Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles 01-09-2011

January 8, 2011

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Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday January 9th, 2011 4:30 PM EST

Line: Philadelphia -3

Overview:

Philadelphia was somewhat exposed when they took on the Vikings two weeks ago. The Vikings were the first team to completely shut down Michael Vick. whether or not that will carry over as a blue print going forward is yet to be seen. Even so, the Eagles still feature the most explosive offense in the league. They are limping into this playoff game, but I am sure we will see them at their best on Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers have had to claw their way into this playoff spot. They have battled adversity throughout the entire season, probably more-so than any team in the NFL. That could help them in their post-season efforts. The Packers have found a way to win even when everything was falling apart. This week, they come in as the underdogs, but that is a role they have succeeded in as all season long.

Keys to the Game:

  • Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings has become one of the best connections in the game. Jennings has amassed over 95 yards six times this season. Last time he played Philadelphia, Jennings hauled in five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. It is likely that we will see Jennings perform well with the chips on the line. With the injuries that have taken place on their offense, he has a larger responsibility to make an impact.
  • LeSean McCoy is sneaky out of the backfield. The Packers have to see him coming out of the backfield at all times. Philadelphia has a lethal screen game. If the Packers start sending people, they will keep them honest with a screen pass to McCoy. With DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Michael Vick, they have a number of game breakers on the field, but giving up a screen that goes for six is down right demoralizing for a defense.

Key Matchup:

Clay Matthews Vs. Michael Vick

  • All season long, the strategy for containing Vick has been a stress on staying home and playing it safe. The Vikings attacked him with safety blitzes and other zone blitzes that threw him completely off of his game. Clay Matthews is a monster off the edge and will have a big part in bringing down Vick. He is an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate and it is in large part due to his ability to bring down the quarterback.
  • Michael Vick can roll out away from Matthews, but he struggles at times when he rolls out to his left. It is going to be interesting to see how the Packers utilize Matthews’ ability to come off either side of the ball, but you can be sure that Matthews will be in hot pursuit of Vick throughout the entire game.

Wrap Up:

The Packers and Eagles have both had memorable seasons. The Packers probably expected to win their division outright, but they should be proud that they earned a playoff spot, given the way their season has gone. The Eagles are dynamic and they are at home, but they enter this game at a low point in their season. Will the Packers be able to catch them at the right time?

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