Philadelphia Eagles 2020 Week 13 Preview

Can the Eagles find a way to stay competitive in the NFC East?

The Philadelphia Eagles lost the “Battle of the Birds” to the Seattle Seahawks 23-17 Monday Night, and the Eagles face another highly-ranked NFC foe in the Green Bay Packers this week.

The Packers are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC and need a win to keep this spot, while the Eagles are hoping to regain control of the NFC East.

The Packers are succeeding because of the trio of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams on offense. This combination of playmakers has helped the Packers rack up 42 offensive touchdowns this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL with the Seahawks.

The Eagles have lost five of their last seven games, including losses the last three weeks. The Eagles have not won since their bye week, and they will be looking to turn around what is left of their season.

With the Packers at 4-1 at home on the season and the Eagles at 1-4 on the road, this game does appear to be lopsided; however, could this finally be the week the Eagles fix their issues?

Let’s examine both teams.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1):

The Eagles have registered just 26 offensive touchdowns this season, which is tied for 8th worst in the NFL with the Ravens and Cowboys.

Sixteen of the Eagles’ touchdowns have come through the air, while just 10 have come on the ground. This illuminates one of the Eagles’ biggest issues: their lack of a consistent run game.

The Eagles’ lead running back, Miles Sanders, averages 5.6 YPC (tied with Lamar Jackson for 3rd highest in the NFL). Yet. he is 28th in total carries with 108.

Against the Seahawks last week, Sanders had just six total carries for 15 yards, and he was the second-leading rusher for the Eagles behind QB Carson Wentz (five carries for 45 yards).

Against the Seahawks, the Eagles also stayed away from their WRs and heavily targeted their TEs in the passing game instead.

The TEs – Dallas Goedert (7 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown) and Richard Rodgers (3 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown) – were the leading receivers for the Eagles against the Seahawks.

The actual receivers (Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Alshon Jeffery, Greg Ward and John Hightower) combined for just 46 receiving yards on nine receptions.

Defensively, the Eagles’ pass defense will have a tough task against Rodgers.

Rodgers has 33 passing touchdowns this season (the most in the NFL) with just four interceptions. Rodgers also has the most 40+ yard throws this season (11).

While the Eagles’ defense has given up only 14 passing touchdowns this season (tied for third best) and an average of only 10.7 YPR (tied for 8th best), the Eagles’ secondary was decimated by D.K. Metcalf last week.

Metcalf had 10 receptions for 177 yards, and he found success with ease. This week, the Eagles have another tough task in the Packers’ Adams.

Will this be the week the Eagles shutdown their opponent’s WR1?

Green Bay Packers (8-3):

While Rodgers may be main offensive focal point in Green Bay, Jones is a potent player that can add a dynamic impact on offense.

Jones averages 4.8 YPC (13th in the NFL) and has six rushing touchdowns on the year. Jones will be looking to play a major role on offense to help alleviate pressure off Rodgers.

Outside of Adams’ 918 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, there is a bit of a drop off when it comes to receivers for the Packers.

The next leading receiver for the Packers, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, has 518 receiving yards and only four touchdowns. Robert Tonyan, a TE for the Packers, has seven touchdowns, but only 458 receiving yards.

The Packers will be looking at both of these players and recently activated Allen Lazard to make a big impact this week.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers have an average defense.

The Packers give up an average of 7.4 YPR, which is a bit below the league average of 7.1.

The Packers are 23rd in YPC (4.6), and they face a tough test if Sanders is able to get out to a good start.

Especially with Wentz struggling, the Packers need to force the Eagles to throw first and run second.

Prediction:

Packers win 27-16, Packers (-9.5), Under 47.5

The Packers are the much better team, but the Eagles have more to play for.

With their playoff hopes fading away, the Eagles need a win to stay relevant in the NFC East. A loss will move them further away from the playoffs and closer to a top-five pick.

Rodgers has proven to be an elite playmaker all-season long, and when the Packers’ offense gets going, it is tough to stop.

I think Jones will find the endzone twice, and Rodgers will throw for two touchdowns – one to Adams and one to Tonyan.

Sanders should have more carries for the Eagles than usual, but I still don’t know how that offense will function, as there are plenty of questions in Philadelphia.

The Eagles are dysfunctional right now, and although they need the win more, they won’t get it.

I think the Packers will win, cover the spread and keep the game under 47.5 total points

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