Eagles vs. Packers: Fact or Fiction Gameday Edition, Vick or Rodgers?
Here is another edition of Fact or Fiction.
For those unfamiliar with this column, Fact or Fiction is a column I write where two people evaluate statements with the word FACT or FICTION and a reason why.
This time, since it's the playoffs, I have strayed from the Eagles community. The participants will be Eagles featured columnist, yours truly Darren Grossman, taking on the Green Bay Packers Featured Columnist and community leader, Ryan Cook. I'd like to thank Ryan for joining me, so lets get started.
Hit BEGIN Slideshow to start.
1. The Packers Must Run the Football To Win
1. The Packers have to run the football to win.
Ryan Cook: FACT—Green Bay must try and utilize John Kuhn in short yardage situations and also allow Brandon Jackson, Dmitri Nance and James Starks to lend a hand in play action.
Darren Grossman: FICTION—Look, the Packers won all season without a running game, so to think that running the ball is important to them seems silly to me. I hope they try to run the ball a lot, because they don't do it very well, so if they run a lot, I like the Eagles' chances.
Score: 0 for 1
2. Can the Packers Contain Vick and the Eagles Offense?
2. Fact or fiction: The Packers defense can hold the Eagles offense to less than 21 points.
Ryan Cook: FACT—Green Bay’s defense is currently ranked fifth in the league. Last week against the Chicago Bears, the Packers limited Jay Cutler to under 200 yards, and the blitzing threat of Clay Matthews and BJ Raji is promising.
Darren Grossman: FICTION—The Eagles offense is explosive. Jay Cutler? Ryan gave us Jay Cutler, the guy who before this year had not finished with a winning record since high school? Michael Vick is not Jay Cutler. The Eagles scored 17 points in one half, Week 1, with Vick in the game. In his career, the Packers have never contained Vick well and the Eagles offense will score. The Packers might win, but in my opinion, this game is a shootout. I would be very surprised if they hold the Eagles under 21.
Score: 0 for 2
Better Receivers? Eagles or Packers?
3. Fact or fiction: The Packers receivers (Jennings, Driver, Jones, Quarless, etc) are better than the Eagles recievers (Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Celek, etc.)
Ryan Cook: FICTION—Each receiver obviously has their own pros and cons. In terms of explosiveness though, I give the upper hand to Jackson over Jennings. The Packers must keep an eye on Jeremy Maclin as well.
Darren Grossman: FACT—Both units are good but the Packers have four WRs with over 500 yards, so it's their depth that gives them a slight edge here. I'll take Maclin/Jackson over Jennings/Driver but the Packers make up that difference because James Jones and Ruvell Martin are way better than Avant and Hall or Cooper. So the Packers take it narrowly.
Score: 0 for 3
Vick or Rodgers?
4. Fact or fiction: You would rather have Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback for Sunday’s game than Michael Vick.
Ryan Cook: FICTION—Michael Vick is a great quarterback, that much we know. But as he showed against the Minnesota Vikings, when rattled in the pocket, he can become vulnerable.
Darren Grossman: FICTION—Anyone who says they would rather have Rodgers is simply lying, in my opinion. Vick is a dual threat, making it difficult to game-plan for him. Is Rodgers the better pure passer? Sure. However, Vick's passing has improved tremendously, and his ability to run makes him the far more desirable QB in a playoff atmosphere. If there's a big 3rd down, Vick can just take off and pick it up, Rodgers does not have the same luxury, at least not with consistency.
Score: 1 for 4
The Importance of Clay Matthews
5. Fact or fiction: Clay Matthews is the most important piece on the Packers defense.
Ryan Cook: FICTION—As easy as it is to highlight the importance of Matthews, right now the most important piece is Tramon Willians. The receiver threats that Philadelphia possesses must be contained by both Williams and Charles Woodson on Sunday.
Darren Grossman: FICTION—Matthews' production has fallen some in the second half. I think he is the most important guy for the Eagles to stop; however, he is not the most important to the Packers defense overall. I think Charles Woodson is. Look, it's the playoffs, and the Packers have young players. Rodgers has only played one playoff game. Woodson is a veteran leader who has been to the playoffs and played in big games, and leadership is very important in a hostile environment in the playoffs.
Score: 2 for 5
The Winners Prospects?
6. Fact or fiction: The winner of this game will get to at least the NFC Championship game.
Ryan Cook: FICTION—If the Packers win, they will wind up in Atlanta next week. The Packers struggled against the Falcons at times offensively, although the Eagles demolished Atlanta back in Week 6. If the Eagles win, they go to Chicago, and the Bears already beat them there. Either way, it’s still a tough game.
Darren Grossman: FACT—The Eagles win, they go to Chicago. The Packers win, they go to Atlanta. Either way, I think both of those teams can win in those spots. Will one of these teams get to the Super Bowl? It's a possibility, but one less game, the NFC Championship; sure I think either one of them has a great chance to do that. Jay Cutler in a playoff atmosphere doesn't scare me in the least bit.
Score: 2 for 6
Andy Reid or Mike McCarthy?
7. Fact or fiction: You would rather have Andy Reid on the sidelines Sunday than Mike McCarthy.
Ryan Cook: FACT—Andy Reid is well known for kicking off postseason campaigns in style, especially in the wild-card round. Mike McCarthy has been questioned on decision making this year, giving Reid a significant edge on the sidelines.
Darren Grossman: FACT—Easy question, Reid is 7-1 in the first round and has never lost a first-round playoff game at home. Reid has a proven track record and has been to a Super Bowl. McCarthy has one postseason career win and is 0-1 on the road in the postseason. The choice is easy here, and I'm glad Mr. Cook even saw it that way.
Score: 3 for 7
Well, that's it for this edition of FACT or FICTION. I would like to thank Ryan Cook for the guest contribution to this piece. I guess it seems kind of like poetic justice that Mr. Cook and I disagreed more than we agreed. Who will win the big game at 4:30 PM at Lincoln Financial Field? Who do you agree with more, Mr. Cook or myself? Let us know in the comment section and thanks for reading!