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This will be the best wild card game of the entire weekend.
The NFL betting lines might show the Eagles some advantage, because the game is in Philadelphia, but the Packers have shown enough fight all season long to put the Eagles on notice.
The Packers have posted winning NFL scores with half of their defense and their starting quarterback out injured. There is some serious depth to this Green Bay team that the betting services and Philadelphia Eagles should not take for granted.
Many experts had said that, if they made the playoffs, the Packers are the one team that no one would want to play this post-season. Well now that the Packers won their Week 17 game over the Bears and fought their way into the playoffs, the Eagles are first in line to play the team that no one wants to play.
Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers has shown that he is tough, a leader and an elite quarterback this season. Rodgers has fought through injuries, but still managed to throw for 3,922 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. He had some interception issues early in the season, but finished the year throwing only 11 picks.
What was hurting the Packers was the lack of a running game. Teams would shut down the Packers' run attack, and then tee-off on Rodgers. But in the last couple of weeks, running back Brandon Jackson has emerged to take some of the pressure off of Rodgers.
When you look at the Eagles' offense, you wonder how it can ever be stopped. Michael Vick at quarterback is a weapon with his arm and his legs. Running back LeSean McCoy runs as well as any back in the league in the open field, and wide receiver DeSean Jackson is becoming a super star in the NFL.
But the Eagles' offense has been held to 14 points or less in the last two games. Michael Vick did not play in the Week 17 loss to the Cowboys, but he did play in the Week 16 loss to the Vikings. He also got injured against the Vikings. It will be interesting to see if that has any effect on his play in this game.
The Packers have the perfect defense to stop Michael Vick. They use all 11 defensive players to disguise blitzes, they have an extremely fast secondary to keep up with the Eagles receivers and they have the linebackers necessary to spy on Michael Vick and catch him in the open field.
Stopping Vick is the key to stopping the Eagles' offense, and the Packers have the players to get it done.
The Eagles possess a pass rush that is more than capable of hunting down Aaron Rodgers. The only question is whether or not the Green Bay offensive line can keep the Eagles defense under control. The Eagles also have some very athletic linebackers that can patrol the center of the field and remove any tight end check downs from Aaron Rodgers’ arsenal.
The Bottom Line
This has the potential to be one of the better wild card games ever played. Two mobile and effective quarterbacks line up against two fast and aggressive defenses. It will be the offensive lines that decide this game, and that is where the Packers have an advantage.
Pick: Green Bay Packers