The Packers Need to Avoid a Shootout With the Eagles


Nick Foles. Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports photograph

I’m sure you’ve heard by now. Chip Kelly’s offense likes to run a lot of plays.

The Philadelphia Eagles have run 599 plays on offense this season, one of the most in the league. They also rank fourth in total yards with an average of 413.2 yards of offense a game.

LeSean McCoy is the league’s leading rusher with 777 yards on the ground. He also has 320 yards receiving and four touchdowns this season. He is one of the NFL’s most dangerous players out of the backfield.

You don’t have to look far for other offensive weapons on this Eagles team. DeSean Jackson is second in the league in receiving yards with 823 and has six receiving touchdowns. A lot these yards have come on big plays downfield. Jackson has tallied six receptions over 40 yards this season. Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, and tight end Brent Celek can also be effective in the passing game.

The Eagles have weapons and the Green Bay Packers will have their hands full when Philadelphia comes to town this Sunday.

The wildcard here is at the quarterback position. The Packers will be without Aaron Rodgers and will rely on the arm of veteran backup Seneca Wallace.

The Eagles have gone through their own quarterback carousel this season with Michael Vick, Nick Foles, and rookie Matt Barkley all seeing snaps behind center.

However, Foles appears to be their guy. Last week against a shoddy Oakland Raiders defense, he tied an NFL record and threw for seven touchdowns. He also threw for 406 yards and finished with a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Foles proved he can thrive in Kelly’s no-huddle, fast-paced offense.

When the Eagles come to Lambeau Field this Sunday, they will look to press a Packers defense that has shown some holes, specifically in the secondary, as of late. They will would also love to get in a shootout against a Packers offense that is missing it’s MVP quarterback.

For the Packers to have any chance of beating the Eagles, they’ll need to force Philadelphia out of their style of play. They need to slow the game down, run the ball, control the clock, and make key third-down throws to continue drives.

The Packers ran for 199 yards last week against Chicago, and this Sunday they’ll face the worst defensive club in the league. It’s entirely possible with a full week of preparation Wallace can manage the game and make throws when he needs to for Green Bays offense to move the ball.

Even without Rodgers, the Packers can beat Philadelphia. But they need to dictate the type of game it will be.

If the Eagles move the ball well and put up a lot of points early on, I believe the Packers lack the firepower on offense without Rodgers to keep pace. It could get ugly real fast if Green Bay’s defense has another bad week and their offense fails to convert third downs.

The defense definitely needs to redeem themselves after last week’s poor performance against Chicago, but the best defense against Kelly’s high-powered offense, is to keep them off the field.

The Eagles currently rank last in the league in time of possession. Their offense only averages 25 min. and 7 sec. on the field per game, meaning their defense has been on the field more than anybody else in the league (34:53 per game).

This is their weakness. The downside to Kelly’s break-neck speed on offense.

If the Packers can run the ball effectively with Eddie Lacy and convert on third down, then they’ll prevent the game from becoming a shootout and will have a good chance at surviving Philadelphia’s high-speed offensive attack.