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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Scouting the Packers through Links

It’s playoff time, and the Eagles are headed for a rematch of their Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers. We all know the Eagles are a different team, but what about the Packers? Here’s some interesting facts and stories I’ve found:

How good are the Green Bay Packers?:

In many ways, the Packers' offense has been an all-or-nothing outfit this season," writes Seifert. "They've scored at least 27 points in nine games this season, winning eight of them. On the other hand, their six losses this season have included these point totals: 3, 13, 17, 17, 20 and 27.

Keys vs. Packers: Pressure and Protection:

If I can oversimplify Sunday’s wildcard matchup between the Eagles and Packers for a second, the game basically is going to come down to two things – protection and pressure.

Protection in two respects. Protection of Michael Vick and protection of the football by Vick.

Time for Eagles to Look Ahead to Packers:

The preferred matchup would have been either a Giants team the Eagles beat twice and have knocked off six straight times or a young Tampa Bay team. The Packers will be a much more difficult matchup.

Defensively they ranked in the top five in points, sacks, and defense against the pass. That does not bode well for an Eagles offensive line that has had protection breakdowns throughout the season. Green Bay is susceptible against the run if Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg are willing to hand the ball off to an effective and well-rested McCoy.

On the other side of the ball Aaron Rodgers could have a field day with an Eagles secondary that has given up a scary 31 touchdown passes this season. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are very good wide outs, and Dimitri Patterson’s struggles are well-chronicled. They are not a great running team and the Eagles have been very good vs. the rush this season so pass rush – something the Eagles have struggled getting consistently – will be imperative.
More as I find them.

Wednesday UPDATE:

Rodgers looks for a strong outing against Eagles:

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers compiled statistics this season that most quarterbacks would envy.

His passer rating of 101.2 was better than that of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, and Vick is an MVP candidate during his resurgent season.

Rodgers completed 312 of 475 passes for 3,922 yards this season, threw 28 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions, and has the highest career passer rating in NFL history.

Packers Profile: Charles Woodson:

As the Minnesota game highlighted all too well, teams that can get creative with their blitz packages have the ability to send the Eagles’ offensive front into a state of chaos, leaving it to a banged-around Michael Vick to dig into the trick bag.

Woodson is a catalyst for such havoc-wreaking. . . . One of his best attributes is snaking into the backfield to smother a play before it starts.

“Listen, he’s a future Hall of Fame player, he’s a good player, and they play him in the nickel position, that’s how they played us last time,” said coach Andy Reid. “. . . He’s a physical guy. He has great speed. He’s a great blitzer, great blitzer. So that’s how they use him.”

Woodson has seven tackles for a loss and five forced fumbles on the season, both of which comfortably lead a Packers team that allowed just 15 points per game this season. He is also second on the team in passes defensed (13) and third in tackles (92) to go with a pair of sacks and two interceptions.

When the Eagles and Packers squared off in Week 1, Woodson had five tackles and a forced fumble.

Thursday UPDATE:

Mike McCarthy on Mike & Mike:

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy joins Mike & Mike to talk about the HUGE Eagles / Packers game this weekend adding that the Packers will not change their game plan for the Eagles and Michael Vick this Sunday.

Click the link above to hear the interview.

From Packers.com Blog:

Coach McCarthy has said repeatedly over the past year that the Packers didn’t play to their identity in losing in the NFC Wild Card round at Arizona last January. It’s a mistake the Packers can’t afford to repeat.

For more on that, plus some details on what forms the identity of this year’s team, check out today’s feature story.

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