NFL on Sling: Resurgent Rodgers Leads Pack Into Philly, Both Teams Desperately in Need of a Win

Nov 28, 2016 by Sling Staff

Green Bay Packers (4-6) vs Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
8:30pm ET on ESPN

Man, times are tough in Green Bay, where the Packers have gone from 4-2 to 4-6 in the blink of a month. Last week the Pack got worked by the Redskins 42-24. Washington QB Kirk Cousins had his way with the Green Bay secondary, connecting on 21 of 30 for 375 yards and 3 touchdowns, and teammate Robert Kelley ran for 137 yards and 3 TDs on 24 carries.

While everyone has been blasting Aaron Rodgers, saying he’s tough to get along with, even for his family, all of which may be true, nobody seemed to mind much when he was leading the Pack to a Super Bowl title. Has he lost a step? Sure, he’s 33, his completion rate is down, his INTs are up a touch, but even in Green Bay’s 6 losses, they’ve averaged 23 points, which is the league-wide scoring average for all games – it’s the defense that has been Green Bay’s real problem. After giving up 20.2 ppg last season, 12th-best in the NFL, this year Green Bay is giving up 27.6 ppg, 27th-best in the league, and during their current 4-game losing streak, the D has given up 38.25 – makes it real hard to win. During that same time, Rodgers has averaged with 316 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT, while completing 64% of his pass – he’s still moving the chains and getting the ball in the end zone.

And do you remember just a couple of months ago when VP Joe Biden was telling his boss to get on the Wentz Wagon? And everyone was all “Who would you take: Carson Wentz of Dak Prescott?” It’s funny how quickly things can change. After starting his career by going 3-1 with 1,002 yards, 7 TDs and 1 INT, while completing 67.4% of his passes, Wentz has fallen back to Earth faster than one of his own ill-thrown passes. Since then he’s 2-4 with 1,332 yards, 4 TDs, 7 INTs and a completion percentage of just 60.1. Welcome to the show, meat. Last week Wentz ran afoul of the Seahawks’ vaunted D, connecting on 23 of 45 for 218 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. Like Wentz, the Eagles defense is starting to show some cracks. After allowing just 27 points total in the season’s first 3 games, they’ve given up an average of 22.7 ppg, which is still good, but not good enough to carry a QB playing the way Wentz has.

Rodgers has gotten his mojo back, now it’s up to the Packer to see if Clay Matthews’ return from injury is enough to get their defense functioning properly. The Eagles defense, meanwhile, needs to pick up the slack given that Wentz may not be a future Hall of Famer after all. Philly’s done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on some of the league’s better QBs over the past five weeks, but they’ve still been giving up too many points. Rodgers and company will expose these guys once more.

Watch the Packers vs Eagles at 8:30pm ET Monday on ESPN by subscribing to Sling Orange

All stats courtesy ESPN and Pro Football Reference.

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