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: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2011 12:15 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Haha!!! You're funny...

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: January 7, 2011 8:04 am

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

All season long I've begged for  GB to get a running back.  Most fans don't understand that good teams such as Phily can pretty much forget  GB's run and focus on Aaron  Rodgers. In the Chicago  game  I believe aside from Rodgers the rushers  gained  36 yards on  20 carries.  Rodgers lead the rushing in total yards and yard per carry.

Green Bay should have gotten Marshawn Lynch   - Rodgers friend and teammate from   Cal - Berkeley.  Lynch is tempermental but with Rodgers he would have shined.  Green Bay is just an average team without Rodgers and even with him - a longshot to go very far.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:15 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Eagles will win if Jackson, Maclin, Avant and Celek get open. Offensive line has to have a solid outing, opening holes for McCoy, protecting Vick, getting Vick big runs too. Eagles need 30+ points to beat Rodgers & company. That means no turnovers, no show boating for stupid penalties, no significant injuries that are season or game ending for the Eagles. Defense has to play one of it's best outings. These are keys for them to advance in any round. They will need shutdown defense, the key defensive stops and big plays. Otherwise Vick looks like he did vs the Vikings, trying to do it all with inadequate protection which will lead to him making turnovers. Take the Bears game, the Falcons & Bears are very similar. Vick needs to score a fg or td instead of a turnover before the half. The Eagles were actually, red zone, knocking on the door to taking a 16-14 lead, even a 20-14 lead vs the Bears in Chicago, then the interception. Instead of those scores it was 21-13 Bears a few plays later. We all know they came out of the locker room and it became 28-13 and Vick was looking at pulling another 3 score comeback out of his jock strap. Eagles defense can't be so porous that the Bears or anyone else march down the field like that on them. eagles really had the game vs the Falcons, then the 59 point track meet vs the Redskins as complete games. They're going to need 4 of them to win a Lombardi trophy. Only the Falcons are a playoff team, the Eagles won't face the Seahawks in this, the Seahawks aren't the 2008 Cardinals. And the AFC is bringing the better champion, at least on paper again this season.

Since: Jun 16, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2011 6:13 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Love the Packers defense, if they show up the eagles will struggle. hoping that Aaron Rodgers is back on the same page as his recieving corp. if so he will post great numbers. GO PACK GO!

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2011 5:32 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

The Eagles offensive line, Vick and the W/R's have not shown they can handle a blitzing defense.  Enter Dom Capers and his blitz scheme.  Rodgers will have a great day against the Eagles Linebackers and DB's despite a below average running game.

Since: Dec 28, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2011 4:53 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

If the eagles win they will face the Bears unless you mean, when they beat the Bears and face the Falcons in the NFC championship

Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2011 4:16 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Remember, the Packers beat the Eagles when Kolb was the starting QB, and was hurt and Vick stepped in and took off from there.  Now he has the reigns of the team and they are home.  Weather won't be a factor due to both teams are outdoor teams.  Everyone puts a lot of stock in Rodgers and they should, but I don't see him going too far with this team without a running game.  The Eagles will come after him as they will do to Vick, but the Eagles can hand the ball off (something they can't do) and keep that blitzing and scheming defense of the Packers honest.  Given the right play called aganst the blitz and it's off to the races and if it happens more than once then the Packers D will have to tone it down which will give Vick the time he needs.  I like the Eagles to pull out a close one and face the Falcons (talk about a major storyline there).  Eagles - 35  Packers - 33

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2011 3:10 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Packers have much better defense. Offenses I rate equal both can score. Rodgers however is going to have big numbers against the bad pass defense. The one a Vikings rookie took advantage off. What will Rodgers do to it? Not sure Eagles can out score the Packers since they do have a great defense and Eagles don't.

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