Playoff Time: Packers at Eagles

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The match-up between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles comes down to the match-up of the quarterbacks and that’s a pretty tough equation to assess. Not even experts can agree on whether it’s Michael Vick or Aaron Rodgers who has the edge in this one.

Vick is definitely on top of his game, and he has rushed for 103 yards against Green Bay the last time the two teams met, so that definitely gives him the edge. On top of the fact though that he will be playing against one of the best defenses of the league, he may also feel hampered by a recent injury, which can potentially ruin his game.

On the other side of the barricade, we have Aaron Rodgers, who is no Michael Vick of course, but who was right up there with the best of them over the last two must-win games. He also has a monkey on his back: he never won a playoff game in his career. That may either act as the catalyst of a resounding performance from him, or it may go the other way and come back to bite him. With everything considered, and under normal circumstances, the edge here should go to Vick, but it’s a marginal one.

At the running back position, the Eagles earn the check-mark again, thanks to LeSean McCoy. Of course, it also helps that this is the Achilles’ heel for the Packers, but that doesn’t take anything away from McCoy, who is one of the league’s top rushers and a permanent threat to the opposition. McCoy is also his team’s top receiver, but despite that and despite the presence of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, the check-mark on this position goes to the Packers.

The team of Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson represents the heart of the entire outfit when it comes to the passing game. These guys are quite impossible to cover and they are overall better than their Eagles counterparts. The offensive and the defensive lines are quite balanced. Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga have evolved all season long, and the numbers stand testimony to their skills: Rodgers has been sacked 39 times this season. In comparison, the Eagles’ group led by Mike McGlyn yielded 50 sacks…nuff said.

 The bottom line: while the Eagles, with their 4-4 home record are the worst home team in the league (from among the playoff teams), and while Vick’s injury hangs an unsightly question mark over his ability to perform, the Eagles’ offense is just too darn explosive. The Packers may be only 1-2 interceptions away from turning the tide, but with all that, the overall edge goes to Philly in this one.

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