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The Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers this weekend. This game will have significant playoff implications. The Eagles are currently 7-2 and are in first place of the NFC East. The Packers are 6-3 and in second place in the NFC North. This weekend’s showdown will pit two of the highest scoring teams in the league against one another.

The Philadelphia Eagles are the fourth highest scoring team in the league averaging 31.0 points per game through the first nine games. Last week, the Birds destroyed the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. The offense had no problems. Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who got the starting job when Nick Foles broke his collarbone, played extremely well in his first start since 2012. Sanchez had plenty of time in the pocket. The former Jets quarterback has a knack for throwing on the run, which he utilized. He threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns. Sanchez proved that the Eagles didn’t loose a beat when they lost Foles.

 

The Green Bay Packers currently are the fifth highest scoring team in the league, averaging 30.8 points per game. This high-powered offense revolves around one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers. Rogers has played amazing this season. In the team’s four home games, they are undefeated and Rogers has thrown for 15 touchdowns in those games alone. He also hasn’t thrown an interception at home. In the team’s most recent game, Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes; in the first half alone, in a blowout win against the division rival Chicago Bears.

 

The Philadelphia Eagles have a number of offensive weapons that seemed to be utilized differently each game. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has always been good at throwing on the run. That’s what the Eagles used in Sanchez’s first start. They rolled him out of the pocket and let him throw it on the fly. Down the field, receiver Jeremy Maclin has established himself as the team’s number one receiver and a top receiver in the league. Maclin is currently on a one-year contact after tearing his ACL in last year’s preseason. He has showed the Eagles and the league, that wherever he winds up next season will be forced to pay him a lot. Maclin currently ranks eighth in receiving yards and fourth with eight receiving touchdowns. Lining up across the field is rookie Jordan Matthews. Matthews has come on strong of late and has shown flashes of brilliance.

 

In the backfield, the Eagles have LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. McCoy is a top running back in the league. Shady McCoy led the league in rushing last season, averaging over a hundred yards per game. He also led the league in carries with 314. The Eagles organization just decided that it was too much for him, so they traded a fifth round pick to the Saints for Darren Sproles. Sproles has been used sparingly on running attempts, but has done well when given the ball in the backfield. He averages 6.6 per carry. Sproles has also rushed for six touchdowns this season. The tiny back currently is in first place for average punt return yards with 17 yards per return. Sproles is also the only player to have returned more than one punt for a touchdown.
Rodgers has a number of great receivers including Jordy Nelson who is fifth in receiving yards with 889 receiving yards. He’s also tied for fourth place with eight receiving touchdowns. Lining up on the other side of Nelson is Randall Cobb. Cobb is currently second in the league with ten touchdown receptions. Out of the backfield is a powerhouse of a man, second year player Eddie Lacy. Lacy struggled early on this season, but has played better of late. He currently ranks tenth in rushing yards, with 478 yards. Lacy also ranks sixth in rushing touchdowns. The Green Bay offense is full of weapons and Rodgers is not afraid to use any of them.

 

The Eagles and Packers met last year as well. In a bit of irony, last year the Packers were without quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He was recovering from a broken collarbone that he suffered the week before, week 9. Here’s the irony. This year, in week 9, the Eagles quarterback Nick Foles went down with a broken collarbone. The Packers most valuable player missed the next seven weeks, but returned for the final game of the season and for the playoffs. While he was out, the team went through three different quarterbacks, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn. For the Eagles, they have a more established backup in Sanchez. The Eagles were able to beat the Rodgers-lesss Pack last season, let’s see if they can do it without their starting quarterback this time.

This game will show very little defense and a whole lot of offense. The game is going to be played in Green Bay and it will be cold, below freezing. It may snow. If it does, it will change the style of the game. If I’m Chip Kelly, the Eagles head coach, my game plan would be to run the ball. The Packers rank thirtieth out of the thirty-two teams in rushing yards allowed per game, 142.6 yards a game. If the Eagles can slow the pace of the game and control the ball, which goes against the style of play they’ve adapted, they could win. On the other hand, if I’m Green Bay, my game plan for this game, and every other, would be to let Aaron Rodgers throw the ball. This will be a high scoring game, and who would ever pick against Aaron Rodgers? Me. The Eagles will win this game because they will get the stops they need. Sanchez will lead this team to another win and then more after that. 

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