A week ago, it looked like the Green Bay Packers wouldn’t have a tough time finishing the 2013 season with one of the best records in the conference. Things have changed, however, and the defending NFC North champions could find themselves in a struggle to reach the playoffs.
Green Bay suffered a major loss on "Monday Night Football' when Aaron Rodgers left the contest with an apparent shoulder injury. He was later diagnosed with fractured collarbone and could miss a significant period of time. A timetable for his return has not been set, but the quarterback might not take the field again until December. Rodgers is guaranteed to miss this Sunday’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Initially, the Packers game was expected to be one of the biggest blowouts of Week 10. At different Las Vegas Casinos and online sportsbooks, the opening betting line had Green Bay as 10-point favorites. Without the 2011 MVP active, the Packers’ chances of winning have been greatly diminished, lowering the point spread by nine points. It’s possible that the Eagles will be the favorites by game time.
Seneca Wallace gets the start in place of Rodgers. He took over for the quarterback against the Chicago Bears and completed 11-of-19 passes for 114 yards and an interception in the loss. It was the first time Wallace entered an NFL game since 2011 with the Cleveland Browns. That season, he played in six games, starting in three and registering a 65.4 passer rating. He was a serviceable backup for the Seattle Seahawks for the latter part of the last decade, but hasn’t gotten much playing time in the past few years.
"You have to make sure that your plan is intact to win the game," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "Seneca will run that plan. And I'm confident that he'll do an excellent job at it."
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The Eagles will also start a quarterback that began the year as a backup, but Nick Foles played like a Hall of Famer last week. In Week Nine, he led Philadelphia to a 49-20 road win over the Oakland Raiders, completing 22-of-28 passes for 406 yards and seven touchdowns. Foles finished the contest with a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
If Foles had played enough games to qualify, his 127.4 passer rating would lead the league. Peyton Manning ranks No.1 in the NFL at 119.4. His one misstep came in Week Seven against the Dallas Cowboys, when he completed less than 38 percent of his passes for 80 yards.
"I think what happened in the Cowboys game was such a surprise to everybody because that's not what Nick expects out of himself, not what we expect out of him," Philadelphia head coach Kelly said. "I thought that what happened in the Cowboys game was an exception, not the rule. That's not the Nick Foles I know."
The Eagles are 3-1 in games that Foles has started, but 4-5 overall. They currently sit a game back in second place, but could be tied for a share of first by Monday morning. The Cowboys are atop the NFC East, but have to visit the New Orleans Saints in Week 10.
Las Vegas Betting Odds: Green Bay favored by 1 point
Over-Under: 47 points
Kickoff Time: 1:00 PM Eastern Time
TV Channel: FOX
Online Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket Max
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, Green Bay 17