Week 4 of the NFL season gets underway with an intriguing NFC battle between the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. The fun gets started at 8:20 EST on Thursday, September 26 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The game will be available on both Fox and the NFL Network.
Early betting odds list the Packers as 4.5-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 45.5 points. Be sure to check out all of the Week 4 NFL odds.
The Packers have to be pleased with where they sit three weeks into the Matt LaFleur era. The Green Bay defense has done a little more of the heavy lifting than expected early in the season. But the Packers aren’t going to complain about starting the year 3-0, especially with two of those wins coming against division rivals like the Bears and Vikings.
Green Bay has already notched two wins at home this season, and they’re going to stick around the friendly confines of Lambeau Field for three of their next four games as well. Obviously, that kind of schedule will force the Packers to hit the road a lot late in the season. But for now, Green Bay has a great opportunity to keep racking up the wins at home. None of the other teams in the NFC North look eager to lose right now, so the Packers have to keep winning to stay on top of the division.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are in danger of allowing the season to get away from them. Philadelphia started the season with a comeback win over the Redskins. But they’ve lost back-to-back games, including a home loss to the Lions in Week 3 to drop them to 1-2 on the season. Both losses have been close games, but that doesn’t change their record.
To make things worse, the Eagles are already two games behind Dallas, who has started the year 3-0. The Cowboys will be a difficult team to catch, so the Eagles can’t afford to fall any further behind. On top of that, the Eagles play four of their next five games on the road, including three games against teams that have started the season 3-0. In other words, the Eagles have to find a way to win difficult games or else their 2019 season could be over by the midway point.
I’m tempted to give the Eagles the benefit of the doubt in this game. On paper, they appear to have championship potential on top of being desperate for a win. Plus, their two losses have been close, so there’s a lot to make me think the Eagles can beat the spread. But I think Green Bay will expose Philadelphia’s weaknesses better than some other teams. On a short week, this game will be all Packers.
One of Philadelphia’s issues this season has been falling behind. They managed to comeback against Washington in Week 1. But that hasn’t been the case against better teams. If that trend continues, I don’t see the Eagles overcoming a multi-score deficit against the Packers. The Green Bay defense has been the strength of the team this year. They’re a little vulnerable against the run, but they’ve been stout defending the pass. If they get a 10-point lead and the Eagles are forced to throw, the Green Bay defense is going to hold on and win comfortably.
More importantly, the Eagles aren’t built to come from behind right now. Both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery missed last week’s loss to the Lions and are unlikely to make it back by Thursday. That leaves Nelson Agholor as the de facto no. 1 receiver. Despite two touchdowns last week, he’s not had a strong season. He’s also not much of a deep threat. The same is obviously true for tight end Zach Ertz, who’s the team’s next best receiver behind Jackson and Jeffery. The Philadelphia running game has been fine this year but hasn’t really stood out. Without a top-notch rushing attack or viable deep threats, the Philadelphia offense is looking rather limited right now.
Meanwhile, the Green Bay offense seems to be getting better every week. The Packers were limited to 10 points in Week 1, but they posted 27 points against a solid Denver defense last week. The most important stat is that Marquez Valdes-Scantling has the same number of targets as Davante Adams. It appears that Valdes-Scantling is starting to earn the trust of Aaron Rodgers, giving the Packers a solid no. 2 receiver. Adams doesn’t have a touchdown or a breakout game this season, and yet the Packers have still managed to go 3-0. After the Green Bay running game got going in Week 3, things are definitely trending upwards for the Packers on that side of the ball.
Based on what we’ve seen, the Eagles haven’t convinced me they can keep pace with the Packers for four quarters. Philadelphia is banged up and on a short week, so they’re facing plenty of adversity. Even with the Eagles being desperate, I think the Packers will run away with this game and have no problem covering.