Packers-Eagles pregame notebook

Crunch time is now The Packers have accomplished what seemed impossible a month ago -- they control their own destiny in the NFC North. What they do with that hard-fought position is the next battle.<p>

Heading into a crucial contest in Philly, the 7-4 Packers hold first place in the NFC North division by virtue of their previous win over Minnesota, also 7-4. Currently the Packers have a respectable conference mark of 6-2, with Sunday's game playing a huge role in the Green Bay's playoff position.

The Eagles currently hold the conference's top spot. Philadelphia (10-1) became the first team in the league to secure their playoff spot last week. The Eagles secured the title in the woeful NFC East by forging a five-game lead as well as the tiebreaker over the second-place Giants. Despite clinching the division by Week 12, the Eagles know that the valuable first-round bye remains on the table. The closest competitors for the conference's top spots are Atlanta (9-2), Green Bay and Minnesota.

So while the pressure is off the Eagles for now, strategically they would like nothing better than to push Green Bay out of the way. An Eagles win Sunday means that the Packers couldn't pass Philly in the conference race as the Eagles would have a four-game lead and a head-to-head edge with four to play.

What me worry? A short week on the road isn't the best way to go into a crucial tilt with the conference's top team. In recent Packer history, however, an away game following a Monday Night date isn't a bad deal. Green Bay has won nine of it's last 10 games after playing Monday night.

Coach Mike Sherman has forged a 9-2 record overall in games after Monday night contests. The last time the Packers lost on the road on a short week was back in 2000 when they lost at Tampa Bay after beating Minnesota in overtime on MNF.

QB Brett Favre is 20-6 following Monday night games, including a 10-6 mark in the dreaded "short week on the road" category.

Streaks and stuff: The Packers are closing in on a franchise record for consecutive games with a touchdown. Their streak stands at 72; the team record is 75. Philly factors into both streaks. The team mark was set entirely during the Holgren era from an Oct. 25, 1992 win over the Bears at Lambeau through a 10-9 loss at Philadelphia on Sept. 9, 1997. The Packers' current streak dates back the the beginning of Sherman's tenure, a 29-3 shellacking of the host Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 24, 2000. The last team to hold Sherman's Pack without a touchdown? The Eagles. Philadelphia kept the Packers out of the end zone but not out of the win column as Green Bay beat the Eagles 6-3 for Sherman's first NFL victory on Sept. 17, 2000. *Green Bay's offense has at least 400 yards in three straight contests, and six of the last seven. The high-powered Packer offense will be put to the test Sunday, however, as they face the NFC's stingiest defense. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in points allowed and red zone defense.

As for Favre, he makes consecutive start No. 201, aims for his 37th consecutive game with a touchdown pass, and needs 159 passing yards to reach the 3,000-yard mark for the 13th consecutive season.

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