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What: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
When: Thursday Night Football, September 26 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Where: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin
How (TV): NFLN
Latest point spread: Eagles +5, Packers -5
The Philadelphia Eagles can’t wait to prove that all of their preseason hype was ‘not for nuttin’, while the Green Bay Packers are finally playing as well as the football world has been predicting, and these two NFC rivals clash for the 44th time on Thursday Night Football in Week 4 of the 100th NFL season.
Head coach Doug Pederson’s Eagles may have a better-ranked offense right now, but they are terribly banged up, while the Packers are healthier but still gelling, thought their defense, coordinated by Mike Pettine, has been all the buzz in these first three weeks.
This could be anyone’s game, though the Lambeau crowd may have something to scream about that, so let’s take a quick look at how each of these two teams has situated themselves for Week 4.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ best receivers, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey, are hurt, something that most likely cost Philadelphia a win against the Detroit Lions in Week 3, a game that the Eagles limped through and lost 27-24.
Quarterback Carson Wentz had a solid outing regardless of those critical injuries, throwing for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions, relying on receiver Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz to step up as his main targets.
Rookie running back Miles Sanders proved his double-threat worth in Week 3 by running the ball 53 times for 73 yards while catching 2 passes for 73 yards, though no touchdowns.
For more on the Philadelphia Eagles check out also: Philadelphia Eagles Postseason Odds.
The Green Bay Packers are entering Week 4 undefeated under their youthful new head coach Matt LaFleur, and fans of the team who have watched them struggle under injuries and antiquated coaching are saying a collective, “It’s about time.”
Veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn’t impressing anyone with his 2019 numbers (57-of-93 for 647 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions) but he is doing something that he couldn’t get done for the last two seasons, which is to stay relatively healthy.
The big story in Green Bay in 2019 so far is the Mike Pettine coordinated defense that has kept the Packers’ opponents to just 35 total points, which is second to only the New England Patriots who have only allowed an unearthly 17.
These two teams have met 43 total times (including 3 postseason games), with Green Bay winning 27 of those games and Philadelphia winning 16 games.
The Packers have won in five of their last six meetings, but the last game they played was all the way back in November during the 2016 season when the Packers beat the Eagles 27-13.
If the Eagles win this matchup, they’ll be 2-2-0 and at .500 they remain slightly afloat in the NFC East where their biggest concern right now is the Dallas Cowboys, who go into Week 4 undefeated.
But if the Packers come out on top, then they’ll move to 4-0-0 and remain atop the NFC North, a tough division that is still very much up in the air with the Detroit Lions still undefeated and the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears both with 2 wins going into Week 4.
Check out the Top 10 Best Picks for NFL Week 4.
Who’s favored to win this Week 4 Eagles-Packers matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Eagles and the Packers next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Currently, the Philadelphia Eagles have the 12th best passing offense after throwing for an average of 265.3 yards per game.
Carson Wentz is ranked 13th among NFL quarterbacks, having thrown for 267.7 yards per game this season for 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The most effective Eagles’ receiver so far is typically one of the top 3 tight ends in the league, Zach Ertz, who has caught 17 passes for 190 yards but no touchdowns ranked 41st among receivers and currently tied for 5th best at his position.
The Eagles’ run game is rank 17th in the league, the team rushing for 99.7 yards per game over the last three weeks.
Running back Jordan Howard, acquired in the offseason, has run the ball 25 times for 99 yards and 1 touchdown this year.
Rookie running back Miles Sanders proved his double-threat worth in Week three by running the ball 53 times for 73 yards while catching 2 passes for 73 yards, though for no touchdowns.
Listed as questionable for Week 4: running back Corey Clement (shoulder), wide receivers J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (heel) and Alshon Jeffery (calf), tight end Dallas Goedert (calf), tackle Andre Dillard (knee)
Injury notes: receiver DeSean Jackson is listed as doubtful, and tackle Jordan Mailata (back) has been placed on injured reserve.
Green Bay’s passing game has started slowly, ranked 27th so far after completing passes for just 197.3 yards per game and 4 touchdowns.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is ranked 23rd right now with 57 completions for 647 yards and 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.
His best target so far has been the speedy Devante Adams, who has caught 15 passes for 198 yards and no touchdowns.
The Packers’ run game is currently ranked 24th in the league, averaging 89.3 yards on the ground per game.
Green Bay’s rushing attack centers around the league’s 16th most productive runner so far, Aaron Jones, who has rushed the ball 46 times for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.
The Packers’ offense has scored 58 total points this season, the 23rd most in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 4: running backs Aaron Jones (shoulder) and Jamaal Williams (neck), wide receiver Jake Kumerow (shoulder) and tight end Jimmy Graham (groin), tackle Bryan Bulaga (shoulder)
Injury notes: wide receiver Equanimeious St. Brown (ankle), tight end Jace Sternberger (ankle), tackle Jason Spriggs (back) and guard Lane Taylor have all been placed on injured reserve.
This would be tight if it weren’t for the injuries to Philadelphia’s two best receivers and more, so unless they all suddenly get healthy, the advantage in Week 4 goes to the surging (and healthier) Green Bay Packers.
The Eagles’ pass defense is ranked 29th, allowing opponents to throw for 293.7 yards per game.
So far, Philadelphia has 3 interceptions and their 2 team sacks are the second-lowest total in the league next to the Denver Broncos’, who have none.
Philadelphia’s run coverage is second best in the league, allowing opponents to run for just 57 yards per game.
The Eagles’ defense has allowed their opponents to score 78 total points in 2019, the 9th most of all NFL teams.
The Eagle who’s tackled the most opponents in 2019 is inside linebacker Zach Brown, who has 16 total tackles after three weeks.
Philadelphia only has two team sacks so far this season, one by defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and the other by strong safety Andrew Sendejo.
Cornerback Ronald Darby is fun to watch in the Eagles’ secondary – he has an interception, 6 passes defended and 14 tackles this season.
Listed as questionable for Week 4: defensive end Derek Barnett (ankle), linebacker Nate Gerry (knee).
Injury notes: tackle Tim Jernigan (foot) and cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) are listed as OUT, cornerback Jalen Mills (foot) is listed as PUP-R, and cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc (foot), tackles Malik Jackson (foot) and Aziz Shittu, defensive end Joe Ostman (knee-ACL) have all been placed on injured reserve.
The Packers have the 5th best passing defense, their opponents averaging 197.3 yards through the air per game.
The Green Bay defense has 4 total interceptions this season and their 12 total sacks are tied for 3rd most in the league.
The Packers are only 25th best against the run, allowing opponents to total 131.0 yards on the ground per game this season.
Green Bay’s defense has allowed opponents to score just 35 total points this year, second least amount in the league (see above).
One of the top tacklers in the league plays in Green Bay, inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who already has 32 tackles, the fifth most in the NFL, plus a sack
Speaking of sacks, look no further than the Packers’ Preston Smith, who is tied for fourth-most NFL sacks with 4.5, not to mention he has 13 tackles, an interception, 3 passes defended and a forced fumble.
Keep your eyes on Packers’ strong safety Adrian Amos, he has been active, so far with an interception, 2 passes defended and 16 total tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 4: defensive end Montravius Adams (shoulder), tackle Kenny Clark (knee), linebackers Oren Burks (chest), Kyler Fackrell (shoulder), Rashan Gary (calf) and Blake Martinez (shoulder), cornerbacks Kevin King (chest) and Will Redmond (knee).
Injury notes: linebacker Greg Roberts (abdomen) and safety Ibraheim Campbell (knee-ACL) are both listed as PUP-R, and linebacker Curtis Bolton (knee – ACL) and safety Raven Greene have both been placed on injured reserve.
The Packers’ D is a bit banged up, but they’re on fire right now, so Wentz and company beware, Green Bay has the advantage in Week 4.
Philadelphia’s punter, Cameron Johnston, has been with the Eagles since the 2018 season, and this year he has punted 10 times for a net average of 46.0 yards per punt, 3rd best in the NFL.
Green Bay’s punter, J.K. Scott, is in his second NFL season, and in 2019 he has punted 21 times for a net average of 43.7 yards per punt, T-10th best in the league.
Philadelphia’s placekicker, Jake Elliott, is in his third NFL season, all with the Eagles.
Elliott has made 4-of-4 field goals this year, his longest a 41-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (6/6).
Green Bay’s veteran placekicker Mason Crosby, in his thirteenth season (all with the Packers), is a Super Bowl Champion and led the league in scoring in 2007.
Crosby has gone 3-for-4 this season, his longest a 42-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (7/7).
Philadelphia’s punt returner, running back Darren Sproles, is ranked 13th in the league in return average.
Sproles has returned 6 punts for 56 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per return, his longest for 17 yards.
Green Bay’s punt returner, rookie wide receiver Darrius Shephard, was just named the Packers’ punt returner after receiver Trevor Davis was traded to the Oakland Raiders.
In four years at North Dakota State, Shephard returned 44 punts for 578 yards and 1 touchdown, averaging 13.1 yards per return.
The Eagles would normally have the edge in special teams thanks to youth and accuracy, but after they let the Detroit Lions’ Jamal Agnew run a kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown in Week 3, the Packers get the advantage here.
It might have taken the Philadelphia Eagles a week to get used to having to play ‘next man up’ ball, but they will prove in Week 4 that they are the better team and beat the Green Bay Packers.
Both of Philly’s losses were by 4 points or less, so they are close to where they want to be on defense and this trip to Green Bay will be the perfect place to take a close one.
Wentz is amazing and he will find the open man now that he has adjusted to having new main targets, and the Eagles will slip away from Green Bay with a win, shocking the hometown crowd.
There is no better place for the Green Bay Packers to play than in front of their thousands of owners at Lambeau Field and they will win this one easily against the battered Eagles.
Rodgers is just getting started and his offensive attack has been getting properly oiled just in time to show off in front of a Green Bay crowd against an Eagles’ defense that has been underperforming.
The Packers’ defense will shut down the fluttering Eagles’ by focusing on their two main targets – Ertz and Jones – and with those weapons neutralize the kill will be swift and complete and Green Bay will triumph at home.
The Green Bay Packers by 4, Rodgers’ Pack is for real this season.
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Packers 34, Eagles 23.
My prediction is – take the over, final score Packers 31, Eagles 27.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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