By Peter Brennan
Don’t look now, but the 1-2 Eagles play the Packers in Green Bay Thursday night and it could get ugly.
In fact, this may be the earliest “must-win” game in recent Birds history.
So, here’s some history:
- The Packers have won five of the last six against the Eagles in the regular and postseason, including two of three in Green Bay.
- It is the first time the Packers have played Philadelphia in a Thursday night game.
- It is also the first time Green Bay has played two Thursday games in the month of September.
- This will be the second 2018 playoff team the Packers have faced this season, having previously defeated the Chicago Bears, 10-3, in a Thursday night matchup to open the season.
- Green Bay is looking to win four games in the month of September for the first time since 2007 when they went 4-0. It was just the third time since 1970 that Green Bay had won four games in September (4-0 in 1998 and 4-1 in 1996).
- It will be the end of a three-game stretch of home contests, the first time the Packers have played three straight at home in September since 1990 (Weeks 1-3). It is the conclusion of three home games in 12 days for the Packers, only the second time in team history (2016) that the team has had three home contests over a 12-day period.
- Green Bay is also in the midst of a stretch of five home games in six weeks.
- This is the third straight year that the Packers have had three home games in the month of September.
- The Packers have won four of the last five games they have played on aThursday night.
- In the last four games he has played on Thursday night, QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 10 TDs and zero INTs with a passer rating of
- Rodgers has started 12 Thursday games in his career (10 night games and two day games) and has registered 26 passing TDs, four INTs and a passer rating of 106.2.
- Dating back to 1948, Rodgers’ passer rating of 106.2 as a starter in Thursday games ranks No. 4 in the NFL (min. 100 pass att.) while his 26 passing TDs rank No. 3 in the league.
- Rodgers has recorded a passer rating of 100-plus in seven games played on Thursday, the most in the NFL (min. 15 pass att.) since 2008 (according to pro-football-reference.com). Green Bay has won six of the seven Thursday games in which Rodgers’ passer rating has eclipsed 100.0.
- In seven Thursday games, WR Davante Adams has registered five receiving TDs, including four in the last five contests. Adams’ five TD receptions in Thursday games are tied for No. 2 among active players since 2014 (Sportradar).
- TE Jimmy Graham has six receiving TDs in Thursday games, the most among NFL tight ends since 1948 (Sportradar).
- CB Tramon Williams has four interceptions in Thursday games, which is tied for No. 2 in the NFL since 2007.
- Thursday night’s game will be televised to a national audience on FOX and NFL Network with play-by-play man Joe Buck and analyst Troy Aikman handling the call from the broadcast booth and Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink reporting from the sidelines. The game is also available through Amazon Prime Video with your choice of announcers: Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, or Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth.
- Westwood One Sports will air the game across the country. Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Mike Holmgren (analyst) will call the action and Scott Graham will host pregame and halftime shows.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT
Packers vs. Eagles:
- All-time, regular season: 26-14-0
- All-time, postseason: 1-2
- All-time, at Lambeau Field: 9-5
- Streaks: The Packers have won four of the past five regular-season meetings.
- Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 28, 2016; Packers won, 27-13, Lincoln Financial Field
Matt LaFleur: 3-0-0, 1.000; 1st NFL season
Doug Pederson: 33-20-0, .623 (incl. 4-1 in postseason) ; 4th NFL season
Head to Head: 0-0
vs. Opponent: Pederson 0-1 vs. Packers
MATT LaFLEUR…In his first season as the Packers’ 15th head coach.
- In his 11th season in the NFL, having served as an offensive coordinator for two seasons (Los Angeles Rams, 2017; Tennessee Titans, 2018), a quarterbacks coach for six seasons (Washington Redskins, 2010-13; Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16), and an offensive assistat for two seasons (Houston Texans, 2008-09).
- Guided the Titans’ offense in 2018 to a No. 7 league ranking in rushing (126.4 ypg) as Tennessee registered 11 games with 100-plus rushing yards, tied for No. 2 in the NFL.
- Helped the Rams lead the league in scoring with an average of 29.9 points per game in 2017, more than doubling their average from 2016 (14.0 ppg).
- Tutored QB Matt Ryan, who led the league in passer rating (117.1) in 2016 on his way to being named NFL Most Valuable Player by The Associated Press.
- Coached rookie QB Robert Griffin III with the Redskins in 2012, who became the first QB in team history to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
DOUG PEDERSON…Enters his fourth season as the Eagles’ 19th head coach.
- Has led the Eagles to back-to-back playoff berths, including a 13-3 regular- season record in 2017 en route to a 41-33 victory over New England in Super Bowl LII.
- Mentored the No.2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, QB Carson Wentz, who set an NFL rookie record in completions (379), and franchise rookie records in passing yards (3,782), passing touchdowns (16) and completion percentage (62.4 pecent).
- In Kansas City, coached Chiefs QB Alex Smith to the most wins by a starting quarterback in his first three years as the starter (30) in team history.
- Played quarterback in the NFL for 12 years with Green Bay, Miami, Philadelphia and Cleveland.
THE PACKERS-EAGLES SERIES
- The Packers swept the first nine contests in the series and won 16 of 18 from 1933-70.
- En route to winning Super Bowl XLV, Green Bay beat the Eagles in Philadelphia twice with a 27-20 victory to open the season in Week 1 and a 21-16 win in the NFC Wild Card playoffs.
- The Packers also defeated Philadelphia in Week 2 of the 1996 season, 39-13, as part of a 13-3 season that led to a Super Bowl XXXI victory.
- The Eagles handed Hall of Fame head coach Vince Lombardi his only postseason defeat in the 1960 NFL Championship, 17-13.