Packers vs. Eagles: Five questions with Eagles expert for Week 4

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16: Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Trent Cole #58 try to tackle quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of the game at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16: Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Trent Cole #58 try to tackle quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of the game at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

Ahead of the Thursday night showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, we spoke to Inside the Iggles site expert Geoffrey Knox to get some insight on the Packers’ Week 4 opponents.

Thursday’s game is huge for both the Packers and Eagles. Green Bay hasn’t won its opening four games since 2015, and doing so would already be a huge step towards a postseason return. Philadelphia’s playoff hopes would decrease dramatically with a 1-3 start.

All eyes will be on Lambeau Field as these two NFC powerhouses kick off the regular season’s fourth week. And to get some insight into what the Packers can expect from the Eagles, I spoke to Inside the Iggles site expert Geoffrey Knox.

Be sure to also check out the Q&A I took part in for Inside the Iggles, talking all things Packers ahead of the game.

1. What’s gone wrong for the Eagles in their 1-2 start?

Knox: At this point, my friend, Eagles fans have to come to the realization that, in their current state, the Philadelphia Eagles are not a very good football team. They don’t run the ball well. They don’t cover well consistently, and they’ve had zero pass rush.

Now, we’ve seen signs that each of those areas can be cleaned up. The offense put the defense in some horrible spots over and over again in Week 3, and, time after time, the defense responded. I love what I saw from the guys on ‘D’, but seemingly, when they got it together, the offense fell apart.

Here’s the bad news. Philly dropped a league-leading seven passes. The offense turned the ball over three times. The offense also had three nice gains called back due to offensive P.I. Here’s the good news. Despite shooting themselves in the foot, they had a chance to win at the end of the game.

They’ve shown fight. They’ve shown they can be great, but slow starts, and turnovers, and inconsistent play isn’t going to put you in a position to beat anyone. Heading into Week 4, this team has some major issues.

2. Injuries have been a problem for the Eagles in the first few weeks. What’s the latest?

Knox: Well, unfortunately, when the Eagles released their injury report earlier in the week, it had 12 names on it. DeSean Jackson is out for a while. As you’ve probably heard by now, Timmy Jernigan and Malik Jackson won’t be with us this year, but there are some rumblings that we may get Alshon Jeffery and Kamu Grugier-Hill a.k.a. ‘The Flyin’ Hawaiin’ back for Thursday. That would be huge.

We also don’t know when Jalen Mills will be back. Then, there’s Ronald Darby. He’s believed to be our top corner. Now, the eyeball test tells us that theory may be inaccurate, but that can be debated all day. Yes, my friend, this team is shorthanded, to say the least.

Our staff joked around on Monday that this team has to be dealing with some bad karma. At some point, things have to turn. At some point, guys just have to get better, but we’ll see. Hopefully, we’ll have Jeffery and Grugier-Hill and one or two of these other guys we’ve been waiting on.

3. What will be the key matchups in Thursday’s game?

Knox: It sounds cliche, but this game will be won in the trenches. For this team to be good for the long-term or, even in the short-term, they have to generate some sort of pass rush. Three games have passed, and this vaunted pass rush we keep discussing has come up with a single sack on the 2019 season. That’s inexcusable.

Ineffective play is a part of the deal in the NFL though. We all know that as spectators, so if the rush isn’t going to get home, we’re going to have to be better in the secondary. They’ve been good there for the most part, but now they have to be even better. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback the Eagles have faced in 2019. Atlanta Falcons fans don’t want to hear that. They still see Matt Ryan as elite, but we all know what Rodgers can do if he gets in a zone.

It appears that this team’s biggest test of the season so far comes at a time where they’re at their most desperate. It doesn’t help that this is a short week either. That’s football, though isn’t it? That’s how this works.

4. What do the Eagles need to do to get the victory at Lambeau Field?

Knox: They have to shorten that clock in Aaron Rodgers’ head, no easy task seeing as how he hasn’t had to worry about his safety. The Pack’s offensive line has been huge. Philly needs to run the ball to dominate time of possession. I have no idea why Jordan Howard hasn’t gotten more carries, but maybe we’ll be smarter in Week 4.

We can’t get off to a slow start again. We have to keep the hometown crowd as quiet as humanly possible. We can’t get into third-and-long situations. Again, a running game will help that. Then, there are the mistakes. You can’t drop seven passes, and turn the ball over, and get penalized and expect to beat anybody. You definitely can’t do that on the road. You definitely can’t do that against a team as good as Green Bay.

5. Finally, what’s your prediction for the game?

Knox: As much as it appears that Philly should lose this game, I’m not one-hundred percent certain that they will. I’ve seen this story too many times. I’ve seen Andy Reid take a team that should have lost into Green Bay and get a win. I’ve seen Chip Kelly do it, and now, I think Doug Pederson will do the same thing. It’s such a Philly thing to do.

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I’m dusting off my dog mask. I think the Eagles do what they seem to do all the time. They walk into Lambeau as the underdogs, and they get a huge win on the road. I say the Eagles win by a field goal. 27-24 is the score.