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Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Posted on: January 6, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 5:02 pm
Posted by Will Brinson's patented and award-winning 7-point playoff preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. And as an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:

1. Green Bay Packers (No. 6, NFC, 10-6) @ Philadelphia Eagles (No. 3, NFC, 10-6)

And we're right back where we started! Except instead of the regular season opener, we all know that Michael Vick will play and that he's capable of being the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL on any given day. So is Aaron Rodgers, though, which is why this is such a compelling matchup. It doesn't hurt either that at one point either before the season (Packers) or during the year (Eagles), both of these teams were the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC. Injuries almost derailed Green Bay, but they rallied to become the annual "wild card team no one wants to play," while the Eagles stumbled down the stretch as either Vick's injuries caught up to him or defenses figured him out. Sunday, we find out which one it was.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking

This is probably a 5-Mora rating because of the compelling matchup at quarterback, but I'm a hard sell for a maximum rating. Plus, the whole "What if Michael Vick has a bad performance" storyline is terrifying.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Michael Vick vs. Dom Capers and his blitzing minions

Michael Vick threw his first interception since like 2006 in Week 12 against Chicago. It's cool, though, because no one can go totally interception-less. Except since that Week 12 game, he hasn't had a game without an interception. That's not saying Vick hasn't been good -- Lord knows he's piling up fantasy points by the bundles and won my championship for me (it's a league, duh, so hey, Garrett! Maybe next year!). But fantasy football doesn't offer negative points for quarterbacks being sacked and when someone runs in touchdowns, which Vick does, scores get inflated. 

That's a long way of saying that take a look at the final three games of Vick's regular season and you realize how important pressure is for Dom Capers and the Packers. If they can get athletic blitzers to Vick (i.e. defensive backs and Clay Matthews), they'll force sacks, fumbles and bad decisions from Vick. 

That was the plan Minnesota utilized in Week 16 and it resulted in six sacks, two fumbles, an interception and enough bad decisions by Vick that he completed just 58.1 percent of his passes. Now, Vick probably wasn't "100 percent" but that's the nature of football at the end of the season. 

It's no secret that there's a correlation between additional pressure on the quarterback (and this applies to any team playing any quarterback) and turnovers, sacks, bad decisions and wins. And it's no secret that quarterbacks who can recognize blitz packages and formations and then adjust on the fly have a higher rate of success. Michael Vick has shown, over the past few weeks, that perhaps he's not as developed as a "pure passer" as everyone thought when he was piling up deep balls against the Redskins.

Capers will bring the heat with the Packers blitz packages -- if Vick can demonstrate a better job of recognizing the various formations, then he'll seem a lot more like the guy who upped his MVP status in the second half against the Giants than the guy who was stifled in the first part of that game.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

I was originally going to put  to put "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley here (for Vick's comeback), but that's probably desecrating the importance with which Marley wrote the anthem of freedom. Instead, let's think about what's at stake for Vick and Rodgers here -- both guys need a playoff win in the worst way. One to really beef up his contract status with the Eagles next year and the other to get that final monkey off his back. But that doesn't mean there's any PRESSURE, DAN Michael and Aaron.

5. The Eagles will win if ...

They provide Vick adequate protection and establish LeSean McCoy in both the running and passing game. The Packers are going to bring pressure (duh) and the best way to counter that is by letting McCoy make plays from screens, draws and dumps in the flats designed to occur before the pressure hits.

6. The Packers will win if ...

They get to Vick. Rodgers will get his points so it's on the defense, and the Eagles are 1-2 in games where Vick was sacked four or more times, with the lone win a 35-32 victory over Detroit in Week 2.

7. Prediction: Eagles 23, Packers 21

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:34 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:42 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 6:45 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 6:34 pm
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 9:20 pm
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Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2011 11:47 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

tommyknee, Favre is at home and Rogers playing...... Suck on that for a whole offseason!!

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2011 3:57 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

This game represents, to me, the most compelling matchup this first playoff weekend. If Vick is recovered from his thigh contusion, the Eagles should look much more fluid and potent on offense than they did in the past couple of weeks. With Green Bay so good at rushing the passer, Vick will have his work cut out for him perhaps more than in any other game this season. In the first meeting between these two teams, the Packers were likely not anticipating seeing much of Vick, so they had had little time to prepare a scheme against him. As McCarthy pointed out, Vick presented a totally new challenge on their "ready list" to the one they prepared for Kevin Kolb. This time, though, they have a lot of film at their disposal. I am very interested in seeing what role Clay Matthews is able to play from a pash-rushing standpoint. Will they employ a spy against Vick? Even though the Pack has kept close in many games, it seems a daunting task to shut down Philly completely. Especially since the emergence of LeSean McCoy, this Eagles team really can boast an ability to attack a defense with run or pass, with screens or vertically. Unlike yesterday, this game really does offer two of the most consistently strong teams in the NFC, so it should be a fun one. I'd like to think we may be headed for a Championship game between Vick and his former team the Falcons two weeks from now, but today's obstacle looms awfully large.

Since: Nov 27, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2011 3:55 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

another CHEAP SHOT from a packer wonder people from around the league hate you guys...

A forever VIKING Fan

Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2011 3:35 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

I don't think that blitzing Rodgers is the best way to beat him.  He gets rid of the ball with one step from the shotgun and makes teams pay.  Although Samuel is great at jumping routes, his off ball play will fit right into one of Rodgers strengths.  I think that if the Eagles can get pressure from their front four and cover straight up, they will have a much better chance at containing the Packers offense. Either way this is must see TV.  This is the game I've been waiting for all weekend.

Since: Jan 9, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2011 1:16 pm

Eagles vs. Packers: 7-Point Wild Card Preview

BadgerBear, although you appear to sound like you know what your talking about a little bit. I'm sorry, you don't get it. While I must agree with the fact that there's a large percentage of Packer Nation completely biased towards anything Packers..(trust me I live in Appleton and hear about it everyday,) for you to say Clay Matthews is not a great player, Im sorry your high. To say that the Pack is a underachieving team is absolutely silly. What happened with playing in the NFC Championship game in Lambeau...Wow did we squeak in. Losing to the Cardinals at their place, Rodgers first preseason game in which he came out like we could all expect and then ended with one of the better performances i've ever seen in the playoffs. Who watching that game wasnt completely loving football, Packer fan or not. I could sit and go on and on about what the Packers do poorly and also what they do extremely well. I love the Pack, I've lived my whole life watching and loving them. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. This team, This year...Is doing a unbelieveably awesome job given circumstances. A defense riddled with injuries all year..almost in the top 5 of every statistical category. Get serious.

Muchhh love.

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