Game Preview – GB at PHI

Posted: November 27th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Preview – GB at PHI

If I told you back in August that the Eagles and Packers would have combined for 8 losses when the teams met, you would have figured the Eagles would be the team struggling. Maybe Jalen Hurts didn’t pan out or injuries struck in a big way. Nope. The Eagles are 9-1 and the Packers are the disappointment, sitting at 4-7.

The most amazing thing about them being 4-7 is that Aaron Rodgers hasn’t missed a game. He has dealt with a broken thumb, but Rodgers biggest issue is…Aaron Rodgers. You just don’t get the feeling he’s all in on this season. I’m not questioning his effort, but it just seems like something is off. He wasn’t happy about losing Davante Adams, which is completely understandable. When that does happen, you have to embrace the new guys. It sure doesn’t feel like Rodgers did that for most of the year.

Rodgers has talked to the media about players making too many mistakes. You don’t hear him talking about his issues. Every game you see replays where some guys are running wide open and Rodgers is holding the ball and looking for Davante or Jordy Nelson or some other receiver from the past. He’s not happy with the offense. He’s been openly critical of the plays being called. He doesn’t like the system. There is too much motion for his liking. Rodgers misses the west coast offense.

Rodgers is still a gifted passer, but something isn’t right. He was the MVP the past two years. This season he’s erratic. You see flashes of Good Rodgers, but there are also times when he looks flat out bad. A friend texted me after the last Packers game and said “This is just sad.”

As a whole, the Packers are erratic. They have a 3-game winning streak and a 5-game losing streak. They scored 9 points in a loss to the Lions. The next week they put up 31 points in a win over the Cowboys. They are 15th in yards on offense and 14th in yards on defense. They are 26th in points scored. They can compete, but they struggle to make key plays.

The key is their run game. In 3 of their 4 wins, they ran for 199 yards or more. They averaged 28 points in those games. Limit their run game and the Packers will struggle to score points. This will be a good test for Jonathan Gannon. He focuses on limiting big plays and going against Rodgers in theory should make him want to keep his safeties back. But study the numbers and you can see stopping the run is the key to this game.

The Packers passing game is showing signs of life. Rookie receiver Christian Watson has 5 TD catches in the past two games. He had really struggled up to that point, with some costly drops.

The Eagles defense played well last week, limiting the Colts run game after the opening series. New additions Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh really made a difference. They are the kind of stout, physical defenders you need to play the run. Milton Williams played his best game of the year last week. I’m curious to see if he can build on that or if it was an anomaly.

There will be a lot of attention on the Eagles offense, looking to see if they can bounce back from last week’s season-low 17 points. The Colts are a very good defense so you have to give them plenty of credit. They also played the RPOs better than any other opponent this year. Still, a lot of the Eagles issues were self-inflicted. They need a much better showing tonight to get back on track.

I’ll be interested to see how the coaches build this gameplan. The Packers struggle against the run (25th in yards). They love to blitz. Do you just come out running and force them to stop you? The Eagles love to be aggressive and try to score early. That would mean passing. You can burn the blitz, but it can also burn you.

Jalen Hurts struggled against the blitz early in the season, but has gotten a lot better in that area. The Eagles should have a chance to make plays if they do want to be aggressive. Hurts needs to be sharper than last week. He was great at making plays with his legs, but the passing game wasn’t efficient.

Turnovers have been a problem the past two weeks. You can bet Nick Sirianni is focused on getting that fixed. Those turnovers cost the Eagles the Washington game and almost cost them the Colts game.

The coaches should be able to make adjustments. They used more 11 personnel in the 2nd half last week and that worked well. They can look at what the Colts did vs the RPOs and figure out the best way to counter that. The coaches must find a way to get more production from the TEs. It wouldn’t surprise me for an early play to be designed to get the ball to a TE. Maybe you try to get Tyree Jackson free in space. He’s athletic enough to make a play after the catch.

The Packers are one of the few teams in the league that are worse than the Eagles on STs. Maybe that will be a factor.

Green Bay might have more of an edge since their season is on the line, but that was the situation last week and they lost that game. They really are a hard team to read. The Eagles should locked in, hoping to get back to playing good football. They trailed most of the past two games. That needs to change.

If the Eagles can get out in front, the run game should work and they can get back to playing good football.


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