Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinatorBill Davis
during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 49-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Bret Stuter, Staff Writer
When the Philadelphia Eagles travel to Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, you have a team of innovation facing a team that is drenched in tradition.
The Green Bay Packers are the darlings of the NFL right now, have just blown out the Chicago Bears and recording a sweep of their divisional nemesis. That, their 6-3 record, and home field advantage has placed virtually everyone with a pen or a microphone solidly on their wagon for this game. The Packers are playing for more than pride, as they have already dropped a game to the Detroit Lions, who at 7-2, can lose their game with the Arizona Cardinals and remain atop the competitive NFC North. So the Eagles don’t appear to have much of a chance, do they?
Not so fast, my friend.
The Philadelphia Eagles are also coming off an incredibly solid showing against the dangerous Carolina Panthers, are 7-2, and are fending off their own division rival the Dallas Cowboys who are on a bye week at 7-3. They have a road game on thanksgiving day to Dallas, an annual game that greatly favors the home team.
The Eagles have gone on the road before this season against all odds. In Indianapolis, they defeated Andrew Luck and the Colts by containing Luck for just 172 yards passing. Don’t expect a similar outcome against Aaron Rodgers, but you can expect that Rodgers will have to fight for completions.
The Eagles defense has been on fire recently, starting out at a snail’s pace, they are now the second leading defense in sacking the quarterback. And the way defensive coordinator Billy Davis has the Eagles rotating is nothing short of masterful. Players come off the bench to impact a game with stats that appear to better many starters.
None of this will matter if the Eagles do not commit and execute their running game. Without running and the play action deception that goes with it, Mark Sanchez simply does not have enough to defeat Rodgers alone.
But he will not be alone. He will get help from the Eagles special teams. The defense will be opportunistic. And the Eagles will work a little of that “come from behind” victory magic.
This will start out like a defensive struggle before the offenses get going. When the smoke clears, the final score will read: