The Philadelphia Eagles will improve their stellar road record in Week 10 by beating the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday thanks to a second consecutive dominant offensive performance.
No, quarterback Nick Foles isn't going to throw seven touchdowns in a single game again, but first-year head coach Chip Kelly's uptempo offensive attack will chip away at Green Bay.
Before Packers superstar signal-caller Aaron Rodgers fractured his collarbone this past Monday evening, making this claim would seem preposterous. Philadelphia's pass defense yields 307.6 yards per game—worst in the NFL—and Rodgers would have picked it apart.
But now it's Seneca Wallace under center for the Packers. That's quite a difference, as demonstrated when Wallace completed just 11 of his 19 passes for 110 yards and an interception in Week 9's loss to the Chicago Bears.
Wallace can extend plays with his athleticism, but he doesn't have the arm talent, accuracy or intangibles to make those around him better like Rodgers can. That's no knock on Wallace, but it's a fact. It will force the Packers to lean on rookie running back Eddie Lacy and give the Eagles' sloppy secondary a break.
The problem is, without Green Bay's ability to keep the defense honest through the air, it will create a situation in which Philadelphia can stack the box and stop Lacy.
When the ball is in Wallace's hands more often than not, it isn't a good sign.
As mentioned before, Foles tossed seven TDs in Oakland and seems to be getting a firm grasp on Kelly's system. But this week, it will be star running back LeSean McCoy who gets going on the ground.
McCoy faces a difficult matchup against a top-five rush defense. However, the unit will be on the field far longer without Wallace's ability to execute the offense as surgically as Rodgers does. The unrelenting Philadelphia running game will wear the Packers down, with McCoy running wild and Foles finding DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper for big plays off of play-action.
Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers acknowledged just how lethal Foles can be when throwing the ball deep:
By establishing McCoy, Foles will be afforded the luxury of spacing and a clean pocket, where he operated with optimal, record-setting effectiveness against the Raiders.
Interestingly enough, the Packers have the third-best running game in the league, but that again is predicated on having an amazing quarterback creating lanes for Lacy and James Starks to get to the second level in a hurry.
While Wallace is a veteran with plenty experience and a serviceable backup, he is not the type who can hang with an aggressive opponent that will try to make this a shootout if possible.
The mismatch between Foles and Wallace is what will allow Philadelphia to run the ball better. Thus, the Eagles will come away with a victory to remain a serious threat in the NFC East, knocking the Packers out of a first-place tie in the North.
Prediction: Eagles 34, Packers 17