Thursday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers Preview, Predictions & Picks – Packers can cover the spread

Andrew Mengel gives his thoughts on this Thursday Night match-up between the Eagles and the Packers.

Game: Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Date & Time: Thursday September 26, 2019, 8:20 PM (EDT)

Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

The Line: Green Bay Packers -4.5 O/U: 46

TV Channel: FOX, NFLN, AMZN

Two teams going in opposite directions clash this Thursday to kick off Week 4. The Philadelphia Eagles enter the game 1-2 on the year and are coming off a disappointing 27-24 loss at home, to the Detroit Lions. Conversely, the Green Bay Packers are looking to extend their 3-0 start, after a convincing 27-16 win against the Denver Broncos.

When the schedule was released, this game was circled in red. Anticipation mounted for these two offenses to explode and establish themselves as two of the best in the conference. But as I eluded to in my first post, that unnamed, unpredictable force has struck, and both teams are who we thought they weren’t—for now.

Packers

Did you know… through three weeks Aaron Rodgers is outside the top 15 quarterbacks in passing yards, yards per pass attempt, touchdowns, QBR, completion percentage and passer rating? Did you also know…the Packers defense ranks number 2 in total defense, touchdowns allowed, points scored, sacks and leads the league with 12 takeaways?

Last week, Joe Flacco figured it out by about the second quarter. Flacco was pummeled all game: sacked 6 times, stripped once and threw a pick in the 3rd quarter. The Packers defense also only gave up 213 passing yards on the day.

This defense is real. And I think the offensive lull is a matter of Rodgers and the offense still going through growing pains with new head coach Matt Lefleur. That being said, they have faced three formidable defenses to open the season. Perhaps a more susceptible secondary will give them the spark they need.

Eagles

The Eagles are coming off of two losses against themselves. Drops, injuries and more drops have handicapped this team and relief is far from the horizon. In last week’s game alone, Philly receivers dropped 7 balls, one of which would’ve been a touchdown, another potentially a game-winning touchdown.

Other issues loom as well: rookie running back Miles Sanders, fumbled 3 times last week, continuing his trend from college (10 fumbles in 38 games at Penn State); the Eagles D-line has been M.I.A. only recoding 2 sacks on the year, which ranks 31st in the league; and they lose two more defensive players in CB Ronald Darby and DT Timmy Jernigan, joining Desean Jackson, of players who are already ruled out for Thursday.

The only silver lining I can see for the Eagles is Carson Wentz is coming off his best game. Last week he went 19/36 for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. Again, those numbers shrink due to the drops, but don’t let the vapid Wentz-haters on Twitter tell you any differently. They seem to be under the impression, Wentz needs to start catching his own passes.

Trends

  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Philadelphia’s last 8 games when playing Green Bay
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Green Bay
  • Green Bay is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia

Picks

I don’t trust the Eagles injury-ridden defense or (no)hands-team to be able to compete with the Packers. Although, WR Alshon Jeffery might play, I don’t think the Eagles have enough figured out on offense to keep up.

Packers roll the Eagles and look for Aaron Rodgers to have his best game of the season so far. The game line opened at -4.5, don’t be afraid to lay it on more points.

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