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Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Eagles’

Both the Packers and the Eagles were favorites to win the NFC Championship at some point this season.  They met week one in Philadelphia.  Kevin Kolb, who was expected to be the star quarterback for the Eagles, got hurt in that game opening the door for Michael Vick, who became the star quarterback for the Eagles.

Green Bay Packers hearse

Will the Eagles' championship hopes be taken away in a vehicle that looks like this?

With all the injuries that they’ve had, it’s impressive that the Packers were able to win 10 games and make the NFC playoffs.  They’ve played particularly well as of late with back-to-back wins over the Giants and Bears.  Aaron Rodgers, when not concussed, has been spectacular and the Green Bay defense has been mostly stellar.  It’s second in the NFL in both sacks and interceptions.

The Eagles rebounded from that week one loss and went on to win 10 games and the NFC East title.  Vick was brilliant for parts of the season, working his way into the MVP conversation but then working his way back out of that conversation.  Philadelphia also showed a potent running game but struggled some on the defensive side of the ball.

The Packers win if: They can get Vick uncomfortable early.  It may seem counterintuitive but Vick has actually been a much more effective quarterback while throwing from the pocket than on the run.  Green Bay will most likely focus on making Vick move to his right, making it much more difficult for him to throw the ball as a lefty.

The Eagles win if: They contain the Packers passing game.  Let’s face it, Green Bay does not have a running game to speak of.  The Eagles need to either confuse Rodgers by changing up their defenses (more likely) or  individually excel in their assignments (less likely). 

Who do I like: Packers 27-20

Why: It’s really tough to go against the home team Eagles.  Especially when you consider that Andy Reid’s teams are 7-1 in playoff openers.  For me what it comes down to is this – I just think the Packers have more playmakers on both sides of the ball and I really like their defense, which was second in the NFL in allowing only 15.0 points per game.  I think Rodgers will be steady and the Green Bay defense will prevent the Philadelphia offense from doing what they want to do.

Do you agree or disagree with my analysis of this matchup?  Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Photo source: kevindooley

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There’s a lot on the line in the NFL in week 15 including the AFC South and NFC East, as well as the playoff hopes of the Jets and Packers.  Injuries may further complicate things, especially in the cases of Aaron Rodgers and David Garrard.  Here’s a look at the big games, with my picks:

Peyton Manning in the pocket

Peyton Manning will be looking to gain back control of the AFC South.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 1:00 pm

The Jaguars can clinch the AFC South division title with a win in Indianapolis.  You may think Jacksonville is not capable of pulling off this upset on enemy turf.  But you’d be wrong.  The Jaguars last victory in Indianapolis – just two short years ago.

Key to the game: The Colts’ #1 ranked NFL passing offense against the Jaguars’ 28th ranked passing defense.  Jacksonville is going to have to get some stops.

Who do I like: With a healthy Garrard, I would highly consider taking the Jaguars.  This will be a game of strengths against weaknesses.  I think the Colts strong passing game will exploit the Jaguars bad pass defense more than the Jaguars powerful rushing offense will be able to take advantage of the weak Colts run defense.

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 1:00 pm

The defending champions are on a roll having won six in a row.  The Ravens are not nearly as hot but need a win to maintain playoff positioning.

Key to the game: The Ravens pass rush against the Saints pass blocking.  If the Ravens allow Drew Brees to sit back and pick his spots he will light them up, just like Matt Schaub did last week.

Who do I like: I keep waiting for the Ravens to really turn it on.  I think I may be waiting until next season.  I’m going with the Saints and their explosive offensive and solidifying defense.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Sunday, 1:00 pm

Tied atop the NFC East at 9-4 the Eagles and Giants will battle in the New Meadowlands early Sunday afternoon.  They met just four weeks ago with Philly winning at home 27-17.

Key to the game: The Giants fifth ranked rushing defense against the fifth ranked rushing offense of the Eagles.  In the first meeting Philadelphia gained 148 yards on the ground including the game winning 50-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy.

Who do I like: Since losing to the Eagles the Giants have found their running game and have averaged more than 200 yards on the ground in three games.  I think that the Giants will get good yardage in the running game and slow Michael Vick and company down just enough to get the win.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, 4:15 pm

After dropping two in a row, and looking really bad doing it, the Jets appear to be in disarray.  The Steelers haven’t played great but have won four in a row.

Key to the game: Mark Sanchez against the Steelers defense.  Sanchez has to find some magic in Pittsburgh if the Jets are going to have any chance in this one.

Who do I like: The Steelers.  Period.  I don’t expect the Jets to be able to move the ball at all.

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
Sunday, 8:20 pm

This game shouldn’t be close because Aaron Rodgers shouldn’t play.  The Patriots have staked their claim as the best team in the NFL.

Key to the game: Whether Rodgers plays or not.  If he doesn’t, I don’t give the Packers any chance to win.  Even if he does, I’d only give them about a 15% chance to win.

Who do I like:  I wish Rodgers was healthy and ready to play because this would be a really interesting matchup.  I’m going with the Patriots for the victory – by a big margin.

Who do you like in these games?  What game are you most looking forward to in week 15?  Let me know by posting a comment below.

Photo source: muohace_dc

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With only four weeks left in the 2010 NFL season it’s time for the cream to rise to the top.  Last week it was the Steelers and Patriots making statements with huge wins over division rivals.  Who will step up in week 14?  Let’s take a look at the big matchups.

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 1:00 pm

Left for dead, the Vikings have gotten a couple of nice wins since the firing of Brad Childress.  The Giants need the victory to stay in contention for the NFC East and maintain playoff positioning.

Key to the game: New York’s sixth ranked rushing offense against Minnesota’s fourth ranked rushing defense.

Who do I like: With Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith back in the mix and Eli Manning protected by the controlled confines of a dome, I’m going with the Giants

Eli Manning discussing alignments

Eli and the Giants need a big W in Minnesota

Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 1:00 pm

Yes, this is a big game.  The Jaguars currently lead the AFC South while the Raiders are two games behind the Chiefs, have a game remaining against them and have already beaten them once.

Key to the game: Jacksonville’s second ranked rushing offense against Oakland’s 23rd ranked rushing defense.  All of the Jaguars offensive success starts with the running game.

Who do I like: I’ve got to go with Jacksonville and the East Coast 1:00 advantage.

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
Sunday, 4:15 pm

A rematch from week one and unfortunately it looks very likely that the Chiefs will be without Matt Cassel.  Brodie Croyle has started nine games in his NFL career and has zero wins.

Key to the game: San Diego’s second ranked passing game against the 21st ranked passing defense of Kansas City.  The Chiefs have to stop Philip Rivers.  They’ll have no chance in a scoring battle.

Who do I like: Without Cassel, picking the Chargers is a no-brainer.

New England Patriots at Chicago Bears
Sunday, 4:15 pm

The Patriots put their four game winning streak on the line in Chicago against the Bears’ five game winning streak.

Key to the game: Chicago’s pass rush against New England’s offensive line.  To win the game the Bears must not allow Tom Brady to have time to throw.

Who do I like: I can see the Bears winning this game, but I’m not going to make that pick.  The Patriots are rolling.  I’m going with them to get the victory.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 8:20 pm

A few weeks ago this wasn’t a game.  It is now.  The Cowboys have won three of four in impressive fashion since Jason Garrett became coach.

Key to the game: The Eagles stopping the suddenly hot Dallas running game.  The Cowboys have 134, 144 and 217 yards rushing in their last three games.

Who do I like: Despite the solid play by Dallas recently I’m still going with Philadelphia.  I think Michael Vick will be the difference maker through the air.

Who do you like in these games?  Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Photo source: AJ Guel Photography

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Earlier in the week I mentioned the two big NFC matchups in the NFL’s week twelve and previewed the Packers-Falcons game.  The second of those two battles for NFC supremacy features the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Chicago Bears.  Like the first game, this one features two teams on winning streaks.

Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop

How will the Eagles respond in enemy territory on Sunday?

Led by dynamic MVP candidate Michael Vick, the Eagles have won three straight.  Most recently they beat the New York Giants in a critical NFC East matchup.  After a ridiculously outstanding performance against the Redskins two weeks ago, last week Vick managed the game well.  The key was the defense, which forced the Giants into five turnovers.  The Eagles are becoming a multiple threat team that always has one unit that carries it to the win.

The last time we saw the Bears was when they scored a strong statement win in Miami for their third straight victory.  Because of the perception that they have a weak schedule and a less than efficient offense, Chicago has not been taken seriously as a contender.  But after their domination of the Dolphins it may be time to reconsider.

The Eagles win if: They can manufacture yardage on the ground.  Whether it is Vick, LeSean McCoy or reverses to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles need to get a running game going.  The Bears have given up more than 100 yards rushing in each of their three losses and have held their opponent under 100 yards on the ground in each of their seven wins.

The Bears win if: They don’t turn the ball over.  Chicago is at their best with a ball control approach that depends on the defense.  Chances are there will be a substantial amount of pressure on Jay Cutler.  He has to take care of the ball and throw it away when necessary.

Who do I like: Eagles 20-13

Why: Two weeks ago Philadelphia went into Washington and destroyed the Redskins.  This shows that they can go into hostile territory and win.  Now clearly the Bears have a much better defense than the Redskins, but I like the Eagles to find enough ways to move the ball to get multiple scores.  I also like the Philadelphia defense in their matchup against Chicago’s offense.  The Eagles lead the NFL in interceptions with 19 and they have also found a lot of ways to get to the quarterback.  The Bears offensive line has improved but I’m betting the Eagles pass rush is still able to exploit their deficiencies.

How do you see this game playing out?  Do you agree with me that the Eagles will win?  Or do you see the Bears defending their home turf?  Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Photo source: SoCalSuperEagle

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At 6-3 the Giants and Eagles are tied atop the NFC East, but after last weekend they seem to be going in completely opposite directions.

After winning five in a row the Giants crashed and burned against a left-for-dead Dallas Cowboys team.  The Cowboys had a number of big plays and forced the Giants into three turnovers.  The game changed on a red zone interception Eli Manning threw that was returned 101 yards for a touchdown.  The Giants defense, which has been very dependable while ranking fourth in the NFL against the pass and third against the rush, gave up more than 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing.

Eli Manning Throwing vs. Texans

Will Eli Manning have enough time to exploit a weak Eagles secondary?

Led by Michael Vick, the Eagles had a phenomenal Monday night performance, beating the Redskins 59-28.  Vick was 20 of 28 for 333 yards and four touchdowns.  He also ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.  With Vick at the helm Philadelphia has proven to be one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL. 

The Giants win if:  They can stop the Eagles early.  In their last four wins Philadelphia has scored in at least their first two possessions.  Against Indianapolis they scored on their first three possessions.  Last week against the Redskins they scored touchdowns on their first five possessions.  New York must do whatever it takes to prevent the Eagles from scoring early.

The Eagles win if:  They win the battle of the trenches, especially on offense.  They’ve used a lot of max protect schemes to give Vick time and/or holes to find for the run.  They must continue to provide that time for Vick and to open up running lanes for LaSean McCoy.

Who do I like: Giants 27-24

Why: Mostly because of this – every time this season seems to start making sense, something crazy happens.  Everything points to the Eagles winning this game.  Yet, just two weeks ago, many were considering whether the Giants were the best team in the NFL.  Now, the same is being said of the Eagles.  I think the Giants D-line can force some chaos that slows Vick down.  When the Giants have the ball I expect the offensive line to give Manning just enough time to take advantage of a poor Philadelphia secondary.

Let me know who you think is going to win this huge NFC East matchup and why by posting a comment below.

Photo source: AJ Guel Photography

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With storylines galore the NFL week 10 Monday night matchup will not be lacking for drama.  After beating his former team in Philadelphia, how will Donovan McNabb play against them this time?  How will McNabb respond after getting pulled from the Redskins last game?  Can Michael Vick continue his very high level of play?

Philadelphia Eagles Mascot

How happy will this guy be on Monday night?

This of course is a rematch of the week four game in which the Redskins beat the Eagles 17-12.  Washington ran for 169 yards, well above their average per game mark of 94.6.  But, the key to the game was Vick’s injury.  Even though Kolb played okay after coming in, the game plan was built for Vick, an obstacle that is hard to overcome.

Since then the Eagles have been on a roll, winning three of four.  The only blemish came in a fourth quarter fold in Tennessee with Kolb at the helm.   Vick was outstanding last weekend in a win over the Colts.  He threw for 218 yards on 17 of 29 passes and added 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Washington is 2-2 since the win in Philadelphia.  They had an excellent win over Green Bay but then a bad loss at Detroit.  McNabb has not been great.  In fact,  I ranked Washington 25th in quarterback production for the first half of the season.  In the Lions game, which was their last before the bye, they were dominated in all three phases. 

The Eagles win if:  Vick stays accurate with his passes and finds the receivers in space underneath.

The Redskins win if:  They can protect the passer, whoever it may be.  They gave up seven sacks to Detroit and are 27th in the NFL in sacks allowed.  The Philadelphia defense is tied for fifth best in the NFL with 24 sacks.

Who do I like:  Eagles 24-20

Why: I’m sure the Redskins offensive line has been working on their issues over the past two weeks but I don’t think it will be enough.  I think the Eagles will get to the quarterback.  Philly is susceptible to the passing game but I don’t think Washington has the weapons to take advantage of that.  When they have the ball, the Eagles should be able to move up the field with a well-balanced attack.

Who do you like in this game?  Let me know who and why by posting a comment below.

Photo source: mel_rowling

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4.  Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, 1:00 pm

Vince Young on the sideline

Is this the most we'll see of Vince Young on Sunday?

Both the Eagles and Titans are coming off of big wins, but both are also dealing with injuries that will affect their success this week.  Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick is likely to miss another game, his third since hurting his ribs against Washington.  Kevin Kolb has filled in very nicely in Vick’s absence helping the Eagles win two games.  He was especially good last week against the Falcons, throwing for 326 yards while completing 23 of 29 passes for three touchdowns and one interception.  But the Eagles will be without two key offensive players, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tackle Jason Peters.

Tennessee dominated Jacksonville on Monday night football but lost quarterback Vince Young to a knee/ankle injury.  It looks as if Young will be a game time decision so it’s unlikely that he’ll play.  Of course, they have a very able backup quarterback in Kerry Collins.  However, Collins did not leave the Jaguars game unscathed either.  He sustained a finger injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice. 

The Eagles win if: They can protect Kevin Kolb.  They did an excellent job covering for Peters against the Falcons, only allowing one sack in the win.

The Titans win if: Chris Johnson tears up the Eagles defense.  In Tennessee’s two losses, Johnson had a total of 87 yards on 35 carries with no touchdowns.  In each of their four wins he’s run for at least 111 yards with a touchdown.

This is a good matchup of 4-2 teams.  To me the biggest battle will be the Eagles offensive line against the Titans defensive line.  Philadelphia may have been able to use smoke and mirrors to keep the Falcons defense off of Kolb but I don’t think they’ll be able to repeat that performance against Tennessee who leads the NFL in sacks.  I also think CJ will have an explosive game against the Eagles 22nd ranked rush defense.  I’m picking the Titans to get the win.

Do you think my prediction will be right or wrong?  Let me know in the comments section below.

 Photo source: Ray Montgomery

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