PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Aaron Rodgers is not only one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, he is likely one of the top five players in the NFL. So when Rodgers went down with a fractured collarbone on Monday night, it obviously had an impact on this Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
Oddmakers reacted almost immediately. The early line on the game, before the Rodgers injury, set the Packers as a 10 point favorite over the Eagles. The next morning, when it became clear Rodgers was unlikely to play Sunday, the line dropped to a two point Packers advantage, which has since dropped to just one point in many places.
“We have a much better chance of winning in Green Bay [without Rodgers playing],” Eagles center Jason Kelce told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show on Frdiay. “There’s no doubt that he’s [Rodgers] one of the best quarterbacks in the league and if he’s not playing their offense is significantly weaker. Now, we still got to go out and show up on Sunday and we still got to come out and play great football, you got to do that every week in the NFL to win, but with them without Aaron Rodgers, yeah I’d say that we picked up a little bit of an advantage there.”
An unnamed NFL scout said earlier this week that Packers backup Seneca Wallace is ‘horrible,’ and the Eagles would likely win Sunday’s game.
The Eagles defense has improved notably over the last several games. Once a notable weakness for the team, it’s become more dependable over the last five games than the offense has.
“Well, you don’t ever want to see anybody get hurt, and one of the—I know people don’t really believe this all the time, but it is—to coach in the NFL, the privilege of coaching and playing in the NFL means you get to go against the best in the world and that’s the exciting, fun part,” Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis said. “So, there was a big part of this defense that really wanted to see Aaron Rodgers to see where we stand up against him and he is one of the elite throwers in the game, probably the most accurate. He’s fun to play against and watch play. When he went, personally I was hoping it wasn’t a long lasting injury and it hasn’t been so that’s a good thing, and then, does the game change? Absolutely. Is there a different quarterback in the game—he runs a difference offense. It’s the same west-coast, distribute the ball quickly and all over the field. It’s a timing, rhythm offense, they are running the ball more than usual, but I think it will change because Seneca [Wallace] has a different skill set than Aaron [Rodgers] and I know Mike McCarthy well and he’s going to make sure this game plan gives Seneca the best chance to succeed. So they’ll run the ball, they’ll throw it quick, and they’ll probably move the pocket a little bit on us to try to get Seneca to do what he does best.”
As for the Eagles quarterback, Nick Foles is coming off a legendary performance. Kelce says that Foles’ terrible performance against the Cowboys became a source of motivation for Foles.
“I really felt like he [Nick Foles] had this chip on his shoulder. I felt like all the media was bashing him, all these people were telling him how poor he played against Dallas. It really made him locked him and he really wanted that one really bad,” Kelce said. “You could tell throughout the week and the way he approached the game, how much he wanted to meet with me to make sure that we had everything fixtured up schematically. He was really, really focused on this one. You could tell leading up to the week that—I really thought he was going to have a big game.”