The Green Bay Packers earned their slot in the Wild Card game this past Sunday in their 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears.
This Sunday, the Packers are playing the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia, which will be their second match-up this season.
The Packers beat the Eagles 27-20 in their first meeting, but it was a close game once Kevin Kolb was knocked out, and Michael Vick nearly rallied the team in a spectacular comeback.
This Sunday will be tough for both teams, but there are several reasons why the Packers are favored against the Eagles this week.
The Packers had the fifth best passing offense this season, led by the offensive wizard Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is leading his team against the 15th best passing defense of the Eagles.
Rodgers will be able to pick apart and dismantle the Eagles' defense, as he has many weapons through the air, but also has the ability to make plays on his feet.
Rodgers passed for 3922 yards and rushed for 356 yards this season in 15 games. Rodgers also helped Greg Jennings to be the fourth best receiver according to yards, and have the second most receiving touchdowns. However, the Packers also have many other weapons to worry about covering in their passing game, including Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson.
In the prior match-up this season between these two teams, Rodgers threw 19 of 31 completions for 188 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions.
I would not bank on Rodgers throwing interceptions this Sunday however, and I guarantee his passing ability is what makes or breaks the Packers.
The Eagles only have the 15th best passing defense in the NFL, which does not fair well against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who heavily rely on a passing offense.
The Eagles have a decent ability to apply pressure to Rodgers, having a 10th ranked 39 sacks this season.
However, Rodgers is very capable of handling pressure because he can scramble within the pocket and rush for yards.
The Eagles' rushing defense is also only ranked 15th in the NFL, but fortunately for the Eagles, the Packers' rushing offense is ranked 24th.
The Packers will probably do minimal damage against the Eagles with their rushing offense, but it is still an issue that the Eagles need to deal with, since Rodgers is a quarterback who can rush and Brandon Jackson has had a decent rushing season.
The Eagles' rushing defense does offer some relief for them, however, because the Eagles know that the bulk of the Packers' plays will be through the air.
The biggest relief that the Eagles have for the Wild Card round of the playoffs is their rushing game.
The Eagles' rushing game is ranked 5th in the NFL and is facing a Packers' rushing defense that is ranked 18th.
LeSean McCoy rushed for 1080 yards, and Michael Vick rushed for 676 yards. The run game for the Eagles will be the best chance for them to come up with a victory this Sunday.
The Packers are weak against the run, which is where the Eagles are the strongest.
In their prior match-up, the Eagles were able to rush for 149 yards against the Packers and pass for 171 yards. Although, it is not safe to expect the same outcome, considering Vick contributes about a third of the rushing productivity.
This is an issue, because Vick is nursing a quadriceps injury. He may be listed as probable for Sunday, but it is also probable that his recovery will not be at 100 percent.
Packers Passing Offense v. Eagles Passing Defense = Packers favor
Packers Rushing Offense v. Eagles Rushing Defense = Even
Eagles Passing Offense v. Packers Passing Defense = Packers favor
Eagles Rushing Offense v. Packers Rushing Defense = Eagles favor
Aaron Rodgers v. Michael Vick = Packers favor
Overall: Packers favored to win the Wild Card