The struggling Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) are traveling to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers (3-0) on Thursday Night Football.
Although the Green Bay offense has sputtered at times, the Packers defense has put in a good early showing. Mike Pettine’s crew is fast, young, and hassling quarterbacks. The combination of brother-like Preston and Za’Darius Smith have 7 1/2 sacks and another 14 quarterback hits, and Kenny Clark has created pressure from the inside to help rush opposing passers. Meanwhile Jaire Alexander already has six passes defensed, and Rookie safety Darnell Savage has been making plays early in his rookie season. Opponent quarterback rating is just 63.1, second best in football.
Meanwhile, Carson Wentz and the Eagles passing game has been spotty, at best. Wentz has a 91.2 rating through three weeks, and has thrown a pair of interceptions. It is hard to see week four as a breakout opportunity, although Alshon Jeffery is set to return after missing a few games for injury. That is desperately needed, as the Eagles dropped seven passes in their loss to the Lions.
On a brighter note, though the Packers have caused problems for opposing quarterbacks all year, the rushing defense has looked vulnerable the last two weeks. Sadly for the Eagles, they rank only 17th in rushing yards this season despite having the 13th highest number of attempts.
Meanwhile, the Eagles defense has looked vulnerable, ranked 17th in yards against, 23rd in scoring defense, 23rd in takeaways, and 31st in first downs allowed. Although the Packers offense has hardly looked any better (28th in total yards, 23rd in points per game), they have started the season against the Chicago Bears (8th in yards allowed, 3rd in points against), Vikings (12th, 4th) and Broncos (9th, 18th). Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, and the rest should have more breathing room and a chance to show what they can do in a new offense in week four.
Thursday night games always cause nerves, given short weeks and lack of preparation time. But if trends hold, the Packers should handle the Eagles relatively easily tomorrow night. This Passionate Fan’s Prediction: Packers over Eagles, 33-17.