Three-And-Out: Eagles-Packers Predictions

foles_400_110313Player I’ll be watching

McManus: Nick Foles.

Fun merchandise-related nugget for you: The page where you can purchase a Foles jersey on the team site saw a 25 percent spike in hits following his seven-touchdown performance against the Raiders, yet sales went up hardly at all. People are interested and they are considering jumping in but aren’t quite ready to commit.


Pretty symbolic, right?

It's hard not to be intrigued after Foles' monster day in Oakland, but it's impossible to jump all in with the Dallas performance still rattling around in your mind. That Cowboys' game was his chance to assume authority over the quarterback situation and he didn't answer the bell. The bar was lowered for the Raiders game and he crushed it. Sunday is another chance to grab the reins. How will he respond this time?

Kapadia: Lane Johnson

Given that it's Week 10, there aren't a lot of areas where you can expect current talent to make significant improvement the rest of the way. But Johnson is an exception. He had his share of pass protection issues in the first half of the season, but is coming on and played his best game as a pro last week in Oakland.

Defenses that give the Eagles problems will focus on stopping the run and force the Eagles to be efficient in the passing game. That means keeping the quarterback upright. If Johnson can continue to show progress, the offensive line can be a real asset the rest of the way.

Green Bay has four players with at least three sacks, and Clay Matthews is expected to return. The offense will need a repeat performance from Johnson to have success through the air.

Prop bet of the week: Eddie Lacy rushing yards -- 85. Whaddya got?

McManus: Close but I'll go under. The Eagles have only allowed one rusher to go over 100 yards in a game this season -- Oakland's Rashad Jennings last week. The defense has held opponents to under 100 yards rushing overall in five of nine contests. Billy Davis' unit has exceeded expectations, especially in this area, and the front seven is only getting better.

Lacy will probably be called on quite a bit with Seneca Wallace under center instead of Aaron Rodgers, but the Eagles will be keying on him.

Kapadia: I'll take the over, even though I'm a believer in the Eagles' run defense. Bennie Logan played well last week at nose tackle, Cedric Thornton has been good all year, and Fletcher Cox has been excellent after a slow start. Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans have been key as well.

Lacy is a bruising back who brings a violent style. He's going to break tackles and run through people at times. The key will be getting multiple defenders to the ball-carrier. This is going to be a good test to see how the defense responds to a physical brand of football.

Given the number of opportunities he's going to get, Lacy could eclipse the 100-yard mark.

Predictions

McManus: Eagles 24,  Packers 23

This was a stone-cold loss before Rodgers got hurt but this game is now very winnable and if things go right, the Eagles will be sitting in first-place tie with the Cowboys at the end of the day. (The Cowboys play in New Orleans Sunday night.)

Assuming Foles doesn't fall apart, he should be able to do enough for the Eagles to escape Lambeau with a win.

Kapadia: Eagles 27, Packers 20

Picking Eagles games correctly on a week-to-week basis has proven to be nearly impossible, and no one's been worse than yours truly. But I think they're really in a good spot here.

Offensively, the Eagles don't need another 7-TD performance from Foles. If he delivers a 'B' game, I think they'll be able to move the football against this Packers defense.

Defensively, Davis' unit focuses on stopping the run most weeks anyway. The Eagles will try to force Wallace to make enough plays to win the game, and I don't see that happening. A .500 record going into Week 11 would mean this fan base getting some meaningful football down the stretch.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • Tyler Phillips

    I think you two are severely overestimating the Green Bay D. Their Defensive DVOA is only one spot above the raiders. Their D is not good and Wallace is no good Either. Eagles by double digits

    • UncleCarm

      I know its been explained on here before, but can you refresh my memory: What does DVOA stand for?

      • CTAZPA

        DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) calculates a team’s success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average. According to Football Outsiders, DVOA “breaks down every single play of the NFL season to see how much success offensive players achieved in each specific situation compared to the league average in that situation, adjusted for the strength of the opponent. … Football has one objective — to get to the end zone — and two ways to achieve that, by gaining yards and getting first downs. These two goals need to be balanced to determine a player’s value or a team’s performance.”[2]
        There is a separate DVOA measurement for special teams, which “compare[s] each kick or punt to the league average for based on the point value of field position at the position of each kick, catch, and return.” [3]

        This is from Wikipedia. DVOA is quoted a lot because it measures yards more meaningfully than just averages. We all know, for example, that eight yards gained on third and ten doesn’t match eight gained on first and ten. Same with a one yard gain on fourth and goal from the one compared to first and ten.

        DVOA provides a context. It’s a useful “advanced” stat for understanding the relative strength of a unit. If Phil Simms understood it better, he never would have denigrated our offense the week before a 49 point explosion.

        • UncleCarm

          You get a DVOA of 100% for that explanation. Thank you.

    • Richard Colton

      Solid point. The stat we typically use around here is adjusted DVANFT. Defensive Value After Nick Foles Torching. For example, the Raiders had a top ten defense, but after watching the way “future journeyman” Nick “captain checkdown” Foles destroyed them, we realized their stats were hollow. Same with Tampa Bay. I’ll let you know if Green Bay has a good defense by 4PM Sunday.

      • Andy124

        Awesome.

  • cliff henny

    ‘Foles B game”…in all seriousness, what is that? Oak A, Dallas F , those are easy grades. would that make NYG C and TB a B game? maybe we need to do this old +/- or pass/fail

    • Andy124

      Call Oakland off the charts ungradeable, Tampa A and NYG A-.

      • cliff henny

        but, Dallas still counts? poor Foles, no one will ever let that game go. with Foles style of play, and also Eagles, wonder what a B game is. if he gets time, he’s going to look really good, the receivers were open all over the place in that Dallas game. no reason to think an NFL qb cant complete a good percentage of passes in this offense.

        • G_WallyHunter

          I just want to see them do what they did to Oakland right off the bat, march down the field in 3 min or so and score TD on opening drive, shut that crowd up and command the rest of the game
          Gotta contain that Lambeau crowd, that will be key
          Can’t effin wait

          • cliff henny

            is nice to be excited about Eagles football again.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Every damn week, and not just because I have Foles Shady Djax starting in fantasy lol
            Last time I started Foles was the Dallas game, needless to say I lost the week to one of the worst teams in the league, Saint Nick, PLEASE don’t do it again

          • GEAGLE

            Sure is brother….if our offense woulda sucked in Oakland! things could have gotten ugly. last years yellow belly squad would rolled over and played dead the rest of the way….already we seen Chip get his guys composed and explode out of a bad Two game stretch for big wins…that’s says something about Chip, and the guys confidence in him, for them to respond with such a flawless performance after very ugly losing streaks..

            All I want is to make an example of the Packers, and then FOles walk to center field at the Linc and plant a giant eagles flag into the turf, face the redskins! and do that “you are going down” ritual that junior dos santos does before every fight in the octagon…I want FOles to blow the skins out the Linc, and take OUR HOUSE BACK…Folesy give me these two wins and I don’t care what happens the rest of the way

          • Always Hopeful

            Ha, ha, I would love the scenario of winning the next two games, but I WILL still care what happens the rest of the season :-) And…something tells me you would too! This team is past due for a home win…ah, hell why don’t they just win this crappy division.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol of course I would…but for now I will pretend that this is our conference title game and next week is our Super Bowl…I just want two Tampa performances these next two weeks by FOles, so that he can afford to have a less than stellar game in peace the rest of the way with people acting a like overreacting fools

          • Always Hopeful

            I’m crazy enough to hope for them to get it together enough and make a run at the real Super Bowl…but I’ll take baby steps this year, and what I hope for every week from here on out is: improvement AND wins :-) Seeing this team, with these coaches, improve every week is important.

          • OregonDucker

            There is no “coulda, woulda” in Foles anymore. Just a determined, focused competitor who WILL (NOT wants to) win. He is a changed man.

        • Andy124

          What Dallas game? I don’t remember any Dallas game.

  • Media Mike

    Losing this game would have to be a massive failure due to the fact Seneca Wallace is starting for the Packers.

    • JofreyRice

      This is exactly the kind of game Reids Eagles would lay an egg in. Intrigued to see if Kelly can keep them focused.

      • cliff henny

        reid was good for a couple ‘never got off the bus games’. usually the week before the bye, or a road afc team. some of those were just awful football -cinci mcnabb not knowing ot rules game pops to mind

    • evanphilly

      It would be Joe Webb 2.0

  • Bukester

    I don’t see the Eagles going two in a row for some reason. Packers might be burning fumes now but thrown in Lambeau field and whats at stake for them as well, I see the Birds losing a tough one. They are the more dangerous team now.

    Kendricks and Ryans are the key here. Tackling needs to be crisp.

    • GEAGLE

      FOles won two in a row prior to the Dallas game…I’m hoping to see him win two of 3 the rest of the way…
      ….
      Can’t believe it’s only Saturday…I’m already all sorts of jacked up…
      ….
      Btw, Cliff….Jabari Parker was a MONSTER last night

      • Bukester

        Tru’dat. Just a hunch. All of the good qbs have enough amnesia to move on and that means forgetting the big wins. I know Foles can do it if he’s loose and that is everyones concern. The NY game was reactive and instinctive. TB game was solid (also familiar territory for Foles). The Dallas game we all know. I HOPE there isn’t a pattern here, believe me.

        This guy Lacy is the Marshawn Lynch-y type that the Eagles havent seen yet and have had problems with.

        Nuff said. Cannot wait! Go Birds!

        • EaglePete

          beast mode that embarrassed this team was a completely different defense. This one actually know how to tackle.

      • cliff henny

        heard wiggins looked good too. turner, young and hawes are playing so nicely, it’s going to be a landfall of picks when they are moved. sixers will have plenty of ammo to move up and get a top 4.

    • damrvrhunter

      The cold dose of reality you are stating is not liked on here especially when the faithful begin to whip themselves into a frenzy. Like you, I see the Eagles losing a tough close one by about 4 points. I will be happy with a solid consistent effort from Foles.

      • Bukester

        Yeah well I learn boat loads from this website and these comments so I will take my chances with a little pessimism. Some smart dudes in the room. I were coach I’d dial in a guy like Curry and task with stopping the run . More snaps and more playing time. I see this game as an opportunity for these young guys to take off man . Win or lose.

  • Will

    Foles bring your A game ….

  • G_WallyHunter

    If the Oline can protect and run block like they did Sunday then it should be an easy win

  • GEAGLE

    UNDERS on the rush yards…eagles score 31 this week

  • evanphilly

    As long as the Eagles O can maintain the up-tempo offense, they should win this game. Pack have an interior D full of guys that are 320+ pounds, so getting them tired as quickly as possible is huge! Pack also have the worst, if not one of the worst red-zone defenses in the NFL.

    If the Birds can get out to a big lead early, they win.

  • Kev_H

    I don’t ever remember a QB putting up league leading numbers and winning games and having so much media focus put on his worst game. Foles started out with great numbers and contributed to 2 wins. After the Dallas game, he still had great overall numbers and a loss. Now he has great overall numbers and the team is 3-1 in games he played a significant amount, 3-0 in games he finished healthy. What’s to not LOVE about that?

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Where he was drafted.

    • Bukester

      Its the buzz and counter-buzz to a rookie no-hitter. Fluke? Of course it is. 7TDs is flukish. As a few have pointed out – Gregg E is a Redskins fan. A lot of the National media folks work out of NYC and have Giants/Jets bias. You never notice until they talk about the Eagles. Frank Deford of NPR comes to mind. Hate that mofo. Anytime the Eagles were in the playoffs making a run – he would mention the ol’ “snowball/boo Santa Claus” meme. So sick of that shite. So mark my word yo. Foles does NOT get 7tds tomorrow and will be exposed by these bozos for being the fraud they said he would be.

  • Dutch

    Solid play from the offensive line and good tackling out of the linebackers in my opinion would be significant in coming back to Phila with a win. Packers have a solid defensive line, with weight and quickness the kind of defensive line that gives the Eagles fits. With the emergence of a run game in Green Bay missing tackles could be a disaster for the Eagles.

    Rogers being out opens the door for the Eagles who gives up a ton of yards and almost 30 pts a game. Without Rogers so long as we get good line play and linebacker support this is a winnable game for the Eagles.

    • GEAGLE

      Lol you have some balls dUtchy poo

  • Kev_H

    SK, NFL is a team sport and units improve throughout the season all the time, especially as they adapt to new systems. Maybe guys don’t get faster and stronger, but they are all fast and strong enough to succeed. I expect the Eagles to be a top 3 team in their conference when the book is closed on this season with O-line and D improvement leading the way

  • anon

    Victor Cruz on the playoffs in the NFCE: “I think it’s going to be nine,” Cruz told Erik Kuselias. “Anywhere between eight and nine, maybe even 10. It’s going to be a tight race, especially with ourselves and obviously Dallas and Washington.”

    D*mn don’t you know we have twice as many wins as you? No respect.

    • EaglePete

      and doesnt he know his 2 win team is also still due for its middle of the season losing streak. Oh and the skins cant get out of their own way, terrible.

      • anon

        Yeah i’d love to have the Dallas and NYG games back — we could be ahead in the division.

    • firstdown

      cruz is still alittle hazy after gettin dumped on his melon…..

  • EaglePete

    I still think the the biggest thing with Foles will be his “clutch” factor. Not even that, its more about how he can respond to adversity throughout a game. Is he able to put behind some bad series’ and get back on track. That is huge in this league and that is still the big unknown to me. Trust me, Im hoping he gets some more consistency and the Tampa win last season shows some grit, just want to see more of it after the Dallas game. He just didnt ever get on track and thats just a bit worrisome if there is anything to complain about. I think we will start finding out with GB game.

    Another thing I havent heard is Davis has experience with Wallace from his Browns days no? That could help game plan if he knows the guy and can exploit his weaknesses.

    • anon

      In the pre-season every time he turned it over he would come right back and score — i think that’s one of the things CK likes about him.

      • EaglePete

        I dont take much from preseason. Foles was preseason king his first year, then not so much competing against Vick so whatever that means. He still needs to prove he can rebound in big games and also show up against better competition. Im excited to even have seen flashes and a tall pocket passer making great reads. Love the upside of CK just as much.

    • OregonDucker

      I believe Foles is a changed man. The Dallas game was the catalyst. I no longer hope he will, but believe he will, pick apart the Packer’s D. Coupled with Chip’s game plan, like he did with Oakland, Foles will shine. Even though he faces much better CBs in this game, he will use the same tricks, look-offs and pump fakes, that were effective against the Raiders. Maybe it’s the Kool Aide but I feel good about Foles against the Packers.

  • JaJaBarrett

    Eagles 42 Packers 23

  • DJ

    Game is not being covered nationally so have to listen to our Iggles while watching the Colts. So far neither our offense or the Packs have gotten into a grove yet, let’s hope that the Packs stumble!
    OK, we just scored, good deal!