Aaron Rodgers: 10 Reasons He Will Lead the Packers over Michael Vick's Eagles
A lot has changed since the Week 1 matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers.
For the Eagles, the starting quarterback of that game was Kevin Kolb, not Michael Vick. In fact, Vick might not have gotten his chance to start for Philadelphia had the Packers not knocked Kolb out of the game with a concussion.
In this game between the NFC East champion Eagles and the NFC Wild Card Packers, Aaron Rodgers will be the biggest key for the Packers if they have any hopes of winning.
Here are 10 reasons the Packers will pull the upset behind Rodgers.
Andy Reid has had many successful seasons as the head coach of the Eagles. However, Reid is not a good "in game" coach, meaning when the game starts, his mistakes go up.
Often times in Eagles' games, the mistakes that are made by Reid put Philadelphia in situations where his team loses.
Remember when Reid started Winston Justice at tackle against the Giants a few years ago? The six sacks that Justice allowed killed the Eagles chances.
Another of his problems is the run-pass ratio. It is a rare thing for a team coached by Reid to run the ball over 20 times, but they win when they do.
Last year, Aaron Rodgers played in his first playoff game as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
The result? A 51-45 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime. However, Rodgers had probably one of his best games as a pro.
He completed 28-of-42 passes for 423 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. He did fumble the ball in overtime which led to the game-winning score by Arizona, but for a defense as talented as Green Bay's, to give up 51 points is a travesty.
They lost that game for the Packers not Rodgers. In fact, it appears Rodgers is at his best when he needs to be.
Michael Vick has been struggling with a few injuries this season, most recently a bruised leg that kept him out of Week 17.
After playing in his first season as a starting quarterback since serving 23 months in prison, Vick's body is suffering the brunt.
While he did get a week off to get healthy, he is still going to have to deal with taking a lot of hits and against this hard-hitting Packers' defense; it could be tough for him to stay on the field.
Playing in Green Bay means Aaron Rodgers has to play in some of the coldest conditions anywhere in the NFL.
On Sunday, the weather in Philadelphia isn't supposed to be nice. One forecast has the game-time temperature at 30 degrees and winds between 15 and 35 miles per hour.
While not every quarterback can play in conditions like that, a quarterback from Green Bay is someone who can.
Both the Eagles and Packers have had trouble on the offensive line at times this season, however Green Bay has the lesser of two evils.
The Packers offensive line struggles at times opening running lanes and protecting the quarterback, however, they still have the bodies that can match up with the Eagles.
The Philadelphia line has caused Vick to struggle with pressure for the second half of the year, and the Packers defense is great at getting to the passer.
I know the Eagles have the explosive DeSean Jackson who can change the tide of any game suddenly, but from top to bottom, the Packers have a better receiving corps.
Greg Jennings is just as much a big-play guy as Jackson, Donald Driver is the model of consistency and that is just the top two. The Packers have five guys with over 40 catches on the roster; all of whom can be relied on in key moments.
After emerging as a potential MVP candidate for the Eagles, Michael Vick has struggled down the stretch to hang onto the football. He has also reverted back to his Atlanta days when he struggled with defensive pressure.
It is hard to imagine that Vick could suddenly flip a switch and be back to his early season level of play.
The Philadelphia Eagles live and die on big plays. When they get them, they are among the best teams in the NFL. When they don't get them, they struggle to put up points.
They have also struggled at times this season playing against solid defenses that can prevent the big play and that can also get pressure by their defensive front.
The Packers have a great ability to get to the passer, but they also have the pieces in the secondary to stick with the Eagles receivers.
In Week 1, the Packers went into Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and beat the Eagles 27-20.
Granted in the Week 1 matchup most of the Packers points were scored when Vick was not yet in the game and since that game Green Bay has been killed with injuries. However, the fact that they know they can win in Philadelphia gives a team confidence to do it again.
Clay Matthews just might be the defensive player of the year after his sophomore season.
The former USC Trojan walk on has recorded 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles this year.
He will be the most important Packers player in this week. If he can get pressure on Michael Vick, the Eagles will turn the ball over. If he can get blocked, they will probably win.
However, if they are able to block Matthews, they would be the first team to be able to do so.