The season has arrived. Finally. In the progression of a young QB's career, this year is supposed to be the next step. Anything other than a year that includes at least one playoff victory would be a disappointment. If we win 11 regular season games, we'll win the Division. Most are predicting the Packers to make it to the Super Bowl. I'm picking the Packers to finish 11-5. Win the Division. Hopefully, that includes a 1st round bye. From there, let's play. But, in order to get there, we have to take it one game at a time. And it all starts with the Eagles at Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has been a house of horrors for the Packers franchise. In recent history, the City of Brotherly Love has not been so friendly to the Green & Gold. There has been evil demons that have haunted our proud franchise when we've entered the land of the cheese steak. Reggie White tossing Tony Mandarich around like a rag doll. Longwell missing a short FG in '97. 4th & 26. Mike McMahon leading a team to victory. The end of Favre's TD streak. For whatever reason, games at Philly have not been kind. This week - things will be different.
If Philly wins 8 games this year, it'd be a successful season. Playing with a young, inexperienced QB often leads to a less than stellar season. I compare the '10 Eagles to the '08 Packers. Many close games. Lots of losses. For obvious reasons, the careers of Aaron Rodgers & Kevin Kolb will be compared forever. Throw in the fact that Kolb wears #4 and the story becomes more weird.
The Packers must mix it up along the DL and come with a variety of blitzes to confuse Kolb early in the contest. Philly has an unsettling OL. They lack chemistry. We need to pressure them from the outside to contain Kolb, who has a strong ability to extend plays with his legs. If we let him escape, he'll make plays.
Clay Matthews coming from the left side should have success against the Winston Justice, Reggie Wells combination. Wells joined the Eagles less than a week ago. He's ripe for the picking. Expect BJ Raji & Mike Neal to push him around. Additionally, both LeSean McCoy & Mike Bell have limited blitz pick-up experience. It's time to pin our ears back & attack the Kolb.
The Eagles present a tough opponent for the Packers in Week 1. Their strengths seem to be the Packers weakness. The Eagles are loaded at WR. We lack depth at DB. Plus, film on Kolb is limited, so he'll be tough to prepare for.
Defensively for the Eagles, Trent Cole & Brandon Graham will provide stiff challenges for Clifton & Tauscher. Surprisingly, I believe that the Ealges LB's can be had. This might be the worst Eagles LB core that I can remember. Akeem Jordan, Stewart Bradley & the undersized Ernie Sims. Not what you call playmakers. J-Mike, get ready to blow up, kid. YOTTO, you'll be!
On the outside, the Eagles have two strong starters in Ellis Hobbs & Asante Samuel. But they lack depth & experience. At safety, while I like Nate Allen, he's a rookie & he can be confused. Spread 'em out. Let's play.
The Packers come out with 3 WR's & J-Mike. B-Jack sees additional playing time so that he can help on the blitz pick-up. Literally, he's a 6th blocker. A-Rodge uses J-Mike early. He uses him often. TD for the YOTTO! TGIF!
On the Eagles first possession, it's 3rd & 7. The Packers have two down lineman. I hope it's Cullen Jenkins & Neal on the field. CM3 is at LOLB. Jones at ROLB. We load the left side with Sir Charles pressuring alongside the Claymaker on the blitz. Barnett coming up the middle. Chillar dropping in coverage to mark Celek. We come with 6. The pressure gets to Kolb. We're off the field.
It's Driver on a crossing route. Absorbing the hit. Nelson on a puma route. Jones on a deep fly down the right side of the field. The lead grows to double digits.
The Eagles have weapons. Jackson, Maclin, Avant & Celek will ALL make plays. Jackson gets deep down the middle of the field.
In the 2nd half, the Packers begin to lean on Philly's front 4. Grant finds yardage running to the right. We dominate the line of scrimmage. And then, it's play action. Rodgers to Finley.
If you're a gambling man, bet the over.
Packers 37. Eagles 31.
Thanks to Ted Thompson for locking up Sir Charles. You've done well.
Dancing in rhythm. Enjoying ourselves. Defeating the demons.
Go Pack Go!