The last time the Eagles and Packers played was also the last time the Eagles were in the playoffs.
It was Sunday, January 9, 2011, a cold, blustery, winter late afternoon in Philadelphia, and a rematch between the two teams from the first game of the regular season, when the Packers won 27-20 and injured Kevin Kolb to usher in the
You know how it went, and how it so heartbreakingly ended. The Packers jumped out to a 14-0 first-half lead and then held on as the Eagles attempted to mount a second-half comeback. The defense held Rodgers to just 180 yards passing (though he threw three touchdowns), but were gashed by running back James Starks (23 carries for 123 yards) and the ground game. The Eagles almost completed the comeback, too, but cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted Vick in the end zone on a pass intended for wide receiver
“We had to play them twice that season, the first game of the regular season and then obviously the Wild Card,” said safety
“They’re a great team,” tight end
While the wounds may not be fresh, the veterans on the team still remember the pain of losing that game. Even so, they were all adamant that what happened in 2010 has no bearing on Sunday’s game against the Packers at Lambeau Field – that this is a new regime, a new team, a new era.
“It’s not about the old teams because players have retired or gone on to different teams,” wide receiver
“We’ve started a new culture here,” guard
Just 15 of the 53 players on the Eagles roster remain from that 2010 team, as opposed to 26 for the Packers, though the most important of those 26, Rodgers, will be out with a fractured collarbone. Nevertheless, the Eagles are very cognizant that the Packers still have a number of playmakers on both offense and defense – including guys who won the Super Bowl in 2010 – and that rookie Eddie Lacy is emerging as one of the league’s most lethal running backs.
“They have an explosive offense with a lot of weapons,” Coleman said. “Eddie Lacy is really coming on as a running back, he’s a powerful downhill runner. Nelson is a great route runner, precise, he understands the offense, understands defensive coverages. He’s a go-to guy with great hands, goes up and get (the ball), tough player. Same with James Jones, I think they’re very similar and can make a lot of plays.
“James Starks, he had over 100 yards (in the playoff game), he’s similar to Eddie Lacy – he’s a downhill runner. He’ll maybe give you one cut and then get as many yards as he can. You just keep giving him the ball and he’ll wear down the defense.”
On defense, outside linebacker and top pass rusher Clay Matthews is scheduled to return and will provide a big-time boost for the Packers.
“They’re a good defense,” Herremans said. “They fly around, they’re very stout in the middle and have a lot of different stuff they can do with their edge rushers. We just have to be prepared for multiple fronts and move guys off the ball. (Clay Matthews) goes to the whistle, very talented, he’s a smart player – he’s the total package. I think it’s a good opportunity for Lane (Johnson) to show what he’s got, and I know Jason will do what Jason does and play well.”
After defeating the Oakland Raiders to move to 4-5, the Eagles are focused squarely on beating a Green Bay Packers team that will look to shock the world without its star player and leader. The past is in the past, and this Eagles team is living in the present.
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