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Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Betting Line: Packers -3 O/U 47
John J. Raspanti
The Packers start the season on the road against the hot and cold Eagles. The
Pack feel that this is their year, with consistent quarterback Aaron Rodgers
throwing the ball accurately and a more familiar understanding of their 3-4
defense. Rodgers (30 touchdown passes last year) should have a bit more time in
the pocket with an improved offensive line though he has a tendency to hold onto
the ball when his reads aren't clearly defined (i.e. when he's dissecting zone
coverage). He needs to improve on his 50 sacks from last year. His favorite
targets are Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, who both had over 1000 receiving
yards last year.
Running back Ryan Grant is a fine runner having gone over the
1000 yard mark two consecutive seasons.
The Eagles dumped franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb and replaced him with Kevin Kolb who showed flashes of real ability. The question is how much ability? Their emphasis is on youth now. Kolb doesn't have McNabb's arm strength but he's a very accurate passer and pretty elusive in the pocket. He will be dealing with a lot of pressure from the media and Eagles fans to get off to a good start. Happily he has the speedy DeSean Jackson grabbing passes along with Jeremy Maclin and tight end and Brent Celek. Second year running back LeSean McCoy broke the Eagle rookie rushing record with 606 yards and experts to get 1000 this year.
The Packers defense played pretty well most of the season but then was shredded by the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs. They are led by outside linebacker Clay Matthews and cornerback (and defensive player of the year) Charles Woodson. Safety Nick Collins has had back to back all pro seasons, while number two cornerback Al Harris is coming of ACL surgery. Age could play a factor as Harris is 35 and Woodson 34. Nose tackle Ryan Pickett dominated at times last year and defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins was superlative against the run. This defense should be better this year.
The Eagles play a variation of the 46 defense and are led by the interception king, Asante Samuel who has been drawing a lot of criticism lately for his freelancing. Sheldon Brown is gone and trying to replace him is problematical. Ellis Hobbs appears to have the inside track. Defensive end Trent Cole is a very good player, and the team is very high on Brandon Graham.
The questions marks are numerous for the Eagles while the Packers appear solid on both sides of the ball. Rodgers will come out firing against the suspect Eagle secondary and should put up some big numbers. The Eagles will battle but the edge definitely goes to the Packers in this game. Tough to go against a home dog in week one of the NFL season, so we'll pass here and call it a mild lean towards the Packers -3
Green Bay is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Green Bay's last 7 games when playing Philadelphia
Green Bay is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
Green Bay is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Green Bay's last 6 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
Green Bay is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
Green Bay is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Philadelphia's last 18 games
Philadelphia is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Philadelphia's last 9 games at home
Philadelphia is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Philadelphia's last 7 games when playing Green Bay
Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Green Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 6 games when playing at home against Green Bay
Philadelphia is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Green Bay