Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 NFL Week 12: Packers vs. Eagles Preview and Prediction

The Green Bay Packers find themselves in Philadelphia tonight for the last of the team's three consecutive games on the road. It hasn't been pretty so far. Actually, it hasn't been pretty for much of the season, whether at home or on the road.

Will things change tonight? We'd like to think so, although the Packers are 1-4 on the road this season which doesn't exactly give one confidence in a positive outcome. Still, the Eagles are sitting at 5-5 with a rookie quarterback who has settled down since his lights-out performance earlier in the season. This is another team that the Packers, on a number of levels, should be able to beat. But that's arguably been true the last two games and we know how those games turned out.

Packers hope to have DB Damarious Randall back after missing 6 games.
Photo by Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The problems for the Packers are well-documented by now: a decimated secondary that is easy to exploit with no pass rush (which has become a puzzling development in its own right), slow starts by the offense that puts the sieve-like defense on the field more often than we'd like, missed opportunities by skill players, injuries all over the place, no running game, etc., etc. Toss in that some speculate that head coach Mike McCarthy has lost his team while others suggest its time for Ted Thompson to go because of his lack of success in recent drafts and lack of participation in free agency. Yowza! Problems galore.

Counter this existential angst with QB Aaron Rodgers' proclamation that he thinks the team can "run the table" by winning out and still making the playoffs. Whatever is going on behind closed locker room doors, players and coaches publicly believe the Pack is just a play or so away from turning around this disaster of a season.

And, truth be told, if they don't do it tonight we can start looking to next season because this one will be effectively done.

Can the addition of RB Christine Michael along with James Starks provide enough of a running threat to keep Philly from playing only the pass? We don't know. He played well during his stint in Seattle, scoring 6 TDs while there...which, if anyone is keeping track, is 6 more TDs than all the Packers running backs combined have scored this season. Yes, seriously.

With the season on the line for the Pack, what can we expect? Hard to say. And yet, that's we have to do in terms of making a prediction.

The Prediction

The Eagles, despite being arguably no better than the Packers, are undefeated at home this season, which is not something we can say about the Packers. This is a tough one to call as the Pack has shown us nothing in recent memory to believe they can pick themselves up off the turf and actually turn in a winning performance. And yet...something gives me the feeling that they will be able to do just enough to pull off the win. Of course, that feeling could just still be the indigestion from all the Thanksgiving leftovers. A Packers' win will, by the way, also be an upset because Philly is favored by 4 points as of the time of this posting.

We're calling it...27-24 Packers.

Go Pack Go!!!