The Philadelphia Eagles preseason football schedule continues tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 29 as the Eagles take on the Green Bay Packers. In preparation for the game, I reached out to our friends over at Acme Packing Company. Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming match-up.
Let's take a look at the answers.
1) It sounds like Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to play much, if at all. How have Brett Hundley and the other Packers quarterbacks looked this summer? What should we expect from them?
Top backup Scott Tolzien has looked the best by a considerable margin, but he suffered a concussion during the Packers' preseason game against the Steelers and probably won't play Saturday. Behind him, Green Bay has the aforementioned Hundley and Matt Blanchard, a former D-III quarterback that the coaches apparently like but has received few snaps during the preseason. Those two should handle the entire game against the Eagles.
Hundley has flashed at times during his preseason run, but expect him to have his share of rookie moments too. As for Blanchard, he's a more traditional drop-back passer, but that doesn't mean he won't break the pocket in order to extend the play or run it himself.
2) What’s the Packers’ biggest weakness heading into the 2015 season?
Green Bay doesn't appear to have a ton of depth behind the five starters along the offensive line. Don Barclay started last week at left tackle, and the results were disastrous. Lane Taylor and JC Tretter have looked competent, but they only cover the interior. Josh Walker might be the only reserve to consistently exceed expectations, but he's far from proven.
Given that the Packers may not have their starting left tackle and either of their starting guards against the Eagles, the quality of the depth will be tested again.
3) The Eagles have changed quite a bit since last year when the Packers demolished the Birds at Lambeau. I’m interested to see what an outsider thinks about the changes Chip Kelly made. To what extent do you think the Eagles are a threat to the Packers in the NFC this season?
Threat to the Packers? The Eagles could be a major threat to every team in the NFC. I can't say I understand every one of Chip Kelly's decisions (Evan Mathis is a really good player to lose for nothing), but when you look at his moves in the aggregate, the roster looks much improved over the one that went 10-6 a year ago.
Obviously, injuries can change the trajectory of a team, and Philadelphia bet on a lot of guys with questionable injury histories. DeMarco Murray and Sam Bradford each could miss half the season and it wouldn't surprise anyone. However, Kelly has been ahead of the curve on sports science, and if he says these players can stay on the field with his program, I'm inclined to believe him.
4) Let’s hear a score prediction for this meaningless game.
19-16, because two-point conversions are fun.