Monday, January 3, 2011

Eagles Vs. Packers Matchup (Part 2)

The Eagles will need Vick to be magical once again as they take on the Packers in a rematch of week 1
If anyone remembers, I began this year with an analysis of the Eagles Packers matchup in week 1 and it seems ironic that the two teams are destined to meet again in the 1st round of playoffs. Of course, both teams are much changed since the beginning of the season, as my analysis was based upon Kevin Kolb at quarterback, which we all know is old news.

With Vick at the helm, the Eagles have scored a record number of points once again and have the most potent offense among all the playoff teams. Yet, the Packers have the 9th best offense this season and the 5th best passing offense as well. They are clearly a very dangerous team and, with Stewart Bradley likely still out and Dmitri Patterson struggling a bit recently, the Eagles are clearly vulnerable.

Yet, in the end, I believe this is a game the Eagles should win if they play their best football. The Eagles match up very well against Green Bay and if Reid devises a good game plan, the Birds should triumph.
The Eagles defense will need to step up big against a talented Packers defense
While the Packers have a top 5 defense this season, they are only 18th at defending the run. If Vick does not make poor decisions and takes off when his wideouts are contained, this Green Bay defense will be hard-pressed to keep him at bay (see Eagles Packers week 1). That combined with a combination of LeSean McCoy and perhaps Jerome Harrison to mix things up could mean a long day for this Green Bay defense.

And if the running game can be established (a big "if" considering Reid and Morhinweg's track records) then it will only further open up passes down the field, which will be key to advancing to the next round.
Only one can advance to the next round. Let's hope for a better outcome on Sunday than in week 1
Additionally, the Packers lack a reliable running game. The Eagles should theoretically have no problem shutting down Brandon Jackson. If Sean McDermott's main focus is dealing with Rodgers (easier said than done) then the Eagles may hope to limit the damage he can do. Perhaps then, with an Asante Samuel interception or two, the Eagles can continue to perform well.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. Shutting down Clay Matthews will not be easy, especially with our porous offensive line. Rodgers is also an elite quarterback with a plethora of weapons at his disposal. And also, the Eagles simply looked awful on Tuesday Night Football. But Reid is flawless after a bye week (although ours is unofficial) and the Eagles have the advantage of playing at home. And while both teams are full of holes, I believe the Eagles are simply the more complete team. Let us hope that with a week to rest, the Michael Vick Show can continue just 3 more weeks.

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