Blog Entry

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Posted on: January 6, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 5:02 pm
Posted by Will Brinson's patented and award-winning 7-point playoff preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. And as an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:

1. Green Bay Packers (No. 6, NFC, 10-6) @ Philadelphia Eagles (No. 3, NFC, 10-6)

And we're right back where we started! Except instead of the regular season opener, we all know that Michael Vick will play and that he's capable of being the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL on any given day. So is Aaron Rodgers, though, which is why this is such a compelling matchup. It doesn't hurt either that at one point either before the season (Packers) or during the year (Eagles), both of these teams were the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC. Injuries almost derailed Green Bay, but they rallied to become the annual "wild card team no one wants to play," while the Eagles stumbled down the stretch as either Vick's injuries caught up to him or defenses figured him out. Sunday, we find out which one it was.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking

This is probably a 5-Mora rating because of the compelling matchup at quarterback, but I'm a hard sell for a maximum rating. Plus, the whole "What if Michael Vick has a bad performance" storyline is terrifying.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Michael Vick vs. Dom Capers and his blitzing minions

Michael Vick threw his first interception since like 2006 in Week 12 against Chicago. It's cool, though, because no one can go totally interception-less. Except since that Week 12 game, he hasn't had a game without an interception. That's not saying Vick hasn't been good -- Lord knows he's piling up fantasy points by the bundles and won my championship for me (it's a league, duh, so hey, Garrett! Maybe next year!). But fantasy football doesn't offer negative points for quarterbacks being sacked and when someone runs in touchdowns, which Vick does, scores get inflated. 

That's a long way of saying that take a look at the final three games of Vick's regular season and you realize how important pressure is for Dom Capers and the Packers. If they can get athletic blitzers to Vick (i.e. defensive backs and Clay Matthews), they'll force sacks, fumbles and bad decisions from Vick. 

That was the plan Minnesota utilized in Week 16 and it resulted in six sacks, two fumbles, an interception and enough bad decisions by Vick that he completed just 58.1 percent of his passes. Now, Vick probably wasn't "100 percent" but that's the nature of football at the end of the season. 

It's no secret that there's a correlation between additional pressure on the quarterback (and this applies to any team playing any quarterback) and turnovers, sacks, bad decisions and wins. And it's no secret that quarterbacks who can recognize blitz packages and formations and then adjust on the fly have a higher rate of success. Michael Vick has shown, over the past few weeks, that perhaps he's not as developed as a "pure passer" as everyone thought when he was piling up deep balls against the Redskins.

Capers will bring the heat with the Packers blitz packages -- if Vick can demonstrate a better job of recognizing the various formations, then he'll seem a lot more like the guy who upped his MVP status in the second half against the Giants than the guy who was stifled in the first part of that game.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

I was originally going to put  to put "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley here (for Vick's comeback), but that's probably desecrating the importance with which Marley wrote the anthem of freedom. Instead, let's think about what's at stake for Vick and Rodgers here -- both guys need a playoff win in the worst way. One to really beef up his contract status with the Eagles next year and the other to get that final monkey off his back. But that doesn't mean there's any PRESSURE, DAN Michael and Aaron.

5. The Eagles will win if ...

They provide Vick adequate protection and establish LeSean McCoy in both the running and passing game. The Packers are going to bring pressure (duh) and the best way to counter that is by letting McCoy make plays from screens, draws and dumps in the flats designed to occur before the pressure hits.

6. The Packers will win if ...

They get to Vick. Rodgers will get his points so it's on the defense, and the Eagles are 1-2 in games where Vick was sacked four or more times, with the lone win a 35-32 victory over Detroit in Week 2.

7. Prediction: Eagles 23, Packers 21

Since: Nov 5, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2011 12:45 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

wow, you are a complete moron.

Since: May 15, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2011 12:28 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Perhaps we'll have a chance to continue that conversation in two weeks, assuming the Bears don't get beat by the Seahawks for the second time this season.

Since: Sep 17, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2011 10:19 am

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Eagles win 30-24.. The difference maker will be LeSean McCoy. The popular opinion is saying the Pack wins??.. That just about locks up a win for the Birds!!!

Since: Jan 9, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2011 10:12 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:35 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

You should move into the burbs. Typical city hack/democrat.  You are an idiot.  You must be a writer 'cause you don't know shit about football.  A$$ Jockey!

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:29 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

I will put the Packers #52 up against any of the Monsters of the Midway.  If Reid listens to your advice, I like the Pack in a 10 to 3 defensive battle.  Wait a minute, scratch that, 21 to 3.  Philly's defense is nowhere near as good as the Bears and your beloved Bears couldn't do anything you referenced above.

Looking foward to seeign you agian in a couple of weeks. 

And if you don't like the culture or devout love for Wisconsin's team, pack it up and head south.  You can commute from Zion just as easy.

Since: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: January 8, 2011 10:44 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

no the bears didnt get any help from the refs this year ... not at all.

and no fans whine and cry more than the bears fans

Since: Jan 4, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2011 9:51 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

worst of all, an Eagles win sends Seattle to Atlanta in the divisional round. If the Packers win, then Seattle goes to Chicago and GB goes to Atlanta, potentially setting up a Seattle-GB NFC final in Seattle. And the winner meets the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Pats +49 points, and they'll cover against anyone except Atlanta.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:04 am

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Ahhh. the national media love affair with Rogers and the Packers. It was only fueled by a relatively bad Patriot's performance against a backup on Sunday night football.

Being a non-Packer fan living in Milwaukee means I get to see and know way too much about this team, and I see them without Lombardi lenses in my glasses. Let's face it, they are classic under-achievers and have been since McCarthy took over the head coaching job.

Everyone talks about how much talent they have, and how they have overcome injuries, but ask yourself, why is it that they either miss the playoffs or manage to just squeak in every year? Even at that they are at best a one-and-done team (see 2009 season). With the way NFL pundits talk about them you'd think they would crush their Norris Division rivals. But they don't. And, the reason why is they are mentally weak, and easily distracted by virtue of soaking up the shallow love of their adoring, senseless, Packerites. In podunk Green Bay the players actually get to hear what Stosh and Ole' are tellin' 'em at the corner tavern on Monday nights.

They might beat the Eagles, but if they do it will be because the Eagles play poorly and fail to do what Andy Reid typically gets his teams to do pretty regularly, and that is win their first-round playoff games.

Clay Matthews is a good player, but he is not the great player so many out-of-town experts think he is. He plays with reckless abandon, and that tends to deceive the eyes of an occasional viewer. Time and again, a well positioned push to the outside by an o-tackle with quick feet allows quarterbacks to step up in the pocket. He'll pursue back to the middle because he hustles well, but the disciplined quarterback will get rid of it leaving Matthews looking like Fabio on sterioids (maybe he is Fabio on steroids!). The receiving corps is top-notch, I'll give the Pack that much, but trust me this team will fold if the Eagles play their cards right.

Andy Reid: blitz Rogers intelligently and be sure to bring enough guys to get to him when you do. Be sure to hit Rogers every chance you get, and be willing to take a 15-yarder here and there if you have to. Do this, and he will crumble. Unleash McCoy and watch the middle of Green Bay's defense start to huff and puff. Empower Vick to pull the ball down and run for first downs.

Do these things and Packer fans will be drinking their Jaegermeister-spiked drinks while tailgating in anticipation of next year's stockholder's meeting, because that will be the next time they get to see any action out of their beloved green and gold.

Since: Nov 1, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2011 10:00 am

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

We are gonna carve up the Eagle Secondary with a host of receivers.  Philadelphia will be cream cheese after the Packers leave town with a WIN!

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