SERIES HISTORY: 40th regular-season meeting. The Packers lead the series, 25-14. They won the last meeting in 2014, beating the Eagles 53-20 in Green Bay. The Eagles turned the ball over four times in that game and Aaron Rodgers threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns.
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Packers were throttled, 42-24, by the Redskins at FedEx Field in Week 11, dropping to 4-6 -- their worst record through 10 games since beginning 2005 with a mark of 2-8. Green Bay has lost four straight games for the first time since a five-game skid in 2008.
What has been a forgettable three-game road swing for the Packers comes to an end Monday night. They can save some face and finish the grueling stretch on a high note by snapping their four-game losing streak in the prime-time matchup with the Eagles. No easy task, however, in a hostile environment against a Philadelphia team that is in the thick of a competitive NFC East race that could yield both wild-card spots for the conference.
The tired refrain from the Packers the last few weeks in the throes of their turmoil is they need to get off to a good start. They have fallen behind early in each of the last three games. Unless Green Bay can get a lift from James Starks or newcomer Christine Michael with running the football, the dependency on Aaron Rodgers to throw it upward of 50 times could play right into the hands of the Eagles' defense. Rodgers is averaging 41 passes per game, putting him on pace to end the season with 656, which would shatter Brett Favre's team record of 613.
Philadelphia ranks ninth in the NFL against the pass, giving up an average of only 229 yards per game. The Packers have a top-10 passing offense, with an average of 262 yards. Given the Eagles' stinginess in points allowed, ranking fourth at 18.6, third-down and red-zone success will be vital for Green Bay. The Packers are among the league's best third-down teams, converting 47 percent, but they rank in the bottom half in the red zone, scoring touchdowns just 55 percent of the time.
Conversely, the Eagles' defense is No. 2 in the red zone, allowing a touchdown only 43 percent of the time, and ranks third with a third-down conversion rate of a mere 35 percent.
Green Bay's injury-ravaged and struggling defense must find a way to keep rookie QB Carson Wentz from getting as comfortable as the likes of Atlanta's Matt Ryan, Indianapolis' Andrew Luck, Tennessee's Marcus Mariota and Washington's Kirk Cousins have been during the Packers' four-game slide.
Wentz was the No. 2 pick in this year's draft. The Eagles have experienced the good and the bad with Wentz. He has been productive, in part, because of solid pass protection, taking only 21 sacks. However, Wentz has fumbled a league-high-tying 10 times and has thrown two interceptions in three of the last five games. It is incumbent on Green Bay to force a few miscues by Wentz, as well as contain a rushing attack that will be missing starting running back Ryan Mathews (knee).
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Packers WRs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb vs. Eagles CBs Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin and Jalen Mills. The Eagles corners are physical, but not particularly fast. They're going to struggle against Nelson and Cobb.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Packers RB Christine Michael. The debut by the fourth-year pro in a Packers uniform is expected to happen Monday night. Michael's midseason arrival in Green Bay comes none too soon, given the lethargic state of the team's running game. The Packers rank 19th in the league, averaging barely 100 yards per game. Their best runner in the last four games has been quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has gained 163 yards in only 18 attempts, with one touchdown. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 halfback James Starks has gained for the season (100) and one more rushing touchdown than by any other Green Bay player this season. Michael, who arrived in Green Bay late last week after being claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, figures to complement Starks, the starter in place of Eddie Lacy (season-ending injured reserve, ankle) since returning from his own injury two games ago. Michael's abrupt release from the Seahawks as their top rusher this season denied him the opportunity to play the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend. Michael should get that belated shot Monday at Philadelphia.
INJURY REPORT: Green Bay -- Out: LB Kyler Fackrell (hamstring), cornerback Demetri Goodson (knee), G T.J. Lang (foot), LB Blake Martinez (knee). Questionable: CB Damarious Randall (groin), LB Jake Ryan (ankle). Philadephia -- Out: RB Ryan Mathews (knee), RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee).
FAST FACTS: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 351 yards and three TDs last Sunday night, recording his eighth career game with 350 yards and three or more TD (he's 4-4 in those games). Dating to Week 9 last season, Rodgers has at least one scoring toss in a career-high-tying 19 straight games -- the longest active streak in the league. ... Eagles QB Carson Wentz was picked off twice by the Seahawks in Week 11 and has six interceptions in his last five games (he threw one INT in his first five games). Wentz is 4-0 at Lincoln Financial Field.
PREDICTION: All due respect to Wentz and an Eagles team that has surprised often this year, it is difficult to pick against Rodgers, even after watching him lose a shootout to Washington QB Kirk Cousins.
OUR PICK: Packers, 34-32.