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The Green Bay Packers (5-3) find themselves in a desperate situation after losing QB Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) for at least three weeks when he was injured during last week's game against the Bears. They will greet the Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) at Lambeau Field on Sunday at 1 PM EST. Television coverage will be on FOX. Forecasts call for 41 degrees Fahrenheit with mostly cloudy skies and zero chance of rain.
This is an important game for both teams as a win by either will allow a chance to tie things up at the top of their respective divisions.
The Packers are currently -1 at sportsbook.com and taking 73% of the action according to their betting trends, an obvious public reaction to the loss of Rodgers. Philadelphia is 4-5 ATS and Green Bay is 5-3 ATS, which oddly enough is the record of both teams, ATS or otherwise. The O/U is 6-3 in Philadelphia's last 9 games and 4-4 in the last 8 for Green Bay. These teams rarely meet having been pitted against each other just eight times since 2000 with Philadelphia leading the series at 5-3, but with the Packers on a three game win streak after taking the last meeting in 2011.
Senaca Wallace will start for the first time since January 1, 2011 when he was an employee of the Cleveland Browns. We got a sneak peak of his skills last week against the Bears when he came up with an 11/19 showing for 114 YDS and an INT. It's hard to imagine having him at the helm of the NFL's sixth best passing attack won't slow things down for HC Mike McCarthy's Packers. Luckily for Wallace, the Eagles rank dead last in the NFL at defending the pass.
Pressure will be on rookie RB Eddie Lacy to have another big game after he dropped 150 yards and a TD on the Bears, including a 56 yard run. He has been nothing short of great considering this is his first year in the NFL. He leads the league in rushing yards (545) since returning from a concussion in week 5. WR Jordy Nelson will also bring it, something which hasn't been a problem in 2013. He has 43 catches for 716 YDS and 7 TDs this year.
The Eagles will rely on QB Nick Foles who is exiting the NFL's sixtieth perfect passing game (158.3) as he drilled the Raiders for an NFL record tying seven TDs on 22/28 passing for 406 yards. He used five different WRs to get those TDs. HC Chip Kelly said Foles is taking first team reps as ailing QB Michael Vick (hamstring) has been declared out for Sunday.
Foles will have to show up with a good game as the Eagles rushing attack hasn't been much in recent weeks after starting the year on a tear. Eagles HC Chip Kelly would love to see a return to form by RB LeSean McCoy, but he will have to prove injuries are no longer nagging him to get more carries.
This game comes down to the effectiveness of the Green Bay offense. Can Seneca Wallace manage the offense without making too many mistakes? He doesn't necessarily have to win the game, he just has to make sure he doesn't lose it.
This is a game where you can toss the offensive stats for the Packers. It goes without saying that losing Rodgers changes everything. That being said, the Eagles aren't very good. With a week to practice with Wallace as the starter, he should be able to come in and do what's asked of him. This is a game the Packers can win and they need the game. We'll back them here. Packers -1.
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