Who’s Picking the Eagles?
Here’s a roundup of national media predictions for Sunday’s Eagles-Packers game.
Don Banks of SI.com has Green Bay in a 30-24 victory:
In one of the premier games of the week, the Packers and Eagles are both fresh off a primetime home-field mauling of an outclassed opponent. Which one will carry over to this week, Green Bay’s 55-14 destruction of the lifeless Bears on Sunday night, or Philadelphia’s 45-21 shellacking of the woeful Panthers on Monday night? Loved most of what I saw from Mark Sanchez in his first full game running the Eagles offense, but I’ll take Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field every time.
Peter King of The MMQB likes the Packers also:
Newly minted starter Mark Sanchez (assuming he’s digested that celebratory cheesesteak by Sunday) and the 7-2 Eagles travel to 6-3 Green Bay, where Aaron Rodgers plays ridiculously perfect football.
Green Bay 37, Philadelphia 20. I just don’t think anyone’s stopping Aaron Rodgers right now.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com predicts a 36-28 Green Bay victory:
What’s suddenly special about Mark Sanchez? (Other than the fact that he’s no longer providing punch-line material in the pages of GQ.) Well, he’s actually been playing well for a while now. I went back and looked at his preseason: 25 of 31 for 282 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. In the regular season, his passer rating is close to 100, and he’s averaging more than 9 yards per throw. So is Jordan Matthews his new beau? Going to the other side of the ball, Philadelphia’s defense has made a ton of big plays. Problem is, Aaron Rodgers’ offense doesn’t give the ball away — just eight turnovers all season. We’d like to see the host Packers pound Eddie Lacy right at the Philly front, but it’s hard for the tailback to get momentum from the shotgun. I do see rookie Davante Adams being a factor in this game. The Eagles have struggled against teams with three good wideouts. See: Games against the Cardinals, 49ers and Redskins. (Two losses and a super close call.)
Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com has the Packers, 30-24:
Eagles players are talking about this game as if it’s the toughest challenge they’ve faced yet this season. It is. They have played road games against two other good NFC teams — San Francisco and Arizona — and those are the Eagles’ only two losses. At the same time, most of the Eagles got to travel to Green Bay and win a game last season, so they shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the place. That sounds as if I’m winding up to pick the Eagles. I’m not. They like to focus on stopping the run to make the opposing offense one-dimensional, but the Packers have no problem throwing the ball every down if they have to. They like to pressure opposing quarterbacks, but Rodgers is able to exploit that pass rush.
Twelve of 13 ESPN.com experts pick the Packers. Mike Golic is the only exception.
Bill Simmons of Grantland likes the Eagles to cover the 6.5-point spread:
That’s right, I am backing Drew Stanton AND Mark Sanchez this week. LET’S DO THIS! In the words of 2016 President-Elect Bruce Arians: “We can win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton. There is no doubt in my mind.” To be fair, there is some doubt in my mind. Lots, actually. But I like going against the Packers after an easy Sunday-night blowout win, and I love the Cards in the Nest giving fewer than three. Sign me up even though I apparently have magical jinxing powers. Here, look.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com predicts a 37-30 Packers victory:
This should be a fun shootout. Mark Sanchez looked good in his first start for the Eagles, but that was at home. This will be a lot tougher. Aaron Rodgers should do what he wants against that Eagles secondary. This is a shootout. Packers take it.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles in a 40-34 shootout:
From start to finish, Mark Sanchez played it perfectly on Monday night. Not only did he have the first 300-yard/0 turnover game of his career and lead his team to a convincing victory on “Monday Night Football”, but he went to multiple cheesteak spots to celebrate on the streets of Philadelphia afterwards. Do you think that was a fluke? Think again. Sanchez looked comfortable in Chip Kelly’s offense, the defense was pursuing the quarterback as well as it has all season, and the offense put up big numbers despite just 13 carries from the running game. Everyone’s going to take the Packers in this one. Short week for Philly, Green Bay’s coming off a blowout, and Aaron Rodgers looks like Superman. I know the numbers. In four games at Lambeau this season, Rodgers is 4-0, with 16 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. But I like the Eagles. Don’t look now, but at 7-2 with guys on the offensive line getting healthy, Philly could have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Chip Kelly’s guys always show up for big ones; I expect them to shock the world on Sunday in a delightful NFC shootout.
Both Pro Football Talk writers pick the Packers:
Eagles at Packers
MDS’s take: There’s a crowded field of teams jockeying for position in the NFC playoff race, and the loser of this game will have its back against the wall. I think Aaron Rodgers can have a big game against the Eagles’ defense, and Green Bay will win.
MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Eagles 20.
Florio’s take: The Eagles looked great on Monday night. But that was at home against the Panthers. This will be on the road against the Packers, who despite having a bad defense have an offense good enough to outscore Mark Sanchez and company.
Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Eagles 20.