Jeremy Maclin can still taste the bitter defeat from last season's wildcard playoff game when the Eagles traveled to Dallas and lost 34-14. And though Maclin was arguably the Eagles' best player in that game - he caught seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown - he's determined to make sure this year's wildcard contest ends in a different fashion.
"You can feel the energy in the locker room, you can feel the energy on the field," Maclin said. "Nobody wants to go home in the first round again like we did last year. I think we'll see a lot of guys out there playing hard on Sunday."
Without getting into specifics, Maclin hinted that the week of preparation for last year's playoffs were not as crisp as what the Eagles have done on the practice field this week.
"I think you know it's different because of what we do on the field and then you go look at the film and you see guys flying around out there, guys being vocal and no repeats," said Maclin. Repeats are shorthand for plays that have to be re-run because of mistakes. "I think that kind of lets you know how the team's going for the upcoming game."
But while he's confident, Maclin understands that the Packers deserve a lot of respect for what they'll bring to Lincoln Financial Field later today.
"There are gonig to be momentum swings, we know that," he said. "They play in the NFL just like we do, they make plays just like we do, we understand that, on defense and offense. It's whoever comes out with the higher score at the end of the game wins the game. That's our only goal."
If the Packers defense holds to form, Tramon Williams is likely to be assigned to follow DeSean Jackson all over the field. That would leave Maclin often matched up with the reigning defensive player of the year, Charles Woodson.
"(He's) one of the premier cornerbacks in the league and one of the few cornerbacks who actually likes to get out there and tackle a bit. You have to respect that," he said.
It's also incumbent upon the receivers to be fully aware of the tendency of Eagles' opponents to blitz frequently.
"We can pick up the blitz and still be able to run our plays like we do," he said. "We are aware that they will try to get after Mike a little bit ... (we receivers need to) have urgency in your routes and inside receivers (need to know), 'OK a guy came, so maybe a fire zone dropper will drop into my vacant spot.'"
Finally, Maclin addressed the growing sentiment among the national media that the Packers are well-suited to come into Philadelphia and steal a win. His comments seem more appropriate after a wild opening Saturday to the NFL playoffs.
"We'll see who has the last laugh on Sunday," he said.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 9:41 a.m., January 9