The Philadelphia Eagles started the season with a 27-20 loss to the Packers. Can the Packers complete the ‘bookend’ and give them another loss?
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles Game Info
- Packers-Eagles Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, January 9th at 4:30 ET on FOX
- Packers-Eagles Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
- Packers-Eagles Point Spread: Eagles -2. 5
- Packers-Eagles Over-Under Odds: 46
- Packers-Eagles Spread Pick: Packers +2.5
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles Preview
The Eagles came into the season with a rookie at quarterback and a flamboyant wide receiver. They had no idea that the Packers would give Head Coach Andy Reid a reason to get Michael Vick on the field. That excuse came when Kevin Kolb had to leave the game after being tackled by Linebacker Clay Matthews.
That play made the Eagles who they were for the remainder of the season: a high scoring, up and down the field offense that gave Philadelphia a reason to cheer. With Michael Vick starting at quarterback, the Eagles went on to win ten of their next thirteen games, averaging more than thirty points a game.
Michael Vick ended the season with 3,018 yards passing, throwing 21 TD passes to only 6 interceptions. He also ran for 676 yards and another 9 touchdowns, reminding all of the NFL who he was prior to being in prison.
With Vick attracting attention as a runner, wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant were given more time to run routes and get open. The Eagles led the NFC in catches of 20 or more yards with a total of 76, one a 91 yard touchdown strike to DeSean Jackson.
The Green Bay Packers head into the playoffs playing some of the best football they have played all year. Head Coach Mike McCarthy says the team is playing at a very high level in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams. He also realizes what lies ahead of them this week though: an explosive offensive team, which is all the Packers will focus on at this point.
The Packer offense is led by Aaron Rodgers who finished the regular season 78 yards short of being the first ever quarterback in league history to open his career with three straight 4,000 yard seasons. Rodgers has a talented receiving core, led by veterans Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. James Jones and Jordy Nelson have also contributed, making Green Bay’s pass attack one of the best in the NFL.
Defensively, the teams finished the season one and two in the NFC in interceptions, with the Packers grabbing 24, one more than the Eagles. Green Bay led the league, only allowing 15 points per game. The Eagles allowed more than 23 a game, ranking 11th in the NFC.
Green Bay has playmakers littered across the field on defense. Clay Matthews leads the linebacker group, getting 13.5 sacks. A.J Hawk, taking over for injured Nick Barnett, leads the team in tackles with 111. Charles Woodson leads a defensive backfield comprised of fellow All Pro Nick Collins, Charlie Peprah and Tramon Williams, who led the team with six interceptions. B.J. Raji is starting to make his presence known on the line, getting 6.5 sacks this year. Cullen Jenkins should be ready to go after missing the last two games to injury.
The Eagles defense is not as stout, allowing an average of more than 327 yards a game. Defensive lineman Trent Cole leads the team in sacks with ten. Safety Quinten Mikell leads the team in tackles with 88. Cornerback Asante Samuel leads the NFC with seven interceptions, one behind league leader Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens.
The Eagles have had a great run, just not a great finish. They lost their last two games — one to a really bad Minnesota Viking team. Michael Vick played horribly in that game, and took a lot of punishment, as he was unable to play in the season finale.
The Packers, on the other hand, have been in playoff mode for the last two weeks, beating the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears, after an outstanding effort against the New England Patriots.
If Green Bay can get off to a quick start on offense and defense, they’ll take care of the wounded Philadelphia Eagles and end their season where it started: a loss at home to the Green Bay Packers.
Packers-Eagles Prediction: Green Bay 33-20
Packers-Eagles Spread Pick: Packers +2.5
Packers-Eagles Over-Under Pick: Over