Green Bay Packers (4-6 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, November 28, 2016 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: GB +3.5/PHI -3.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
The Green Bay Packers come to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. Both teams came up short on Sunday in costly losses. Philly lost at Seattle, 25-16. After a 3-0 start, they have since gone 2-5 and are losing their grip on the season. Green Bay lost a Sunday Night Football affair to the Redskins, 42-24, and need to find answers with the season now getting away from them. They have also squandered a good start after beginning the season at 3-1, since losing 5 of 6 and 4 in a row.
Green Bay just hasn't seen their recipe for success manifest this season. The reasons for such a substandard stretch of games are multifold, but it seems to have taken a lot of people by surprise. At the same time, they are just 8-12 in their last 20 regular season games and after that large of a sample pool, it's no longer an aberration. Both sides of the ball have seen their effectiveness fall precipitously. Granted, injuries have played a gigantic role in that equation, but it is what it is and Green Bay bears little resemblance to the contender we've seen in recent seasons.
Green Bay's offense is really a middling group. The line is subpar and Aaron Rodgers' form has been dipping over the past season-plus. His stats don't necessarily reflect it, but the mistakes he's making and the throws he's not making are not very Rodgers-like. Eddie Lacy being out has been a big hit to the offense, as they are now using James Starks and Ty Montgomery, though it's actually been Rodgers who has been their most-effective runner in recent weeks. That's not a good sign. It would maybe be OK if Green Bay was able to air it out more. While that's the strongest part of the offense, it's still not good enough to make up for all their other issues. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams have been pretty good, as each has 663 yards. But even with Adams being more reliable, Randall Cobb's production has dropped off. It's really not the same group.
Again, it's only fair to extend Green Bay some benefit of the doubt based on the disproportionate amount of injuries that they've endured. On the defense is where the injury bug has really been felt. Their back 7 bears almost no resemblance at this point to the group they envisioned having this season. Their secondary is in tatters and the middle is banged-up. Some of the names on the field are only known to die-hard Packers fans. And when the cupboards are that bare, there is only so much you can do, as they found out against Washington on Sunday night with the Redskins having nearly a perfect offensive showing. After showing signs of life and improvement on this side of the ball last season, they are now 27th in points allowed and definitely trending downward heading into week 12.
Not that the picture is much rosier for Philly, as a promising start is all but forgotten in the midst of this 2-5 run in their last seven games. Granted, Seattle is a tough road test for a rookie QB like Carson Wentz, but he has been showing more of his overall limitations in the past two months, as he in fact a talented but raw product behind center. A defense that had been dominant in spots early in the season has seen their form dip, as well.
Wentz is perhaps being asked to do too much. The line hasn't gotten better with passing games. There are no stars on this offense. He has a pretty good running back in Ryan Mathews who is not a show-stopper. Both he and Darren Sproles were banged-up on Sunday and we'll see how healthy they are this week. The receiving crew has been a big letdown. Jordan Matthews is decent, as is TE Zach Ertz. First-round pick WR Nelson Agholor has been a massive letdown and continues to show a lack of focus with a slew of miscues. It's not a great group and they're getting worse.
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A pedestrian offense was less apparent when the Philly defense was playing dominantly. In giving up just 27 combined points in their first three games, it was harder to notice. But this side of the ball has come down to earth in a big way. They can still play well, but offer less consistency and playmaking than the group we saw earlier in the season. They are not bad, but haven't been able to show their teeth getting such little support from the other side of the ball. They can be tough against the pass and are still allowing just 18.6 points per game. But like the offense, they're trending downward. Still, if they can just play a little better, it would have Philly in more games. They've had some good performances in recent weeks. Giving up 25 to a home Seattle team isn't a total disgrace and they did give up just 15 to a powerful Atlanta offense the previous week. We'll see what they have for Green Bay this week.
A lot of money is lost betting on teams that people expect to bounce back into shape. That has been costly this season for a lot of different teams. That doesn't mean Green Bay can't figure something out moving forward. They have a lot of tools, especially on offense. But with a dilapidated defense and a general negative vibe filling the locker-room, it won't be easy. If they were to save their season, this would be the time to do it. But Philly is more intact and a closer-to-ideal version of themselves. I like them this week.
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