Well, first off it is a conference foe – one who is also fighting for a playoff spot – possibly a wild card spot for which the Packers and Eagles could battle down to the wire.
So it’s a pretty big game with head-to-head playoff implications possibly at stake later in the season.
Monday night’s 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears allowed Detroit to occupy the third seed in the NFC, where Green Bay sat just one week ago. The loss plummeted the Packers down to eighth spot in the overall standings, and of course only six from each conference make the postseason.
Even with Green Bay having beaten the Lions, because of the three-way tie with the Bears, Lions, and Packers, Detroit would be in the playoffs today while Green Bay, Chicago (and Philly) would all be on the outside looking in.
The Eagles are going to come in here and try to push the Pack around, just as Chicago did the week before. Green Bay needs to re-establish its physical play, which helped them be one of the better rushing defenses prior to the Bears game.
The Packers need to focus on stopping LeSean ‘Shady” McCoy and the run first. It’s paramount to containing a Chip Kelly-led offense. The defensive line needs to put the hat on them, to get back to standing up to the bullies and knocking them on their backsides.
That’s what the defensive line has done all season, save for Monday night. If the DL can get back to controlling the line of scrimmage, and the linebackers seemingly getting back healthy, then it’s the defensive backs that need to start playing at a higher level and creating turnovers.
This defense needs to start taking the ball away more, especially a secondary that has given up 14 touchdown passes (tied for 17th) and ranks 20th in yards allowed per game (251) and is tied for last in the league with only three interceptions.
During their Super Bowl run of 2010, on the defensive side of the ball, the DB’s such as Tramon Williams and Sammy Shields made huge game-changing plays throughout the playoffs. That’s what Coach McCarthy needs from his deep and talented defensive backs.
So … the defensive line needs to put the HAT on them and swing first and often, the linebackers need to get healthy, and the DB’s need to make plays – big time game-changing plays.
With all of that talent back there they sure are capable, but we haven’t seen it … yet.
Here’s to hoping it starts this Sunday.