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The Breakdown: 2011 NFC Wildcard Packers and Eagles

January 5th 2011 15:40
This is the most interesting wildcard matchup by far. These two teams match up similarly in so many aspects of the game. They both possess elite pass rushers, poor offensive lines, prolific passers, arsenals of receivers, and a dynamic corner. The Eagles were the better team in the regular season, but the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers proved that being worse than your opponents doesn't mean a thing in the postseason. Let's kick this enticing matchup off with another breakdown.

I want to start off breaking down the Eagles O against the Packers D. The Packers have a solid defense, but the scary thing is that they have never been at complete strength this season. However, they won't get those guys back. Regardless, it's a good D up against a high powered offense. The Eagles' offensive line is dysfunctional without Jamaal Jackson at center. Their interior is extremely vulnerable, especially with BJ Raji hanging around. Vick will be on his feet all day.

The Eagles can't throw it deep against these CBs. They need to utilize in-outs with Brent Celek and throw prototypical West Coast offense screens to LeSean McCoy. The Packers linebackers aren't as good at coverage as the secondary is. McCoy will have a tough time against Desmond Bishop and especially BJ Raji. He won't be obliterated, but he won't get his yardage easy. This is especially true if Bishop does have a big game. Bishop is inconsistent, but boy is his upside at run D good.

DeSean Jackson is like the Packers secondary. They won't give up big plays for the most part- or catches- but if you get by them and burn them; you're gone. I think D-Jax has a chance at this game if he can get separation from Williams or Woodson and break off the big play.

The Packers cannot run the football at all without Ryan Grant. If they had Grant, the Pack would have won their division and had a bye. Instead, they have to play Brandon Jackson. Mike Patterson and the improving Antonio Dixon will make sure Jackson doesn't do anything. Scott Wells and Daryn Colledge don't exactly help out Jackson either with their poor blocking.

Aaron Rodgers's tackles- Clifton and Bulaga- are utterly hopeless. Juqua Parker and the elite Trent Cole will keep Rodge on his feet. As good as A-Rod is in the pocket, expect some shots in. Both QBs do have lingering injuries, so this game could turn out ugly (the loser) or bittersweet (the winner). The Eagles play a strong zone defense with standouts Samuel and Mikell. They can handle the weapons well, but Kurt Coleman and Dimitri Patterson are the weak links. It's mainly the former than the latter.

I think that a well done fly route by any of the Packers' receivers will burn the Eagles and probably get a TD. The Eagles linebackers are weak, and the Packers can't really exploit that with JerMichael Finley out. However, they could try some Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings in-outs. Those guys could have some success. Obviously, if Samuel shadows Jennings; there won't be that big play. This game is very tough to predict. I think that the Eagles are a more well-rounded offense, but the Pack are a tough defense. I have the Packers in this game. I think Raji will do enough to make McCoy less of a factor in the running game. It is extremely tough to predict, but I don't like picking against my MVP.

Prediction: 34 Packers 31 Eagles MVP BJ Raji
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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Gabe

January 5th 2011 19:02
This among some of the other first round matchups could make this the best year for the playoffs in awhile. Which Rodgers will we see? Which Vick will we see? Should be interesting.

Comment by nbageek

January 5th 2011 22:50
Will be a great game, the best of the weekend. Am leaning towards the Packers also.

Comment by Anonymous

January 6th 2011 18:58
I think that the author of this article is completely ignorant to the fact that eagles defense is probably one of the best defeneses in the league they are currently ranked 6th overall in average yards allowed per game and if the author were to check injury reports he would know that alot of the defensive players who were injured are going to be playing sunday with the exception of stewart bradley. As you stated the packers have absolutely no game which is going to make them pass the ball more into the eagles secondary where they are going to have to contend with Quinton Mikel and Asante Samuel who are probably the best corner back safety combo. Also the eagles are currently ranked first in the NFC for average yards a game which is 389 yards compared to greenbays 358. which is significantly better than the packers. You also have to deal with all of the eagles passing weapons whether it be Jason avant or Brent Celek both have known to make clutch plays when necessary. So i think your prediction is completly wrong.

Greenbay- 21

Comment by Joe Soriano

January 7th 2011 04:50
Who the heck are you? Did you even read the article? I praised defensive players on the Eagles such as Mikell (best coverage safety in the league), Asante Samuel, Trent Cole (one of the top 5 DEs in the league), Juqua Parker, and Darryl Tapp. The Eagles have a good defense, but I saw Aaron Rodgers destroy an even better defense. I picked this as a 3 points game, which means that I sat there for a while analyzing it and predicting it. Constructive criticism is fine by me, but it seems like you didn't even try to completely read the article.

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