Are you ready for some football?
The Birds return to primetime for the first time this year to take on Brett Favre and the Packers Monday night at the Linc.
Aside from hearing what poorly rhymed lyric Hank Williams Jr adds to "Are You Ready For Some Football" to mention the Eagles or Packers... All signs point to this being a good night for the Eagles.
There is one staggering stat that can not be ignored going into this game. The Eagles are the #1 passing offense and the #1 overall offense(yardage-wise) in the entire NFL. The Packers are ranked #31 against the pass and in overall defense(yardage given up) in the entire NFL. This game is literally the irresistable force versus the easily moveable object.
There's almost no point in going over the individual matchups. Andy Reid should be in his glory throwing every down with success exploiting his team's greatest strength against his opponent's greatest weakness. Still, as I've said every week... Maybe we could just try to run? Just a little? Either way, if you have any Eagles reciever or McNabb on your fantasy team... Start them.
As for the Packers offense, it's been a fascinating week. I think we've all realized over the past few years the what a man crush the media has on Brett Favre. When he throws 5 picks in a playoff game "he's just trying so hard and has no help!", when he makes a stupid play where he runs 5 yards past the line of scrimmage and shovels a forward pass for a penalty "he's just havin fun out there!" It really has gotten embarrasing. Favre led the NFL with 29 INTs last year and already has 3 in 3 games this year. Despite that, we have all been treated a week long Favre lovefest after the decent game he had against Detroit last week.
Favre was even named NFC offensive player of the week! Before last week he'd thrown INTs in 12 straight games. The fact is that the Packers were shut out at home in week one against the Bears, they lost at home the following week to the Saints, and finally got a win against 0-3 Detroit who had been outscored 43-13 in the previous 2 games. This insanity I'm hearing this week that "Favre is back" is laughable. I can be as cynical as the next Eagles fan, but I'm having a hard time seeing how the Birds don't destroy the Packers this Monday night.
Over the past few years the Eagles have owned the Packers and Favre. Brian Dawkins picked him off in overtime in the playoffs in 03 which led to an Eagles win. He played terribly against a Mike McMahon led Eagles team in the second half of last in year in one of few games the Eagles did win down the stretch. I was at the Linc for that game and as the Pack was trying to drive to come back Favre threw a pick which was reversed due to a roughing the passer penalty. He responded by throwing a ball up for grabs in the end zone that once again got picked off.
All in all the Eagles have beaten the Packers the last 4 times they've faced them and haven't lost a home game to the Pack in over 40 years. Including the 2003 NFC Divisional playoff, Brett Favre is 4-7 in his career against Philadelphia. He's 0-5 on the road.
Injuries for the Eagles are a legit concern this week. Stallworth, Westbrook, Hood, Dawkins, & Lito Sheppard all sat out of Thursdays practice.
Westbrook is bugged by the same knee inflammation that has held him out of practice the past few weeks. However, until I see him look anything less than 100% on the field... I just can't see how anyone should be worried about this injury. In the 2 games following weeks of missed practice Westbrook rushed for 185 yards, has 103 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Dawkins by all reports got a concussion last week but will still play.
Stallworth is listed as "Probable" and in his press conference Andy said "He has a slight strain, just enough to bug him. We don't want it to get any worse." It seems very likely he'll play.
On Hood Andy said, "He's a bit better than a week ago, but still sore"
and on Lito, who had indicated early in the week may return to practice yesterday but did not... "Lito is close, but not quite there yet."
It wouldn't be surprised to see Hood make another go of it and see Lito sit one more week.
For the Packers DTs Ryan Pickett is listed as doubtful DT Kendrick Allen is out. RB Ahman Green is probable with Rib and hamstring injuries.
Mike McCarthy will attempt to become the third rookie head coach to win a Monday Night Football game this year, following Minnesota's Brad Childress (Sept. 11 at Washington) and New Orleans' Sean Payton (Sept. 25 vs. Atlanta).
Eagles 35 Packers 17
In the end, McNabb and the Eagles pass offense will overwhelm the Packers defense. However, the Eagles still suspect secondary will give up a TD or two to Favre.