If the Green Bay Packers plan to throw away from Asante Samuel, the NFC's interception leader in 2010, then cornerback Dimitri Patterson needs to be ready. The Packers boast a deep receiving corps just like the Eagles led by Pro Bowl standout Greg Jennings.
Patterson will start in his first-career playoff game this Sunday when the Eagles host the Packers at Lincoln Financial Field. The starter at right cornerback was a mystery heading into this week. Patterson had started in every game since the Week 8 bye, but was benched for the second half of the Week 16 game against the Vikings. Patterson started the Week 17 game against Dallas when most starters were given the night off. Patterson responded with a strong performance against both the pass and the run, notching his first-career sack and a tackle for loss. Head coach Andy Reid said that Patterson deserved another chance to start.
"Anytime you're afforded the opportunity to start, no matter what the situation or the circumstance, the organization's telling you that they have confidence in you and it's a good feeling," Patterson said. "My thing is coming out being confident, aggressive, just what I've been since the day I got here to be honest. Sunday was no different. This Sunday will be no different. I'm not going to make this game different than any other game. Yes, it's a big game, but my approach is not going to change."
Jennings primarily lines us on Samuel's side of the field, but the Packers will move him around to get the best matchup possible. And since the Eagles don't move Samuel around don't be surprised to see Patterson battling Jennings, who finished fourth in the league in receiving yards and tied for second in touchdown grabs this season. The 5-10, 200-pound Patterson is physical and will contest every throw in his direction. Jennings at 5-11, 198 pounds is quick and does an amazing job of bringing down jump balls despite not having outstanding height.
"He's a very consistent receiver on top of his talent. The way that he's built fits well for that scheme," Patterson said. "Those receivers make that offense. They have a very good intermediate passing game with the threat of Jennings going deep. All you can really do is challenge the receivers, that's it. Challenge the receivers. Look for formation recognition and see where the chips fall."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:00 a.m., January 6