They don’t play each other very often, but a Philadelphia Eagles-Green Bay Packers football game is almost always a star-studded event. This year’s game at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. will continue to build on that legacy.
If you haven’t been paying attention this season, the Eagles are the best team in the NFL at 9-1. They beat the Indianapolis Colts 17-16 on Sunday at Indianapolis State. Green Bay fell to 4-7 on Nov. 17 with a 27-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
The two teams have met 45 times (including three postseason games), with the Green Bay Packers winning 28 games and the Philadelphia Eagles winning 17. Green Bay has won three of its last five games, including a 30-16 win at Green Bay. Bay of December 6, 2020.
But a lot has changed since then. At the time, the Packers were considered contenders and were led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers still leads the Packers, but he doesn’t have much help.
Running the table may not be enough for Green Bay to save this season. They could finish no better than 10-7, a sharp drop from three straight 13-win seasons.
A year ago, six teams finished with nine wins. Only two made the postseason: the Eagles (9-8) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1). The Colts, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers all finished 9-8 and missed the playoffs.
The Packers may be reaching a turning point in the season. Once they’re officially out, the focus will likely turn to next season. The Packers, like most NFL teams, are a mix of proven veterans and up-and-coming youngsters.
The construction of the future often means handing over to the youth.
The Packers probably won’t play much longer, at least for their goals entering this season. Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur said his team’s record will be something to earn every week.
“I’m not saying it’s impossible,” LaFleur said, “but we’ve got to play a lot better and we’ve got to be coached a lot better and really take it one game at a time.” But I think you always fight for something. Every one of these guys, me, all the coaches, you always fight for your job. Always. Every time he goes there. This is the reality of the league in which we live and work.
“So whether you’re in the race or not, you’re always fighting for your job.”
For the Eagles, Sunday’s win was timely. After losing zero to the Washington Commanders, the Birds looked for an easy pass. Next on the schedule were the Colts. They were very good, but they were not easy.
“Sometimes you have to win like this. It might not be pretty, but you find a way to win and that’s what matters,” said defensive end Brandon Graham, who came up with a key quarterback sack on the final defensive drive to preserve the win. “We want to make it easy for them, but it’s the NFL. Sometimes you have to win on the edge of your seats. I am sure that our fans have no nails left. Hey, we were on the edge in the last drive, but we got Jalen [Hurts] this guy, man, he can handle the ball and that’s exactly what he did.”
After the Chiefs ran wild on them, the Birds went out and signed veteran defensive linemen Linwal Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. These two played extremely well against the Colts and will be heavily relied upon in the future.
“This [is] That’s what I came back for,” said Suh. “Team victory. Victory back. When you win like that, you learn a lot about the team. It’s a resilient team, a tough team that can win games in different ways.”