The Green Bay Packers decided to go in a different direction after firing longtime coach Mike McCarthy late last season, and it's hard to argue with the results. While two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers is not putting up the numbers typically associated with him, the Packers are seeking their first 4-0 start in four years when they host the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
Rodgers and the offense have not had to do much thanks to a Green Bay defense that has yet to allow more than 16 points in a game and ranks second in the league with 35 allowed. "I want to play better. I want to score more points," Rodgers told reporters after Sunday's 27-16 win over Denver. "I mean, obviously you love having a defense, but I don't take any satisfaction in having an OK performance. No. I want to have greatness out there." The Eagles certainly want more than what they have shown since rallying for a five-point victory versus Washington in Week 1, dropping back-to-back games at Atlanta and Detroit by a total of seven points. "This is not a defining moment for our team at all," Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson told reporters after Sunday's 27-24 home loss to the Lions. "Again, only three games in. We gotta get some things fixed, we know that."
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Packers -5. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE EAGLES (1-2): Pederson canceled practice one day last week due to the number of injuries on the team, but the receiving corps could get a boost with the expected return of Alshon Jeffery after he sat out Sunday's contest due to a calf strain. DeSean Jackson remains sidelined with an abdominal strain, but Nelson Agholor filled the void with a pair of scoring receptions while hauling in eight catches for the second week in a row. Carson Wentz could use more help from his running game, but rookie Miles Sanders is struggling with ball-protection issues and the team is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry. The Eagles rank 29th in the league against the pass, surrendering 293.7 yards per game, and have recorded only two sacks in three contests.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (3-0): Green Bay is allowing nearly 100 fewer yards passing (197.3) than Philadelphia and has registered 12 sacks after collecting six and forcing three turnovers against the Broncos on Sunday. Rodgers is putting up passing numbers that one would expect under Vince Lombardi in the 1960s - his 235 yards last week represented a season high and his 647 total is his second-lowest in the first three games of a season of his career. Rodgers said it's imperative to get the ball in the hands of wideout Davante Adams, who has recorded 15 receptions and zero touchdowns one season after racking up 111 catches and 13 scores. Marquez Valdes-Scantling made six catches for 99 yards and a TD last week while Aaron Jones also scored twice but gained only 19 yards on 10 carries.
1. Rodgers has notched 10 TDs and zero interceptions in his last four contests versus NFC East foes.
2. Eagles TE Zach Ertz has made 17 catches but has yet to find the end zone.
3. Adams had five receptions for 113 yards and two TDs in the last meeting, a 27-13 win at Philadelphia in November 2016.
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