As a gift to Kevin Kolb and the rest of the Eagles team, the Green Bay Packers have placed cornerback Al Harris, as well as strong safety Atari Bigby, on the Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning they will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
Harris is coming off a serious knee injury he suffered last season, and Bigby recently underwent ankle surgery.
Alright, perhaps the move wasn't intended to be a gift for Kolb, but it will certainly look that way and, to be perfectly frank, it's a gift this Eagles offense desperately needed.
With backups now making up half of the Packers secondary, the Eagles offense should be able to attack them fairly easily through the air. Charles Woodson, arguably a top-three corner, will still be a guy they have to deal with, but he'll likely be given the difficult task of shutting down DeSean Jackson, leaving Jeremy Maclin matched up with a backup.
Knowing that, it's likely the Packers will have ball-hawking free safety Nick Collins helping out in coverage with Maclin, but a safety can only do so much against a speed guy like Maclin.
If Andy Reid is smart, he will run a lot of deep routes with Jackson in an effort to get Woodson as far away from the play as possible, then run some quick timing patterns with Maclin. And if that doesn't work, then just starting running Maclin and Jackson deep and start picking the defense apart with underneath routes to Jason Avant and Brent Celek.
Throw in a couple screens and swing passes and it's going to create a rather difficult day for the Packers secondary.
Then, once Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers switches to a zone in an effort to prevent the underneath routes, Maclin and Jackson start getting matched up with safeties.
If Kolb can make the throws, it should result in a big day for him and the offense.
He's probably going to have to wind up going throw-for-throw with Aaron Rodgers, so every advantage he can get will help immensely. He's not ready to win a shootout with a guy like Rodgers, so hopefully Asante Samuel can step in front of a ball or two, or the Birds can get enough pressure to throw Rodgers and the Packers offense off their game.
Either way, this is terrible news for Green Bay and great news for the Eagles offense. If they can properly take advantage and expose the absences of Harris and Bigby, they might even be able to squeak out a win on a last-second David Akers field goal.
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