Saturday, December 27, 2014

Different Eagles face Packers this time

The Eagles lost to the Packers, 27-20, in Week 1. Here are some notes on that meeting as the two teams prepare to square off in the first round of the playoffs.

Different Eagles face Packers this time

The Eagles lost to the Packers, 27-20, in Week 1. Here are some notes on that meeting as the two teams prepare to square off in the first round of the playoffs.

OFFENSE

* The following players were starters in that matchup: Kevin Kolb, Leonard Weaver and Jamaal Jackson. I think you know what happened with Kolb after he was knocked out of the game with a  consussion.

Weaver and Jackson also left that game with season-ending injuries. Mike McGlynn saw his first significant playing time and has been the starter at center ever since. Eldra Buckley filled in at fullback for Weaver against Green Bay, but the Eagles went on to sign Owen Schmitt, who's played reasonably well.

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Who will win the Eagles-Packers rematch in the first round of the playoffs?
Green Bay, which won in Week 1.
The Eagles, with Michael Vick in command.

* One problem against Green Bay was that the Eagles failed to get DeSean Jackson the ball. He had four catches for 30 yards and did not touch the ball until the 28th play from scrimmage. As we know 16 weeks later, the Eagles need Jackson to get going to be at their best. Last week against Minnesota, he was targeted 13 times and had only two catches.

* The Packers sacked Eagles quarterbacks six times in the first meeting. Clay Matthews had three of those. For some reason, Brent Celek found himself matched up against Matthews on several occasions and got crushed.

LeSean McCoy had only seven carries in that game. He carried for 35 yards and a touchdown. McCoy was also the Eagles' leading receiver with five catches for 47 yards.

* Not that it's mattered much recently, but Mike Bell was the Eagles' second running back in Week 1. It's Jerome Harrison now.

DEFENSE

* Let's start with personnel. Brandon Graham was the starter at defensive end. But he rotated both inside and outside. Juqua Parker went on to replace him later in the season. Parker had two sacks in that game. Graham, of course, is out for the year. And Parker plays the majority of snaps at left defensive end.

Antwan Barnes. Remember that name? The pass-rusher was a huge part of the rotation, playing 28 snaps and not doing much. The Eagles got rid of him later in the season.

* On the flip side, Antonio Dixon played only eight snaps in that first meeting - the fewest of any defensive lineman in the rotation. Dixon, now, is probably the Eagles' second best defensive lineman behind Trent Cole, having solidified the run defense inside.

Stewart Bradley suffered a concussion in that game, and Omar Gaither replaced him. JaMar Chaney has been filling in for Bradley in the middle recently.

Akeem Jordan was the starting strong-side linebacker in that one, but was later replaced by Moise Fokou. Who will be the Eagles' linebackers next week? We probably won't have the answer until the defense comes out onto the field. Sean McDermott has said Bradley will take his place in the middle if healthy, but Chaney's played too well to keep off the field. And don't forget, Jordan replaced Ernie Sims in the nickel last week.

If you missed it earlier, here is a look at the Eagles and the NFC playoff picture.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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