The Philadelphia Eagles look to get things turned around when they head to face the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. Philadelphia has dropped two straight and is looking up at the unbeaten Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, while Green Bay has started the season 3-0 but is in a battle in the very tight NFC North.
The Eagles are facing a potential problem if they start 1-3, considering only one team has started the season 1-3 and came back to win the Super Bowl in the same season. Philadelphia has been dealing with some injuries to wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, but even with those two, the Eagles struggled to beat the Redskins in Week 1.
Green Bay has been a different team under new head coach Matt LaFleur, with the offense averaging just 19.3 points a game but the Packers are still unbeaten. That’s because the defense has stepped forward in a big way, allowing a total of 35 points through three contests. The biggest positive to the Packers’ unbeaten start? Two of the wins have come over division rivals.
The moneyline for this contest has the Philadelphia Eagles +180 and the Green Bay Packers -210. Green Bay is favored by four points at home, while the over/under has been set at 47.
Need To Be Better
The Eagles haven’t been that far off from starting 3-0, but a play here or there just hasn’t been made. Dropped passes were the story of the loss to Detroit last weekend, with Carson Wentz finishing 19 of 36 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Without Jeffery and Jackson, Philadelphia had to rely on backups, who committed three offensive pass-interference penalties and dropped passes that would have led to scores throughout the game. Jeffery will be back for this one, though he’ll certainly get plenty of attention from the Green Bay defense.
What would help the Philadelphia offense get going would be a running game, but Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard combined for just 90 yards against the Lions. The Eagles are averaging just 99.7 yards as a team on the ground, with a long gain of 19 yards, which allows defenses to focus on getting to Wentz in the passing game.
Due To Break Out
Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been bad this season, but he hasn’t been the legendary Aaron Rodgers either. Through three games, Rodgers has 647 yards and four touchdowns passing. Not his usual eye-popping stats, but he also hasn’t thrown an interception yet this season. The Packers do have a pair of dynamic receivers in Davante Adams (15 catches, 198 yards) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (13 catches, 170 yards, one TD), but they just haven’t found the end zone often thus far.
The Green Bay defense has been at its best so far this season, ranking second in the league with its 11.7 points per game allowed average. The Packers are tied for third in the league with 12 sacks through three games, and their six turnovers lead the NFL. Linebacker Blake Martinez has emerged as the team leader with 32 tackles — twice as many as the next best Packer defender — while Preston Smith has notched 4.5 sacks.
Packers Do It Again
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they’re not fully healthy or in sync offensively, and now they face one of the top defenses in the league on the road on a short week. Not exactly a formula for success. Look for Rodgers to come up big in a prime-time game once again, and the Packers to take control early. I’m taking Green Bay -4 to win and cover in this contest.