Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about Sunday’s game.
ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter makes the Chip Kelly–Johnny Manziel link:
Back in September 2010, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly got a verbal commitment from Texas high school standout Johnny Manziel. Yet before Manziel could join Kelly at Oregon, he decided he would be more comfortable closer to home in Texas and switched his commitment to Texas A&M. But Manziel was as interested in Kelly as Kelly was in Manziel. Marcus Mariota, a top quarterback prospect who committed to Oregon just months after Manziel and did go on to play for Kelly, is not expected to last until the Eagles’ pick in the April draft. But Kelly might just be in prime position to land the quarterback who once committed to him at Oregon months before Mariota did.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com likes the Eagles in a 21-20 win:
If you had a dollar for every fan who responded to seeing Seneca Wallace take the field for Green Bay on Monday night with a “He’s still in the league?!”, you could buy enough ad space on Fox to keep us from having to sit through any more “Sleepy Hollow” promos. Even if the banged-up Packers’ defense can hold Philadelphia (and the suddenly scorching Nick Foles) in check, how effective will 33-year-old Wallace be after a short week of practice? Meanwhile, the Eagles’ defense has been playing much better lately, allowing an average of just 17.3 points per game over the past three weeks. Tell you what, though: That group had better bring the wood if it wants to get Eddie Lacy down. Green Bay’s D, meanwhile, had better bring healthy versions of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.
Greg A. Bedard of TheMMQB.com takes a look at a key matchup Sunday:
A key matchup to watch when the Packers, without Aaron Rodgers, take on the Eagles: Green Bay right tackle Marshall Newhouse and right guard Don Barclay against Philadelphia left end Cedric Thornton. Thornton is an ascending young player, particularly against the run, and the Packers must run the ball for backup quarterback Seneca Wallace to be effective. When starting right guard T.J. Lang went out last week with a concussion, Barclay slid from tackle to guard and Newhouse was a disaster.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com predicts a 31-21 Eagles victory:
Nick Foles looked downright awesome on Sunday, and the same Chip Kelly offense I’ve spent plenty of ink passive-aggressively bashing for a lack of ingenuity and/or spark? It shut me up pretty good last week. Michael Vick has the “franchise QB” stamp and salary in Philadelphia, but Foles sure looked the part at Oakland. It’s not often the Packers lose two straight in Lambeau Field, but I like Philly in this one.
Andy Benoit of TheMMQB.com weighs in on the matchup:
Now we’ll find out just how good Eddie Lacy really is. The second-round rookie has rushed for 545 yards over the past five games, toting the rock at least 22 times in each contest. In four of those contests, Lacy often had the luxury of facing just seven, or even six, men in the box, as defenses felt compelled to keep two safeties back deep against Aaron Rodgers. Pardon the exaggeration, but judging by Mike McCarthy’s conservative play-calling with Seneca Wallace last Monday night, the Eagles might not feel compelled to keep even one safety back deep. Lacy, a natural downhill power back with surprising effectiveness out of shotgun, will have to create a lot of his own yards for the first time as a pro.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com goes with the Packers, 27-24:
We might find out how ordinary the Packers are without Aaron Rodgers. They will start Seneca Wallace here against the Eagles. The good news is the Eagles aren’t good on defense and they are playing consecutive road games. They will keep it close. Even with Wallace, I think the Packers find a way in a tight one.
Chris Burke of SI.com offers his take:
A game that set up as Michael Vick versus Aaron Rodgers preseason now will feature Nick Foles versus Seneca Wallace. That’s a swap that could play to Philadelphia’s advantage on both accounts. The drop from Rodgers to Wallace certainly looms as a massive one for the Packers, even with their steady run game. Foles is coming off a record-tying seven-touchdown performance and matches wits with a Packers D that had trouble getting off the field Monday.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk goes with the Eagles, 30-23:
Philly is 4-1 on the road, 0-4 at home. More importantly, they head to Lambeau to face a team that has lost its franchise quarterback for a month. The injuries finally have caught up with the Packers, who’ll suffer the rare indignity of losing twice at home in six days.
Doug Farrar of SI.com has Nick Foles as the QB of his midseason All-Surprise Team:
We’ll give Houston’s Case Keenum an honorable mention here, but really — who else could it be? After his seven-touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders, Foles has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no picks, all while working around a concussion and an uncertain quarterback situation. He currently ranks second in Football Outsiders’ per-play metrics behind only Peyton Manning.