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Packers-Eagles Q&A

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Packers-Eagles Q&A

We did a Q&A with Mike Burke of BirdsFan.com back during Week 1 of the season when the Packers invaded the Linc for the season opener. A lot has changed for both teams since that time.

Today, we find out what's been going on with the Eagles as the Packers prepare to travel back to Philadelphia for the playoffs...

Cheesehead TV: It's been said the Eagles have really only played one good quarter out of their last 12. Why can they turn that around?

Mike Burke: The end of the Giants game wasn't exactly something you run into everyday.  I'm not sure if they were too built up from it and just played down to the Vikings, but it wasn't the Eagles we're used to seeing.  They had a good game plan in blitzing Vick over and over as he failed to make reads on the blitz.

I'm not going to count the Week 17 game as anything for the Eagles because it was more like a preseason game.

Vick was able to start looking at tape for the Packers a bit earlier with him getting some extra rest.  He's had plenty of time to review what he did wrong against the Vikings and how the Packers might show him similar looks.  Vick is going to need to do a much better job of recognizing blitzes and putting the ball where it needs to be as a result of it.

CHTV: Everyone knows Mike Vick can hurt you with his feet, but can he hurt Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Nick Collins and company with his arm as well?

MB: I am confident in Michael Vick's ability as a passer.  It's something everyone's been skeptical of because all the highlights we saw when he was in Atlanta were with his legs.  However, he's really shown us a whole new side of his game this year and has been incredibly accurate with his passes.

Outside of his accuracy, the thing that has surprised me the most has been the way he progresses through his reads when sitting in the pocket.  He's not forcing passes.  He's been checking off receivers and finding the open man.

The Packers will try to keep him away from being comfortable in the pocket, but he can do some damage if he's protected well.

CHTV: Trent Cole nearly dominated Packers tackle Chad Clifton in their first meeting this season. Why has his sack production dipped as of late?

MB: Cole has a reputation around this league now.  He has seen a lot of double teams this year.  Despite the attention, he still recorded a double-digit sack total on the year.

The Eagles were hoping that Brandon Graham would come in and take some of the pressure off of Cole but it didn't exactly pan out.  It also looked like Juqua Parker was going to have a beast year after the first game against the Packers but he has been mediocre.

With no dominant compliment, teams have been able to focus more on Cole so his numbers aren't as high as they could be.

CHTV: Asante Samuel is capable of stopping nearly any receiver, but the Packers have a lot of good ones. How are they going to stop the receivers not lined up across from Samuel?

MB: That's the million dollar question right now.  It's pretty incredible that the Eagles are heading into the first week of the playoffs and don't know what to do about their corner situation (outside of Samuel).  There's debate about whether Dimitri Patterson or Joselio Hanson will be the starter opposite Samuel.  Regardless, both will play a lot as the Eagles will be running out of their nickel defense often.

Patterson originally looked like a solid option but has been exposed as of late.  Hanson also struggled when he was forced into a starting role.

Although Hanson may be listed as the starter for Sunday, I think he'll run on the inside in the nickel situations with Patterson on the outside.  Both players will need to play better then they have as of late.  The Eagles have struggled stopping the pass lately, and that doesn't bode well against a team that throws the ball like the Packers.

CHTV: Clay Matthews had three sacks against the Eagles in Week 1. Are double teams the answer against him or how will the Eagles attempt to stop him?

MB: The good news is they have film on what Matthews did to them from the first game and can learn from it.  They're going to have to show him a lot of double teams because of how dominant he is.  I think they'll primarily look to line a tight end up on his side to provide help blocking.

I expect the Eagles offense to look to utilize the screen a lot and hope that they can get Matthews to over pursue.  Vick can buy some time with his feet as the screen sets up, but Matthews is going to be hard to contain.

CHTV: Your score prediction?

MB: 27-24 Eagles.

CHTV: Thanks, Mike and good luck!

You can also find my interview at BirdsFan.com for a Packers-perspective on the game.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mike Burke's picture

Thanks again to Brian for doing the interview with me this week.

If any readers have questions for me, I'd be glad to answer!

Morli's picture

I have that feeling, that the Packers should be more afraid of Shady McCoy than of Mike Vick?
The Packers RunD# is suspect and if the Bears would have run the Ball more on them the Pack probably loses the game.
Since Andy Reid is not known for being especially run-happy, what are the chances, the Eagles will try to exploit this weakness?

CSS's picture

I was concerned about that too. Then I remembered the coach is Andy Reid and he has a penchent for completely forgetting NFL teams are allowed to run the ball, especially during playoff time.

Not saying he's a bad coach by any stretch, but he has a terrible habit of being one-dimensional for no logical reason whatsoever.

Mike Burke's picture

McCoy is going to be a huge key in this game. They need to get him a good amount of carries and also utilize him in the screen game. He's been a big key in the offense's success this year and I suspect he will be on Sunday as well.

Everyone knows that the Eagles shy away from the run. However, I think it's pretty obvious that the Eagles will need to run the ball to have a chance to beat the Packers. They have to try and run early and need to stick with it throughout the game.

Austin Auch's picture

34-14 Packers

dgtalmn's picture

It is always great to see what the other side's opinion is. I think the MM has done a great job with all of the injuries and the Packers have step it up when replacing the starters. The Eagles also have the injuries, but they have not handled it as well as the Pack. Hence I believe the Pack takes this one.

28-17 Packers

Oppy's picture

Packers, 2-0.

BOOK IT

jack in jersey city's picture

20-17 packers

FITZCORE1252's picture

34-24 guess

GBP 4 LIFE

Bogmon's picture

31-13 Packers

thepretzelhead's picture

McCawwthy 120 Eagles nothin.

Charles's picture

Got to say that I think its slightly unreasonable to think the Pack lets 27 on the board. They've only let a single team score that on them, and they (Patriots) are better than the Eagles.

27 to 17, Packers

tyler21's picture

Regardless of what the score is I just wanna say how proud I am of our guys. To even make the playoffs is awesome. But.....I would guess 21 20 paaack!

LACheez's picture

they just showed the week 1 replay on NFL network. biggest surprise: we had a running game! grant looked great for the first 5 plays he ran, and then bjax and even kuhn had some big holes to run through...what the hell happened? it looked like the guys were playing determined, which i haven't seen from the o-line much this year, especially when it comes to running the football. man, it would be nice if that came back for this weekend...

Tom's picture

I was watching that too and had to wonder if the guys on the O-line didn't buy into what the media was saying about our running game just a little bit...

bomdad's picture

Nothing in the replay will be of any use to the Eagles. The Pack didnt gameplan for Vick, and they adjusted to a nickel or dime set with a slow rush. Plus the personnel at linebacker is different and Sam Shield has 1 year of experience at nickel.

On O, there is no Ryan Grant or Finley. Dont be surprised by a running game resurgence. The Pack faced the Lions, Pats, Giants, and Bears for the last month. Eagles dont compare to those units.

PackersRS's picture

Packers 385248900
Eagles -15

Rodgers 350/350, 6700 yards, 300 TDs
MAtthews 150 sacks, 30 safeties.

BOOK IT

Oppy's picture

I'm sticking with Packers 2, Eagles 0.

BOOK IT

(But I'll agree on Rodgers 350/350, 6700 yards, (But no touchdowns) and Matthews 150 sacks, with only 1 safety.

Dude, you've got to stay rooted in reality ;)

PackersRS's picture

I hope you're wrong, because that would be a close game, and we don't win those.

Oppy's picture

Yeah, that's the truth. It almost looked like the Packers were going to win a close one last week vs. the bears, but then it ended up that the Packers won by more than 4. So much for getting that monkey off our back.

When ARE the Packers going to win a close game?? ;)

Brett Cristino's picture

"I think they'll primarily look to line a tight end up on his side to provide help blocking."

This is why Cullen Jenkins status is HUGE for this weekend. If they set up extra blockers in an effort to contain Matthews, that would mean Cullen Jenkins is free to roam on the other side of the line against Jason Peters. Since Vick is left-handed, he's going to roll to Jenkins side so that plays right into our hands. If Jenkins plays, I expect he & Erik Walden to have at least a Sack apiece and play a huge role in shutting down Vick.

DONC's picture

the keys to the game will be how the packers use their running game, to keep pressure off of rodgers. also believe the key to stopping phila will be stopping their tight ends.if the pack uses their running game, 37-17 pack. if they don't a very close game which green bay could lose

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