Friday, September 29, 2006

Game 4 Preview

green bay packers at philadelphia eagles on mnf

this should be another no contest game. there could be some complicating factors -- e.g. looking ahead to the dallas game next week -- but the outcome won't be in doubt.

i'll lay out my thoughts at the end, but first what some others think about the game:

footballoutsiders.com
- eagles jump two spots to 4th overall in DVOA (technically it's "VOA" since it is early season and not yet adjusted for defenses faced), stay at 1st on offense, jump one to 15th on defense, and drop to 17th on special teams
- packers come in ranked 26th overall, 22nd on offense, 22nd on defense, and 26th on special teams
The Eagles have played just over 180 minutes of football this season and have looked unbeatable in about 160 of them. Donovan McNabb is averaging 8.5 yards per attempt and has been picked off just once. The defense has produced 16 sacks and forced seven fumbles (though it has only recovered two). And their 60-40 pass-run split is as close to balanced as Andy Reid is going to get. The Eagles have won the last four meetings, going back to 2003. It all looks bleak for the Packers, who are coming off a solid win but still have work to do on defense and in pass protection. And don't expect the Eagles to look past the Packers to the Cowboys, who are headed to Philly next week. They've had their embarrassing letdown for this month. "We have to continue to strive to get execution," Brian Westbrook said on Monday. Hey, if Westbrook and LaDainian Tomlinson get together, they can begin to strive to begin to get execution! Until then, Rundown will endeavor to persevere.
vegas vic
Here's hoping everyone except Andy Reid has purged the memory of the Eagles last Monday night effort (a humliating 42-0 bagel cooked up by the Seahawks last December), but this is a new season with a healthy and happy Donovan McNabb leading the No. 1 offense in the NFL. The Birds will have no problem strutting their stuff in front of the "MNF" cameras against a Green Bay defense that allows 388.3 yards per game, covering this spot with plenty of room to spare.

Prediction: EAGLES (-11) over Packers
milwaukee journal sentinel
Being an underdog should be nothing new for the Green Bay Packers. They were one 11 times in 16 games a year ago and in their first three games this year.

Nevertheless, it has been a long, long time since the Packers have been the prohibitive underdog that they will be Monday night in Philadelphia.

Their opponent, the Eagles (2-1), have been established as an 11-point favorite. The Packers haven't faced longer odds in a regular-season game since they were a 13-point underdog on the road against the Chicago Bears in Week 13 of 1988.

Pick: Eagles

espn scouts inc
Philadelphia is playing on a level similar to two years ago, when it represented the NFC in the Super Bowl. Donovan McNabb is having fun playing football again and it shows, as he is the leading passer in the NFC. He is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast and Philadelphia is currently the top offense in the NFL.

With an Eagles' defensive front that has been putting tremendous pressure on quarterbacks lining up against a Packers' offensive line starting a pair of rookies, Favre may find himself under fire. Green Bay simply is not good enough to go into Philadelphia and pull an upset over a talented and experienced Eagles' team.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Packers 10
what i think
if this was the packers of 3-4 years ago or the brett favre of 1996, then there would be some points of concern, but this is the mike mccarthy packers -- yes, the same mike mccarthy who was the saints o-coordinator for the last few seasons -- and the real brett favre retired in 1999.

it's possible the eagles come out a little flat as this is the sandwich game before next week's me-o return, but i doubt it. as football outsiders mentions, the motivation from the collapse during the giants game should carry much further than just last week. no let down here.

packers o vs. eagles d
TAFKA brett favre + little speed at wideout + ahman green coming off major injury + inexperienced middle of the o-line (where mike patterson lives) should make it difficult for the packers to do a whole lot of damage. they are coming off scoring 24 and 27 points in their last two games, but they are taking a step up in class from the lions and saints respectively. the eagles may not be in chicago's class defensively (shutout the packers in week 1), but the eagles are good enough and, most importantly, rush the passer well enough to control this matchup.

eagles 0 vs packers d
if i could pick one word to describe the packers d, it would be "meh". the linebackers are ok but don't concern me too much -- they have a good player in nick barnett, a hyped rookie in aj hawk, and some guy named brady poppinga. the d-line can rush the passer a little with aaron kampman and kgb, but the line is both weak and injured at d-tackle. kampman and kgb also happen to be good matchups for runyan and thomas as kampman, a motor guy, will matchup against runyan, who tends to struggle against speed guys, and kgb, a speed guy, will matchup against tra, who tends to struggle against power guys. if the packers have any real advantage over the eagles, it is at cornerback. at corner, the packers have our pal al "personal foul" harris and a guy who was once the best cornerback in the game in charles woodson. both of them are on the downside of their careers, but realistically are still better than the joselio hansons and dexter wynns the eagles can field this week. unfortunately for them, this advantage is probably negated by the fact that the packers have safeties who are average at best. marquand manuel was a guy who was forced into a starting role at seattle due to injuries and nick collins is high draft pick from last season but is still learning the position.

the eagles should be able to run and pass on these guys at will. the only thing that is going to slow the eagles offense down is a lack of interest and/or a desire to not run up the score.

prediction: eagles 31 - packers 13

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

I swear that NYG game has scarred me for the rest of the year. There will be no more easy Ws the rest of the year as far as I'm concerned. I just don't trust this team. Especially with the secondary beat up and the injuries starting to mount. At least 5's still 100%. He'll get us to 10-6 with Mahe Greg Lewis as starters.

9:11 AM EDT  
Blogger Corey & Carson said...

my prediction: Eagles 83, Packers 0. Why so outrageous? Because after the Phillies debacle this week, we need the Eagles to step up and win in a ridiculous fashion to wipe the bad taste from our mouths. Let's just hope the Birds don't shit the bed like our Phightins.

9:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relax Birds fans. If they lose this game, they are not a playoff contender anyway, so it'll either be another step toward Dallas or an indicator that they actually aren't very good and you can start directing your attention on Sundays elsewhere.

I am trying to be patient with PSU, but did anyone watch that game yesterday> Was 33-7, should've been 60-0. The entire team clicked well except one key component. That's right, my pal and yours Morelli just randomly tossed the ball around again and failed to score a TD on 3 trips starting at the 10. I know he's young and I need to be patient, but damn if his skills don't look limited. I haven't seen this supposed rocket arm he has. Anyone else out there with me on this?

Also surprised not to see any Phillie comments. I guess we all expected the inevitable bed shit that was the trip to DC, but at some point Padres and Dodgers took care of business very well the last 2 weeks and even though the Phils did too, they were just better. The right teams made the dance. Charlie Manuel has to but won't be fired.

Bumble

11:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Corey & Carson said...

I hate Charlie Manuel...literally loathe!

Go Eagles...now I will root. Previous 3 weeks were still completely dedicated to the Phils.

8:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble,
I know Phil, Steve Parry, and myself couldn't care if the Phillies ever did anything. No, that's not true. If they made it to the world series, I would certainly spread the wings I'll have sprouted and fly to the nearest sport's bar to watch the game. Otherwise I'm strictly an Ealge's/Flyers man. (Does philly still have a basketball team? Can't remember, or care)
And even right now, I'm already pretty much dumping the Flyers' season. With Nitty playing hurt, and the Flyers keeping Esche, the year is going to end just like last year. They're over the cap, and the roster is filled with over the hill used to bes.
Of course, I am going to 5 games this year, so I'm not helping, but I just love watching live hockey.....

- Joe

10:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally, possibly the best Eagle's flash intro ever this week.

Go Birds!

- Joe

10:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Steve parry, lead singer for journey said...

Whooooooooa-oooooooohhhhhhhhhhh

1:11 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me a snob, but I hate hockey. i hate everythign about hockey. I cannot really put a reason to it outside of the fact that any sport started in Canada and not starring a McKenzie brother is useless to me and I cannot honestly look at a sport where fighting is expected without retribution as a sport unless it's boxing. Clarkie is an inept, pompous asshole who hd open payroll for 10 plus years and couldn't ever grasp that you spend money on goalie. They are slow and rooted in mid seventies thinking, thus they los ein the first round every year.

No sir I would be very happy never watching another game of hockey. My wife loves it too, likes to go to live games. I sort of zone out and eat popcorn when i am forced to go.

Bumble

5:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So,

Your wife forces you to go to hockey games? What else does she force you to do?

I don't ever want to hear you complain about anything again in this life, Bumble.

Bobby Clarke

10:30 PM EDT  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

I love hockey. But I think the reason I like it so much is because pro basketball is such a dreadful sport. The only and I mean only thing I like about it is that you have to lift weights (unless you are AI) to play....it is a physical game, but it's such a piss poor fundamental game. All about driving to the hole and making ESPN highlight films.

9:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I don't care about Hockey anymore because I don't have Comcrap so can't see any games. Sigh. I used to love watching games, too.

4:34 PM EDT  

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