Eagles toeing line as they avoid facing Aaron Rodgers
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
But if you ask the Eagles, they’ll give you the cliche: It doesn’t matter who we are facing on Sunday.
However, as the Eagles prepare for Sunday’s contest they know they won’t be facing Aaron Rodgers — three-time Pro Bowler, NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP.
Rodgers broke his collarbone in Monday night’s game against the Bears and will instead start Seneca Wallace, who’s been on five teams in eight seasons.
“There is a little uncertainty there because we have so much film of what Aaron did when he was there,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “We just have to be ready for everything. It’s the NFL, no week is easy, no matter who’s playing. Seneca’s been in the league a long time.”
Wallace was 11-of-19 for 114 yards and one interception in relief of Rodgers on Monday night, meaning the team will likely try to feed the running back tandem of Eddie Lacy and James Starks heavily on Sunday.
“That’s our feeling, that they’re gonna rely heavily on the running game since they lost their quarterback,” Ryans said. “They have two very capable backs and they have a pretty good offensive line. They do a good job run blocking so I don’t see why they wouldn’t rely heavily on the running game.”
Lacy, a rookie out of Alabama, was fed a steady diet against Chicago. He finished with 22 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown. But he’s had at least 22 carries every game this season.
“Even before Aaron got hurt they made a concerted effort to run the ball,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “It’s a real concern of ours.”
One person on the Eagles who won’t have any trouble recognizing an unfamiliar face at quarterback is offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Shurmur is in his first season at coordinator after being head coach of the Browns in 2012, where none other than Seneca Wallace was one of his QBs. Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis was also part of Shurmur’s staff in Cleveland.
He didn’t play last season in a game, but Shurmur and Davis do know his capabilities, even if Kelly doesn’t necessarily think it will be immensely helpful.
“It’s still [head coach] Mike McCarthy’s offense,” Kelly said. “They have an understanding of what he can do. They can kinda give us a physical background of, ‘Hey, he’s pretty good at this or he can do that,’ but that’s pretty much the extent of it.”