By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles caught a bit of a break Monday night. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fractured his collarbone on the first series of the Monday night game at home against the Chicago Bears. The injury will keep the franchise quarterback out of action for the next few weeks, starting with Sunday’s home game against the Eagles.
But don’t be suckered in to thinking the Eagles are getting lucky by playing a Packers team without one of the top quarterbacks in the league suiting up. Instead, realize the Eagles may be getting a break playing a team that is all of a sudden a bit of a mystery.
Forget that Rodgers is out of the picture for a moment. The Eagles are going to be taking on a Green Bay defense that was unable to shut down the Chicago Bears with their own back-up quarterback leading the offense. Chicago backup QB Josh McCown passed for 272 yards against the Packers in Lambeau Field Monday night, leading the Bears to a road win against their division rivals from Green Bay. If McCown could have that kind of success against the Packers, what might Chip Kelly have in store after seeing his quarterback, Nick Foles, throw seven touchdowns on the road at Oakland?
In addition to quarterback, there is also an injury question surrounding one of Green Bay’s top linebackers, Clay Matthews. If the Packers have to go without two of their top players, one on each side of the football, they will be at a disadvantage in terms of what they can do on the field but also when it comes to leadership. This is not the same kind of Packers team that has been using the same familiar cast of characters year in and year out. Changes have been made to the roster in recent years and the team has yet to truly become the kind of team that can live up to Super Bowl hype.
Of course, the Eagles are far away from that sort of talk as well, so what does it really matter?
The Eagles are catching a break though. After one of the best overall performances of the season to date – and really who could argue that after Foles had his game jersey and gear sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame – the Eagles are flying high and feeling confident with what they think they can do. Playing on the road can sometimes bring a team together and on Sunday the Eagles were as tight knit of a team as we have seen all season. Now, facing a Packers team that is suffering some key injuries and coming off a weak loss at home in division play, the Eagles may be able to take advantage of a team in a bit of disarray this weekend.
Despite how things may look, the Eagles have yet to really play two good games back to back this season. This week is a test for them. Will they pass?
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.