GAME PREVIEW: PACKERS VS. EAGLES
- Matchup: Green Bay Packers (4-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
- Line: Eagles (-6.5) | O/U 46.5
The Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles will clash Sunday night in an NFC encounter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Packers fell behind early and never tasted the lead in a 27-17 home loss to the Tennessee Titans last week. The Eagles scored 14 points in the final quarter to deny the Indianapolis Colts’ upset bid with a narrow 17-16 road victory.
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles rebounded from their first season loss in Week 10 with a hard-fought win over the Colts. The Packers have notched three consecutive road wins over the Eagles and have not suffered a defeat in Philadelphia since 2006. However, the NFC East frontrunner is 4-1 at home this season, while Green Bay has lost four out of five games on the road.
The Packers’ offense ranks fifth in time-of-possession but has struggled to finish off drives and averages 18.4 points per game. Green Bay has dropped six of its last seven games and has scored 17 or fewer points in four of those losses.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown ten touchdowns over the past five weeks despite suffering a broken right thumb in Week 5. The 18th-year quarterback has posted 19 scoring passes and seven interceptions and is ranked 8th with 2,542 passing yards.
Green Bay’s 14th-ranked rushing attack features Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Jones is the seventh-leading rusher in the league with 778 yards and averages 5.4 yards on 143 carries. Dillon has added 467 yards on the ground on 117 rushing attempts.
Undrafted wideout Allen Lazard is the leading receiver for the league’s 18th-ranked pass offense. The Iowa State product has 25 targets in his previous three games and has tallied a team-high 529 yards and five touchdowns on 38 receptions. Tight end Robert Tonyan leads the Packers with 41 catches, and rookie receiver Christian Watson has caught five scoring passes over the past two weeks.
The Packers have allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards a game, but have surrendered the 13th-most touchdown passes. Cornerback Jaire Alexander leads the team with three interceptions, while safety Rudy Ford has collected a pair of picks.
Rookie linebacker Quay Walker has a team-high 80 tackles and recorded 11 last week against the Titans. De’Vondre Campbell and Adrian Amos have tallied 64 and 57 tackles, respectively.
Linebacker Preston Smith has five sacks, and defensive tackle Kenny Clark has three quarterback takedowns. Star linebacker Rashan Gary, who suffered a torn ACL against the Lions in Week 9, leads the team with six sacks.
Philadelphia boasts the NFL’s fourth-ranked scoring offense with 26.3 points per game and averages the sixth-most total yards an outing with 385 yards. The Eagles are one of the league’s top rushing teams, with 142.5 yards a game.
Third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has passed for 2,407 yards with 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He is also a dual threat who has picked up 440 yards and eight scores on the ground. The Oklahoma product has 11 scoring passes in his previous five games with just a lone pick.
Miles Sanders has developed into a top-10 back this season with 757 yards and six scores. Barring injury, the 25-year-old will set career highs in carries, yards, and touchdowns.
AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith are the leading pass-catchers. Brown has 49 receptions for 785 yards and six scores, while Smith has a team-high 52 catches for 559 yards and three touchdowns.
Philadelphia leads the league with 13 interceptions and allows the second-fewest passing yards per game. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson has a league-high six picks, while cornerbacks James Bradberry and Darius Slay have three interceptions.
Linebacker T.J. Edwards leads the team with 96 tackles and has recorded a pair of sacks. Haason Reddick has a team-high 7.5 sacks, and Javon Hargrave has netted seven quarterback takedowns. Brandon Graham (4), Josh Sweat (3.5), and Fletcher Cox (3) have combined for 10.5 sacks for an Eagles defense that ranks third with 32.
CHIEFS VS. CHARGERS PREDICTION
The Packers desperately need a win to keep their faint playoff hopes alive and will look to attack the Eagles’ 19th-ranked rushing defense, allowing 122.2 yards a game. Jones has racked up 138-plus yards in both games in which he has had 20-plus carries, but Green Bay will have to finish off drives with touchdowns instead of field goals to pull off the upset.
Green Bay does not give up many big plays in the passing game but has been torched in the red zone. The Eagles have had a soft schedule with wins over six teams with losing records but have rolled to nine wins in 10 games. The Packers’ run defense is ranked 25th, and both Sanders and Hurts should find success toting the pigskin Sunday night.
Despite being in hostile territory, I smell a prime-time upset this week. I like the fact that the Packers excel in the time-of-possession game. Rodgers understands the strengths and weaknesses of the Eagles’ defense and will utilize his tight end and running backs in the short passing game to neutralize the play of Philadelphia’s elite secondary.
My Bold Prediction: Green Bay Packers 23, Philadelphia Eagles 20
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Marvin is a sports fanatic who enjoys writing, daily fantasy sports, and coaching baseball. The native Texan loves traveling overseas and experiencing new cultures. Marvin is an avid fisherman and his favorite hobby is cooking Asian cuisine with his wife. People-watching at outdoor cafes, visiting different zoos, and watching vintage wrestling videos are among his favorite pastimes. He is fascinated with King Cobras, the Himalayan mountains, and the street dogs of Bhutan. His favorite TV shows include The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Have Gun – Will Travel. Marvin has coached baseball in Switzerland, Philippines, Brunei, and Bhutan.