddie Lacy should have another strong game though they load up the box against him. Even the Raiders, while in complete collapse last week, scored 20 points, so the Packers can probably score 20 points too.

The special teams have been lousy this season, especially on kickoffs, but they were great overall against the Bears. The blocked punt and recovered onside kick led to 10 points and it kept the game close. They'll need another play from their unit to help give them an advantage.
I was really down on the defense after the Bears game. They haven't been forcing any turnovers this season (only two in their last four games without Matthews). I was hoping the return of CB Casey Hayward would help but instead he's just turned out to be a liability in run defense and he missed a huge tackle on TE Marcellus Bennett in the fourth quarter. I'm not expecting a lot from Matthews on Sunday (assuming he plays at all) but at least when he does lineup opposite LB Mike Neal, it will give them their first quality outside pass rush tandem in almost a month.

The Eagles have scored over 31 points in four of their previous five road games. While they scored 49 last week in Oakland, they only managed 10 points at home over their previous two games. A large part of those problems were related to playing Matt Barclay. Injuries to Michael Vick and Nick Foles created a mess in both of those games. They enter this game with Foles healthy and he's clearly the starter.

I'm not going to predict a score because it wouldn't be predicting a Packers win. An offense with a washed up veteran and a defense that can't stop anyone is no way to run a football team.

1 comment:

Jack Niemuth said...

My pick: Packers 21, Eagles 17