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Eagles-Packers preview

WHEN THE EAGLES HAVE THE BALL The Eagles host a Packers defense that has been reeling in recent weeks, allowing more than 30 points in each of the last four games and more than 40 points in the last two games. The Eagles have not scored more than 24 points since Week 3. Quarterback Ca


The Eagles host a Packers defense that has been reeling in recent weeks, allowing more than 30 points in each of the last four games and more than 40 points in the last two games. The Eagles have not scored more than 24 points since Week 3. Quarterback Carson Wentz can have a big day against a pass defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to compile an average passer rating of 105.5 and has given up 22 passing touchdowns in 10 weeks. There is uncertainty about what Wentz's wide receiving corps will look like on Monday. Embattled starter Nelson Agholor might have a reduced role or even be inactive. If Agholor does not take his normal allotment of snaps, Dorial Green-Beckham and Jordan Matthews will take on bigger roles. The Eagles promoted Paul Turner from the practice squad and might move him into the rotation, although Turner would play only in the slot. Jordan Matthews remains the Eagles' top receiver, and he could see more time on the outside Monday. The Packers' secondary has been depleted by injuries this season. Top cornerback Sam Shields is on injured reserve, but they could get back starter Damarious Randall, who is questionable with a groin injury. The Packers still have safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who patrols the middle of the field.

The Eagles will play with a shuffled offensive line. Allen Barbre will move from left guard to right tackle to replace Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who is out with a knee injury. Stefen Wisniewski will step in to make his third start of the season. Barbre will be challenged by Packers edge rusher Nick Perry, who leads Green Bay with seven sacks this season. Left tackle Jason Peters will block six-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews on the other side.

The Eagles will play without leading rusher Ryan Mathews, who is out with a knee injury. Wendell Smallwood takes on a bigger role and could see the bulk of the carries, but the Eagles will still rely on veteran Darren Sproles. Sproles is playing with a broken rib. The Packers have the eighth-best rushing defense in the NFL, keeping opponents to 91.1 yards per game. Inside linebacker Jake Ryan is questionable with an ankle injury, and fellow starter Blake Martinez is out with a knee injury. Martinez and Ryan are Green Bay's two leading tacklers.


With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers always have a chance. Rodgers is on pace for 4,418 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions - and somehow, he's fighting the perception that it's a down year because of Green Bay's record. But he's dangerous enough to beat the Eagles, although their defense thrives at home. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Atlanta's Matt Ryan were limited to one combined touchdown when visiting Lincoln Financial Field, and the Eagles average nearly two more sacks at home than on the road. So the Eagles defense is not preparing for a shootout, even if those are the games Green Bay has become accustomed to playing in recent weeks.

Rodgers' top targets are wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, who both have 53 catches for 663 yards. Nelson has nine touchdowns, with eight coming in the red zone. Slot receiver Randall Cobb is also a threat with 48 catches for 517 yards and three touchdowns, and tight end Jared Cook proved that he could be dangerous last week with 105 receiving yards. The Eagles have Leodis McKelvin healthy at cornerback after he exited last week's game with a concussion. Look for them to continue mixing Jalen Mills at cornerback with McKelvin and Nolan Carroll. Malcolm Jenkins has been playing the slot in recent weeks, with Jaylen Watkins joining Rodney McLeod as the deep safety.

The pass rush will be important against Rodgers, who has been sacked 24 times this season. Connor Barwin will play - a bone bruise in his knee limited him during the week - and will rush against left tackle David Bakhtiari. The Packers are missing center JC Tretter and right guard TJ Lang, leaving them with backups trying to block Fletcher Cox.

Green Bay has struggled finding a consistent running game since Eddie Lacy went on injured reserve last month. James Starks is their top rusher, and Rodgers helps in the running game. The quarterback is on pace for a career-high 414 rushing yards. They also like to use a short passing game in lieu of rushes, with Ty Montgomery lining up in the backfield at times. Linebackers Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham must limit the yards after the catch.

When Green Bay kicks off, the Eagles have the advantage. The Packers are allowing a league-worst 30.5 yards per return. The Eagles have a league-best 33.7 yards per return.



That's the amount of touchdowns the Eagles have allowed in four games at Lincoln Financial Field this season. Cleveland rushed for one touchdown in Week 1, Pittsburgh did not score in Week 3, and Minnesota and Atlanta each passed for a score in the last two games in Philadelphia. That defensive effort helps explain why the Eagles are one of only two teams undefeated at home this season. Seattle is the other. The Eagles will play four of their final six games at Lincoln Financial Field.


Zach Berman: Eagles 27, Packers 21

Jeff McLane: Eagles 29, Packers 24