On Sunday, the Packers get their first exposure of the new look Eagles. Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation was kind enough to answer some questions about Philadelphia and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: The biggest story from last Sunday's slate of games was Nick Foles historic seven-touchdown, 406-yard performance. What impressed you most about Foles' play, and what's a realistic expectation for him going forward?
It's amazing how Nick Foles was able to bounce back like he did against the Raiders after putting together a terrible performance against the Cowboys two weeks prior. No one saw that coming. Foles displayed great touch and accuracy on his passes. He threw with anticipation and also founds ways to extend plays when necessary by moving out of the pocket and finding the opening man. The second year quarterback played a perfect game and it was perhaps the best single game performance by any quarterback ever. That said, it's unrealistic to expect Foles to sustain that kind of success. Moving forward, it's realistic to expect a quality performance when Foles starts. He needs to prove he can be more consistent and not hit (Raiders game, Buccaneers game) or miss (Dallas game).
APC: Many football fans have heard Chip Kelly's offense described as "revolutionary," but many haven't seen the Eagles play since their season opener on Monday Night Football. How has Kelly's offense taken shape, and what should they be on the lookout for this weekend?
Kelly's offense is a legitimate NFL offense. Despite harsh media criticism, it's not a "gimmick." There is nothing fluky about it. It's about fundamental execution. I'm not sure that Kelly is looking to revolutionize the NFL as much as he is just looking to win football games, but the Eagles offense is a strong force when executing properly. Prior to the struggles in the Dallas game, Kelly's offense was operating at an historical pace. This week, Green Bay should be on the lookout for the Eagles' use of 12 personnel. Two tight end sets were common in the Eagles' victory over the Raiders, and with the Packers banged up at the linebacker position, it could make sense for the Eagles to attack that area.
APC: So far in 2013, the Eagles defense has struggled against the pass and in keeping points off the board. Do you expect this to be a season long issue, or could it be remedied?
The story of the Eagles defense is an encouraging one for Eagles fans. The defense played horribly to start the year, but since then there has been a steadily progressing improvement. Philadelphia's defense has now held its opponents to 21 points or less in each of the last five games. The Chiefs are the only other team to have done so. In their last five games, the Eagles defense is holding opponents to just 18.6 points and 397.4 yards per game, compared to 27.5 and 446.8 over the first four games.
APC: Philadelphia's biggest playmakers on offense, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy, have each played well the first half of the season. Which player do you believe will have the better game against the Packers?
Simply put, the Packers have a good run defense. That leads me to believe DeSean Jackson will have the better day by default. Plus, and I can't believe I'm saying this, Riley Cooper has played well opposite Jackson when Foles has started at quarterback. It won't be as simple as the Packers defense doubling coverage on Jackson.
APC: Finally, it's prediction time. Who wins on Sunday and why?
Eagles win, 30-20. Philadelphia's offense stays hot and the defense holds Seneca Wallace and the Packers offense in check.
We'd like to thank Brandon and Bleeding Green Nation for answering our questions. Be sure to check out our Q&A session over there as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Eagles. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game day coverage of Eagles vs. Packers.
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