The Eagles defense is dealing with a larger number of injuries. However the Eagles offense is dealing with a big one that could take the steam out of the most dangerous one in the NFC. QB Michael Vick was out last Sunday against the Cowboys, but he's still not fully healed from the quad injury he suffered on the opening drive against the Vikings. He told ESPN radio that he's only up to 75 percent, but he's "pretty confident" that he'll play.
Excluding the preseason-like game the Eagles played in week 17, here's how their offense has played in weeks 12 through 16:
|Vick's QB Rating
|Team Yards Per Carry
|Turnovers per Game
Which game does not look like the others? While they needed a huge offensive surge in the 4th quarter to overcome their earlier three turnovers against the Giants, the stats for that game are similar to the previous weeks (except for that insane 9.4 ypc). But they were mediocre against the No. 11 ranked Vikings defense, in part, because Vick was injured almost immediately. The Vikings also brought a lot of pressure as they sacked him six times.
Mike McCarthy said that the Packers will be better prepared having watched an entire season's worth of film on Vick, as opposed to not being prepared to face him because they were expecting QB Kevin Kolb in week 1. Their primary concern is WR DeSean Jackson, who was covered mostly by CB Tramon Williams in week 1, and was limited to only 30 receiving yards. WR Jeremy Maclin appeared to be covered mostly by nickelback Sam Shields in week 1, and I would expect Shields to be on Maclin again. If Shields and Williams can cover their top two receivers, then that would allow CB Charles Woodson to roam the field, and blitz, as he did last week against the Bears. One problem area for the Packers has been stopping the tight end, and Bleeding Green Nation pointed out that this game is a big opportunity for TE Brent Celek. The Packers mediocre run defense might have a tough time stopping RB LeSean McCoy on the ground, but the pass defense does a good job against pass attempts to running backs, and McCoy is one of the best backs as a receiver too. Despite the injury to Vick, this remains a dangerous offense.