In their history in the NFL, the 3-0 Green Bay Packers and 1-2 Philadelphia Eagles have played 40 times in the regular season going into tonight’s contest at Lambeau Field. The Packers hold a 26-14 advantage over the Eagles in the series.
The Packers joined the NFL in 1921, while the Eagles came into the league in 1933. In Philadelphia’s inaugural season in the NFL, they met the Packers at old City Stadium in Green Bay and were beaten by a 35-9 margin.
In their most recent meeting in 2016, the Packers defeated the Eagles 27-13 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is 3-1 lifetime against the Eagles in the regular season and has a 104.4 passer rating against them. Overall, No. 12 has thrown seven touchdown passes vs. two picks for 856 yards.
Philadelphia has also met Rodgers in the postseason, as Rodgers led the Packers to a 21-16 win in a 2010 NFC Wild Card playoff game in Philly. Rodgers and the Packers kept winning that postseason and ended up winning Super Bowl XLV.
Speaking of Super Bowls, the Eagles won Super Bowl LII behind backup quaterback Nick Foles, who had taken over at QB after starter Carson Wentz was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Foles is now in Jacksonville playing with the Jaguars, but will be lost for some time after breaking his clavicle in the first week of the 2019 season.
But Wentz is back. No. 11 is 0-1 in his career vs. Green Bay, as he started against Rodgers in that 2016 regular season game in Philly. Wentz didn’t throw a touchdown in that game, but did throw a pick. He threw for 254 yards and had a passer rating of 75.5.
Now, getting back to the postseason history between the two teams. Overall, Green Bay has won 13 NFL titles, including four Super Bowls. Philadelphia meanwhile, has won four NFL titles, including one Super Bowl.
Before the Wild Card Playoff Game that the Packers and Eagles played in Philadelphia in the 2010 postseason, the two team met twice prior to that in the postseason.
One of those games was in a 2003 NFC Divisional Game, again played in Philadelphia.
The Packers started fast in the game and led 14-0. The ground game of the Packers was especially effective as running back Ahman Green rushed for 156 yards in the game. The Packers were leading 17-14 late in the game when head coach Mike Sherman had a difficult decision to make.
It was fourth down and about a foot to go at the 40 of the Eagles. One more first down ends the game. It’s either go for it or punt. To me, there was nothing to think about. Run for the first down and get ready for the NFC title game the next week.
Why? Well, not only had the Packers been running wild on the Eagles the whole game, they were also ranked third in the NFL in running the ball in 2003. Toting the rock was a big strength of the team.
Still, Sherman decided to punt. The punt went into the end zone and the ball was placed on the 20. The Packers had a net gain of 20 yards after that punt. Plus, Sherman was putting the game in the hands of a defense that was 17th in total defense in 2003 and was even worse in passing defense, as the team was ranked 23rd.
It all led to the 28-yard completion by Donovan McNabb to Freddie Mitchell on the infamous fourth-and-26 play, which led to the game-tying field goal. The Packers later lost in OT, as the Eagles kicked another field goal after Brett Favre was picked off on a deep pass.
Finally there was the 1960 NFL Championship Game played between the Packers and Eagles, again in Philadelphia, but this time at Franklin Field.
I wrote an article about that game almost three years ago. That game was the only postseason loss a Green Bay team coached by Vince Lombardi would ever have.
The Packers dominated the game statistically, but the Eagles ended up winning 17-13. The Packers almost came back to win the game, but the game ended when fullback Jim Taylor caught a 14-yard pass from quarterback Bart Starr, but was tackled at the 8 by linebacker Chuck Bednarik as time expired.
During one of our many conversations, Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer told me that Lombardi addressed the team in the locker room after the game and was very direct in his words.
“After the game, Coach Lombardi stood up on a equipment box and addressed the team,” Kramer said. “He said he was very proud of the way we played. He told us that we were going to be in a number of NFL championship games in the future and that we would never lose again. And he was right.”
The following year the Packers won their first of five NFL titles that the team would win under Lombardi, which included the first two Super Bowls.
After losing that first postseason game against the Eagles, the Packers won nine straight games in the postseason under Lombardi and indeed never lost again.
Back to the game tonight, when the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI behind Favre and Super Bowl XLV behind Rodgers, the Packers had also faced the Eagles in the regular season and twice beat them in dominating fashion.
In 1996, Favre and the Packers whipped the Eagles 39-13 at Lambeau Field in a Monday night football game. And in the opening game of the 2010 season, Rodgers and the Packers beat the 27-20 in Philadelphia. The final score did not reflect how much the Packers dominated the game, as the Packers led 27-10 at one point, plus sacked quarterback Michael Vick six times.
We shall see how things will turn out tonight, as the Packers are undefeated and the Eagles are coming into the game banged up.
Based on the history of Rodgers vs. the Eagles, I like Green Bay’s chances, even as No. 12 is still trying to fine tune the offense of new head coach Matt LaFleur.
Plus there is this, the defense of the Packers has sacked opposing QBs 12 times, plus have held the QB to a 63.1 passer rating.
Wentz has been sacked seven times, plus a number of his receiving weapons are injured.
That bodes well for the Packers.