Preview: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has his sights on another NFC North title. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Despite holding a record of 3-7-1 the Philadelphia Eagles are only half a game off the top of the NFC East. With playoff hopes still intact they face a tough test against the 8-3 Green Bay Packers.

Both teams played prime time football last week as the Packers defeated their oldest rivals, the Chicago Bears 41-25 on Sunday Night Football, and on Monday Night Football the Eagles lost their third straight game when the Seattle Seahawks came out 23-17 victors.

Playoff implications

After bouncing back from an overtime loss to the Colts in week 11, the Packers are now back on track to win the NFC North. Their win over the Bears now gives them a three-game advantage, today’s game is the first of three that the Packers should see as winnable.

The Packers though, will also want to try to keep up with the New Orleans Saints in the race for the only bye this year with the new NFL playoff structure. At the moment the Saints have coped well with the loss of Drew Brees to injury but the NFC number one spot looks wide open with only one win separating the Saints from the Packers and the Seahawks.

The Eagles amazingly still have a shot at winning the NFC East despite their losing record. However, they have a mammoth task ahead of them as they take on the Packers, Saints and Arizona Cardinals in three consecutive weeks before finishing the season with divisional games against the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team.

If they can come out of any of their next three weeks with a win then they could still be in with a shout of winning their division going into their divisional matches. With the stakes so high the Eagles should be treating this matchup like playoff football and they may draw confidence from their 34-27 win at Lambeau Field last season.

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Davante Adams set for another big day?

Though the Eagles only lost by six last week, they allowed DK Metcalf to have a career day as he caught 10 passes for 177 yards. They kept him out of the end-zone but with very little production elsewhere he was crucial to Seattle's win.

Darius Slay was matched up against DK Metcalf last week and he will need to do a better job of containing Davante Adams if matched up against him this week.

Adams caught 10 passes for 180 yards in last years’ game which the Eagles won.

However, whether he gets as much work as that in today’s game remains to be seen as last week with the Packers in control of the Bears from the off, they were a lot more run based and no receiver or rusher eclipsed 100 yards.

Aaron Rodgers’ number one target, Adams, is tied second for most receiving touchdowns this season will fancy his chances in tonight’s game. He is well on track to beat his career best 13 touchdowns from two seasons ago. Adams has caught a touchdown pass in six straight games.

Rodgers was clinical in last weeks win throwing four touchdowns, despite throwing for just 211 yards.

With the game over relatively quick the Packers were more run heavy with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams rushing the ball 17 times each for 90 yards and 73 yards respectively.

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What can the Eagles do to win?

The Eagles have the talent in their receiving corps to do some damage to the Packers this game with tight-ends Dallas Goedert and former Packer, Richard Rodgers who both scored touchdowns in last week’s loss.

However, if they can get the run game going this is where the game could be won with the Packers susceptible to the run. In their last game though Miles Sanders had his least productive game, rushing for just 15 yards from six carries.

Quarterback, Carson Wentz was top rusher with 42 yards. More is needed from both players if they are to have any chance of winning this game as Wentz missed on 20 passes in the defeat to Seattle.

After last week’s loss Slay blamed himself for the loss and told ESPN:

“I am looking forward to going to work this week and getting better for the team. They deserve it, I deserve it, and this organization does.”

Adams, familiar with Slay from Slay’s days with the Detroit Lions was full of respect for his abilities, saying:

“He’s one of the better guys that I’ve seen on the film in the past and this year.”

If he can keep Adams quiet, they might have a shot.

Prediction

With the Packers back to winning ways and a favourable schedule ahead, Head Coach, Matt LaFleur has surely stated the importance of these next three upcoming games to keep pace with the Saints, and potentially tie up the NFC North going into the last couple of weeks.

The Eagles as proved in last week’s six-point loss to Seattle could be a tougher proposition than their record suggests. However, the Packers will have too much for the Eagles at Lambeau this year.

Prediction: Eagles 17 – Packers 31

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