Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-6)
Monday, 8:30 pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
TV: ESPN, 6 ABC (in Philadelphia area)
Spread: Eagles -4
The Philadelphia Eagles still have a chance to compete for a playoff spot, but that door is closing quickly. With a 5-5 record, the Eagles sit in last place in the NFC East (0-3 in division games). With Dallas (10-1) all but wrapping up the division, the Birds hope to qualify for a wildcard spot. To do so, they must catch and pass NFC teams with better records like division rivals New York (8-3) and Washington (6-4), as well as Minnesota and Tampa Bay (both 6-5, though the Eagles hold the tiebreaker over the Vikings due to their head-to-head victory). ESPN gives the Eagles an even 50% shot at making the playoffs, while their Monday Night Football foe, the Green Bay Packers, get just a 40% chance.
The Packers are just as desperate to get back on track as the Eagles – and maybe more so. Unlike the Eagles, who are waiting for their rookie franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, to blossom, the Packers have a super star in Aaron Rodgers, have already won the Super Bowl once, and are determined to win as many championships as possible before Father Time catches up with their 33 year old (on Dec. 2) franchise QB. This season, the Packers’ defense has been awful. They have given up a dreadful 27.6 points per game (4th-worst) and have a takeaway/turnover difference of -6.
The Eagles should certainly have more chances to get their stagnant offense back on track this week. The home crowd, the Blackout, the excitement of Monday Night Football should all boost the home team in the early going. Once emotions come down, however, the team will need to execute, something they have too frequently failed to do. The Pack wants this game just as badly as the Eagles do. Aaron Rodgers is still a top-three quarterback in the NFL. Green Bay won’t roll over for Philadelphia, but a strong showing by offense and defense should get the Birds back above .500 and ready for a playoff push.
As we await kickoff, here are the predictions from the football minds here at Pattison Avenue and what we’ll be watching throughout the game – please follow and harangue them on twitter dot com:
The Packers are reeling, but they still have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Aaron Rodgers. Unless the Eagles boosted their cornerbacks without me realizing, I am terrified to see what an angry Rodgers will do to the Birds secondary. On the flip side, the Eagles defense is completely different at home, and despite facing Rodgers, I have little doubt the Brandon Graham and company will put the clamps down on another top quarterback. This game holds important playoff implications for both Green Bay and Philadelphia. Loser is essentially finished in the playoff race. With so much on the line, the veteran quarterback should lead his veteran team to victory, but, it will be Carson Wentz leading the home team, behind a crazy Philadelphia crowd to victory. Eagles, 24-20
The Packers just aren’t the Packers, this season. Their offensive line is bad and their defense is worse – the Eagles should win this game at home without much trouble. Of course, they wouldn’t be the Philadelphia Eagles if they just won the games they’re supposed to win and lost the ones they’re supposed to lose. This team doesn’t follow the script. That being said, I like the Eagles to win and finally rack up some serious AIR YARDS™! Wentz goes over 300 yards, Smallwood gets 75+ and a touchdown, Eagles, 31-27.
Zach Bates (@ZachBatesSJSD)
The Packers have been putting up points for my fantasy team, but thats about it. The Eagles should be able to get this win. Although the team is missing Ryan Matthews, the run game should be okay with Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood taking the load. It is now confirmed that Nelson Agholor will be benched tonight, so lets see how that has an impact on the rest of the receivers. I like the fact that the Eagles are at home for this game. Hopefully Carson Wentz can continue his trend of winning in big games. Eagles, 28-27.
Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Rogers..did I mention Aaron Rodgers? as that appears to be the wildcard in this match-up of two teams fighting for their playoff lives. By all accounts the Green Bay Packers defense is a mess, and we know the Philadelphia Eagles D is one of the best in the league, having shut down some very good QB’s this season, so unless some Packers offensive player has a huge day rushing, or making plays after a catch, this should be a W for the Birds. This will be another great chance for rookie Carson Wentz to show that he can handle the Big Games, while also an opportunity for another rook Wendell Smallwood to step up in the absence of Ryan Mathews. The fact that they are undefeated at home, and that the well fueled MNF crowd at the Linc could be a factor, I will say Eagles, 24-17
This match-up is much more up the Eagles’ alley than the Seahawks were last week. Although the score didn’t show it, I felt the Eagles hung tough against Seattle and would’ve been in the game in the 4th quarter if not for Soviet sleeper agent Nelson Agholor. But there’s no Legion of Boom in Green Bay – in fact, Mike McCarthy told me I’m next on the depth chart at corner for Packers. Not that these Eagles wide receivers can get open against anyone with a pulse, but the Packers defense looks like they’ve quit and Aaron Rodgers is the entire offense in Green Bay. McCarthy looks like a good bet to be a Black Monday victim in six weeks. Despite the fact he has a Super Bowl ring, I would take Doug Pederson over McCarthy every time. Eagles win and send the Packers into offseason mode. EAGLES, 26-21
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