September 26, 2019
Unlike the last couple of weeks, there aren't a lot of people picking the Eagles to win their upcoming matchup. And that's for good reason.
For starters, they're on the road. They're also facing an undefeated team — one that features a still-dangerous Aaron Rodgers. Add to that the fact that it's a short week and several key Eagles are still recovering from injuries sustained earlier in the season, and you can begin to see why the Birds are an underdog against the Packers on Thursday night.
But not everyone is picking against the Eagles...
We've broken down the injuries, given you some matchups to watch and offered our own predictions for Eagles at Packers. Now, as we do every week, it's time to take a look around the nation to see how various experts, both local and national, see Thursday night's matchup playing out.
[NOTE: Since it's the Thursday game, not everyone has filed their picks quite yet. If there is no pick listed, that's because one isn't available yet. Check back soon and we'll be sure to update them as they come in.]
• PhillyVoice staff: Four of our six writers picked the Birds to fall to the Packers at Lambeau, including Eagles beat writer Jimmy Kempski, who is picking Green Bay by a final of 29-27...
Throughout the first 3 games, the Eagles’ pass rush has simply not been good enough, and I don’t expect that to suddenly change on a short week on the road in Green Bay.
While Aaron Rodgers has not been the elite player we expect him to be so far this season, I like his chances of being able to extend plays and making his patented throws outside of the pocket.
The Eagles’ offense will keep it close behind another solid performance by Carson Wentz, but ultimately, it won’t be enough, for the third straight week.
• ESPN staff: Each of the six people who have made picks so far are going with Green Bay.
• Rob Demovsky, ESPN.com:
• Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Eagles 24, Packers 23
The Packers' and Eagles' offenses are behind schedule. Even if Carson Wentz has created more third-down magic than Aaron Rodgers so far, it's alarming to see how rarely both teams execute plays as drawn up. The Packers can't find a third receiver or tight end to throw to. Eagles rookie wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has 14 yards on 132 offensive snaps, while Nelson Agholor's drops are now a national story. Both running games are mostly underwater, despite Jamaal Williams' mermaid moment last week.
If Mike McCarthy ever had a three-game stretch with Rodgers during which the Packers' offense ranked 29th in yards per drive and 25th in points per drive, clowns like me would have been calling for the coach's head. But McCarthy only had a defense this dominant during the team's 2010 championship run. In 2019, tone-setters Za'Darius Smith and Darnell Savage lead a Green Bay D rapacious for sacks and turnovers. I expect the Eagles' offense to play up-tempo and create ways to thwart Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's complex defense, leading to more points in this game than expected. There are some weaknesses in this Green Bay defense -- SEE: cornerback Kevin King, as well as difficulty stopping the run -- and I trust Philly coach Doug Pederson to adjust better during the game than rookie Matt LaFleur, whose Packers have scored just 13 second-half points all season.
• CBSSports.com staff: So far, just one of their six experts who have made picks are predicting a win for the Eagles. One of the five going against the Birds is Pete Prisco. Here's a look at what he had to say:
The Eagles aren't playing well through a ton of injuries, and this is a tough challenge on a short week. The Green Bay offense hasn't looked crisp yet, but this is the game where it will. Aaron Rodgers finally has that big game. He lights up the Eagles.
Pick: Packers 30, Eagles 20
• OddsShark: They were massively wrong last week when they predicted the Eagles would torch the Lions. Birds fans should hope their computers are wrong again, as they're picking the Packers by more than a touchdown.
• Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 28, Packers 24
Correction Sunday happens on a Thursday. The Eagles are getting desperate, and Doug Pederson is 3-0 on a short week. Alshon Jeffery is back, Carson Wentz is healthy, and the Packers are due to take a step back after an unexpectedly hot start.
• Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk: Packers 13, Eagles 10
Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers have won their first three games together, but what people don’t seem to be noticing is it’s the Packers’ defense that’s leading them this season, and the offense hasn’t been great. I look for the defense to keep rolling as the Packers win a close one.
• Bleacher Report, NFL staff: Packers 27, Eagles 20
Our guys are ignoring that trend on Thursday night and laying four points with the Green Bay Packers at home against a limping Philadelphia Eagles squad that is traveling on short rest. ...
Even if Green Bay's offense continues to experience growing pains, its defense has performed unbelievably well this season. With DeSean Jackson ruled out, Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert banged up and quarterback Carson Wentz struggling (he's completed only 55.7 percent of his passes and has a combined 76.5 passer rating in back-to-back losses), it'll be difficult for that unit to solve a daunting defensive front featuring Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Kenny Clark.
The last 18 home favorites are 13-4-1 against the spread in Thursday games, and a home underdog won straight up in convincing fashion when the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans 20-7 last Thursday night. It'd be nice for Packer backers if this dropped to -3, but Green Bay still looks like the right bet at -4.
• Sheil Kapadia, The Athletic:
• SBNation staff: Nine of their 10 experts are picking the Packers over the Eagles. The lone exception? Good Dog of the Week, Ramsey. He's a very good boy.
• Bleeding Green Nation staff: Once again, eight of their nine writers are taking the Eagles despite the Birds being at least a four-point underdog (depending on where you look). Here's what Brandon Gowton, who picked the Eagles in OT, had to say after listing several reasons why the Packers should win:
It’s really not difficult to envision the Eagles getting blown out in this game.
And yet ... I’m 100% irrationally confident the Eagles are going to win this game.
They need this game way more than the Packers do and we’ve seen Doug Pederson’s teams fight hard when their backs have been against the wall before. Carson Wentz is also bound to stop being so unlucky at some point, right?
It won’t make sense but the Eagles will win this game. It’s a lock.
• Inquirer.com: Two of their three beat writers picked the Packers to fall to the Eagles at home on Thursday night. It was Les Bowen who was the only one picking Green Bay...
The realist in me thinks the hole just gets deeper.
Sure, the Eagles will be motivated and primed and all that, but they have frittered away two games they should have won, and now they’re playing at Lambeau Field, where before the season, even with many of us thinking this was going to be a championship-level Eagles team, we knew they would be hard-pressed to win.
Expecting them to win there now, just because their situation is dire, seems like magical thinking...
• NJ.com staff: Four of NJ.com's six writers picked the Packers over the Eagles, including beat writer Mike Kaye...
It’s hard to feel positive about the Eagles after two brutal losses. The team simply can’t stay out of its way. That said, on a short turnaround, they’ll have to rebound in a hurry and execute properly against a Packers defense that is only allowing 11.7 points per game. If Carson Wentz wants to make a statement in front of a national audience, this would be a signature game to turn things around. Still, it’s hard to feel like Wentz’s teammates will be up to the challenge.
PICK: Packers 17, Eagles 13
• Adrian Fedkiw, Philly Influencer: Eagles 23, Packers 20
I like the Packers, they were my darkhorse NFC Super Bowl contender before the year started, but I also think they’re more vulnerable than people think. If the Eagles can finally get their running game going, I think they can steal this win. Green Bay’s offense isn’t as explosive as you’re accustomed to seeing.
• Todd Haislop, Sporting News: Packers 24, Eagles 20
Aaron Rodgers is the last quarterback a struggling Eagles defense wants to see, but Philadelphia might have even bigger problems on the other side of the ball in Green Bay. Unless the Eagles are able to manufacture a better rushing attack, or if Alshon Jeffrey returns to give them a needed boost in the passing game, they will have trouble scoring against the NFL's second-best defense in terms of points allowed. The short week could be a factor, too, with the road team dealing with more injuries than the home team.
• Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Packers 27, Eagles 24
The Packers are 3-0 in the Matt LaFleur era so far because they have leaned on their defense and got enough from their complementary running game. But as the opponents get more offensive-minded going forward, their season will be more in the hands of Aaron Rodgers. The Eagles can stop the run, but their secondary is vulnerable, especially if Jim Schwartz must turn to blitzing to get to Rodgers. The Eagles need to commit to running the ball more to take pressure off their struggling defense, but their tendency to start slow won’t work against a team that’s been fast out of the gate.
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