Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Green Bay Packers
- QuarterbackNick Foles shocked the NFL with his remarkable Week Nine performance against the Raiders. It’s one thing for him to lead Chip Kelly’s offense successfully, it’s quite another to tie an NFL record with seven touchdown passes. While Foles' accuracy and decisiveness was quite impressive, he has to show he can perform consistently and that will take a lot more than one good game.Aaron Rodgers was unable to play against the Bears in Week Nine after the first series, because he fell hard on his left side and he reportedly suffered a collarbone injury. If Rodgers can’t go, Seneca Wallace will be in the lineup. He is quite competitive, but he lacks the arm strength and accuracy to give the Packers an explosive passing game.
- OffenseThe Eagles would like to attack the Packers with their top skill-position stars. LeSean McCoy has the ability to hurt the Packers as a runner and a receiver, but if he takes a couple of big shots early it could limit his enthusiasm. DeSean Jackson has an advantage over the Green Bay defensive backs because of his speed, but will Foles get time to find him?The Packers have a much more well-rounded offense this year because they have a solid running game thanks to rookie Eddie Lacy and powerful James Starks. The offensive line deserves much of the credit for its outstanding run blocking. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson almost always gets open and he will not drop the ball. James Jones should be an effective threat who can stretch the defense.
- DefenseThe Eagles rank 31st on defense and they rarely rise up and impose their will. While middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans is a smart player who leads the team in tackles because of his excellent positioning, he doesn’t get enough help from his teammates. The Eagles have the combination of a poor pass rush and substandard coverage in the secondary. That’s not going to win many games.The Packers have been much more aggressive on defense and they have actually picked it up since linebacker Clay Matthews went out with his broken thumb. They rank 11th overall on defense and they have been getting solid play from linebacker A.J. Hawk, who leads the team in tackles. Cornerback Sam Shields has done a good job in coverage but he has not shown good hands for creating interceptions.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles are ordinary in their special teams play and they have given up a kickoff return for a score and Damaris Johnson is not a threat as a return specialist. The duo of placekicker Alex Henery and punter Donnie Jones is ordinary.The Packers had a punt return for a touchdown from Michah Hyde earlier this season, but they also gave up a 109-yard kickoff return for a score to Minnesota’s Cordarelle Patterson. Mason Crosby has rebounded with an excellent season after last year’s disaster and he gives them solid placekicking.
If Rodgers was in the lineup, this would appear to be a runaway for the Packers. However, his injured collarbone is likely to keep him out of the lineup and that could make this game a toss-up. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor