This is the most interesting wildcard matchup by far. These two teams match up similarly in so many aspects of the game. They both possess elite pass rushers, poor offensive lines, prolific passers, arsenals of receivers, and a dynamic corner. The Eagles were the better team in the regular season, but the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers proved that being worse than your opponents doesn’t mean a thing in the postseason. Let’s kick this enticing matchup off with another breakdown.
I want to start off breaking down the Eagles O against the Packers D. The Packers have a solid defense, but the scary thing is that they have never been at complete strength this season. However, they won’t get those guys back. Regardless, it’s a good D up against a high powered offense. The Eagles’ offensive line is dysfunctional without Jamaal Jackson at center. Their interior is extremely vulnerable, especially with BJ Raji hanging around. Vick will be on his feet all day.
The Eagles can’t throw it deep against these CBs. They need to utilize in-outs with Brent Celek and throw prototypical West Coast offense screens to LeSean McCoy. The Packers linebackers aren’t as good at coverage as the secondary is. McCoy will have a tough time against Desmond Bishop and especially BJ Raji. He won’t be obliterated, but he won’t get his yardage easy. This is especially true if Bishop does have a big game. Bishop is inconsistent, but boy is his upside at run D good.
DeSean Jackson is like the Packers secondary. They won’t give up big plays for the most part- or catches- but if you get by them and burn them; you’re gone. I think D-Jax has a chance at this game if he can get separation from Williams or Woodson and break off the big play.
The Packers cannot run the football at all without Ryan Grant. If they had Grant, the Pack would have won their division and had a bye. Instead, they have to play Brandon Jackson. Mike Patterson and the improving Antonio Dixon will make sure Jackson doesn’t do anything. Scott Wells and Daryn Colledge don’t exactly help out Jackson either with their poor blocking.
Aaron Rodgers’s tackles- Clifton and Bulaga- are utterly hopeless. Juqua Parker and the elite Trent Cole will keep Rodge on his feet. As good as A-Rod is in the pocket, expect some shots in. Both QBs do have lingering injuries, so this game could turn out ugly (the loser) or bittersweet (the winner). The Eagles play a strong zone defense with standouts Samuel and Mikell. They can handle the weapons well, but Kurt Coleman and Dimitri Patterson are the weak links. It’s mainly the former than the latter.
I think that a well done fly route by any of the Packers’ receivers will burn the Eagles and probably get a TD. The Eagles linebackers are weak, and the Packers can’t really exploit that with JerMichael Finley out. However, they could try some Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings in-outs. Those guys could have some success. Obviously, if Samuel shadows Jennings; there won’t be that big play. This game is very tough to predict. I think that the Eagles are a more well-rounded offense, but the Pack are a tough defense. I have the Packers in this game. I think Raji will do enough to make McCoy less of a factor in the running game. It is extremely tough to predict, but I don’t like picking against my MVP.
Prediction: 34 Packers 31 Eagles MVP BJ Raji