Fantasy football guru Matthew Berry has joined the team and his two shows have you covered all season long. Spend weekdays at noon with the Fantasy Football Happy Hour and then, every Sunday at 11am getting ready for kickoff with the Fantasy Football Pregame. Watch both shows live on Peacock and catch replays for the weekday show on the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.
Credit to the Eagles for holding off the Colts in Week 11. The recently undefeated Eagles fell for the first time to the Commanders in Week 10 and needed a 14-point performance in the fourth quarter to hold off Jeff Saturday's Colts last week. Quarterback Jalen Hurts went 18-of-25 passing on the day for 190 yards and a touchdown while also leading the team with 16-85-1 on the ground. His 16 carries led the team, while Miles Sanders trailed closely behind with a 13-47-0 line. Philly's found themselves limited on offense over the last few weeks. Unable to get out of their own way, they managed just 21 points in their loss to Washington despite averaging 5.6 yards per play to their 4.1, and have turned the ball over seven times in their last three games. The analytics suggest the Eagles would find a bit more success on offense if they stopped turning the ball over 2.5 times per game -- if you're into that sort of thing.
For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers appears to have found (at least for now) his new favorite target, and it just so happens to be rookie second-rounder Christian Watson. After pushing through a few injuries early in the season, Watson has come on hot as of late, catching eight passes for 155 yards and five touchdowns over the last two weeks, while averaging a solid 19.4 YPR. Running back Aaron Jones continues to be one of the more reliable backs in the league, rushing for 778 yards and two scores (5.4 YPC) while also catching 40 passes for 248 yards and another three touchdowns. Jones' 3.34 YCO/ATT is good for eighth-best among qualified running backs, while his 44 missed tackles forced, per PFF, is good for fifth-most.
At 4-7, the Packers are running out of time to right their ship if they hope to land in the postseason. In need of some easy wins, a road game in Philly will put them to the test on Sunday. The same could likely be said of their matchup against the Bears the following week, but we'll stay focused on the task at hand for now.
Before we jump into some of my favorite plays of the week, don't forget that Sunday night's matchup between the Eagles and Packers is free to watch on NBC, so be sure to tune in. And don't forget to play SN7 on the NBC Sports Predictor app, which is FREE, and offers you a chance to win or split a $100,000 guaranteed jackpot! The app offers other free-to-play games, including contests for the Premier League, MLB, NASCAR, IndyCar and College Football. Download it now and enjoy!
Jalen Hurts Total Yards
Hurts doesn't just have the Eagles at 9-1. He's leading his team to victory while playing at an MVP-caliber level, and now has a chance to torch a Packers defense that has struggled at times to slow opposing offenses. You may or may not recall a time when the Patriots managed to hang 24 points on Green Bay with Bailey Zappe under center. Or the time when Daniel Jones and the Giants downed the Packers 27-22 in Green Bay. Or when the Jets miraculously beat the Packers 27-10 (also in Green Bay) with Zach Wilson under center.
Bad teams have enjoyed good days against the Packers. Knowing this, one can only imagine what the Eagles could be capable of at home if they're playing at the top of their game.
Ranking 20th in overall DVOA (2.9%), the Packers have been a below-average team on defense. Against the run, they've been one of the worst, ranking 29th in DVOA (6.7%) while also allowing the ninth-most rushing yards per game (135.8). This has a chance to bode well for an Eagles team that's third in overall offensive DVOA (16.6%) and top-six or better in both rushing (10.2%) and passing (28.3%) DVOA on the season.
As the proverbial straw that stirs the drink, much of what Philly does offensively goes through Hurts. The potential league MVP is averaging 284.7 offensive yards per game, ranking fourth in rushing yards among quarterbacks (438) and first in rushing touchdowns (8).
One of the fastest-paced teams in the league, the Eagles rank first in seconds per play in neutral game scripts (28.59) and are 11th in pace when holding a seven-point lead or better. Simply put, this is an offense that likes to keep defenses on its heels. They also rank fifth in EPA/play (0.096) and are 10th in early-down pass rate (55.0%).
I like the Eagles to push the Packers throughout this one, while their defense (which has also been among the leagues best) frustrates a down-bad Aaron Rodgers. While I don't think we're in for an offensive explosion, a productive day for Hurts seems more than likely.
Pick: 280-309 yards
A.J. Brown Receiving Yards
The Eagles didn't go out and acquire A.J. Brown for nothing. In desperate need of a true alpha receiver, Philly sent two 2022 draft picks to the Titans in exchange for Brown, and promptly signed him to a four-year, $100 million extension.
Through 10 games, the investment in Brown appears to be a good one, as he currently ranks eighth in the league in receiving yards (785), fifth in touchdowns (6) and top-10 in both YAC/REC (6.5) and YPRR (2.53). The kids would say that A.J. Brown is "him" -- what that means, I'm not quite sure.
A beneficiary of Philly's aggressive style of play, Brown is averaging 78.5 yards per game and has gone for 60+ yards in all but three games this season. He's surpassed the century mark only twice but is a threat to go for 100 or more yards every time he steps on the field.
We've already touchdown on the Eagles' offensive success and the fact that the Packers are a below-average team on defense. Taking things a step further, the Packers are also allowing the 13th-most receiving yards per game to a team's WR1 (73.7) and is 21st in DVOA (8.7%) when shutting down a team's alpha.
Last week we saw the Titans give Green Bay's secondary fits, as Ryan Tannehill threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, with rookie Treylon Burks posting a career-high 111 receiving yards in the win. Already hitching my wagon to a solid Jalen Hurts performance, Brown playing a key role in this one would be anything but surprising. I'll pick him to max out the predictor this week on his way to his third 100-yard game of the season.
Pick: 110+ receiving yards
Aaron Jones Total Yards
If there's one thing we know, it's that the Eagles defense is susceptible to the run. They literally brought veterans Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph off the street just over a week ago to fix their line after the Commanders nickel and dimed their way to 152 rushing yards on 49 carries, beating the Eagles with one of the more boring recipes you'll see in the modern NFL.
Currently running at a 42% clip in neutral game scripts, the Packers won't over-commit to the run, but with Aaron Jones playing like one of the top backs in the league, forcing him on an Eagles run defense that ranks 26th in rush DVOA (2.3%) isn't exactly a bad approach.
Jones has taken on 51% of the Packers' rush attempts this season to A.J. Dillon's 41%, and has an overall opportunity share of 30% -- the fourth-highest opportunity share among all running backs. Jones is averaging 93.3 yards from scrimmage per game, and has four 100+ yard rushing games on the ledger this season. Two of those games came against the Patriots and Bills -- two of the better run-stopping units in the league.
We haven't even covered Jones' ability as a receiver, but his 50 targets are tied for fifth-most in the league. Still the Packers' No. 1 offensive threat, Jones should be leaned on heavily in this one, especially if the Eagles push the Packers with their aggressive pace. Like A.J. Brown, I'll pick Jones to crush his predictor total in a game that should feature some exciting plays on both sides.
Pick: 120+ total yards