KICKOFF: Monday, 7:30 p.m. (CT)
TV: ESPN, Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann, Tony Kornheiser, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya
SERIES: 37th meeting. The Packers lead the series 22-14 but have lost four straight dating to the 2003 season. The interdivisional teams are playing in Philadelphia for the fourth consecutive season, an odd occurrence that started with the Eagles' fourth-and-26-inspired 20-17 overtime win in the 2003 NFC divisional playoffs. The Eagles also won the teams' other postseason meeting, 17-13 in the 1960 NFL Championship at Philadelphia.
2006 RANKINGS: Packers: offense 7th (26th rush, 4th pass); defense 31st (11th rush, 31st pass). Eagles: offense 1st (5th rush, 1st pass); defense 23rd (14th rush, 26th pass)
PREDICTION: Eagles 27-21
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Packers' secondary has been under attack all season, and can expect to see plenty of three- and four-receiver sets. The versatility of Eagles RB Brian Westbrook also makes him a threat to split out wide at any time, especially now that his knee appears to be healthier than it has been in several weeks. The Packers won't win a shootout, and need their running game to help control the time of possession and keep the defense off the field. The problem is Green Bay is averaging a paltry 3.2 yards per carry and the running backs fumbled twice last weekend. But if RB Ahman Green can provide a ground threat, QB Brett Favre will have better success attacking a secondary that had five players on the injury report at midweek and could start journeyman CB Joselio Hanson for a second consecutive game.
FAST FACTS: Packers: Favre has 10 touchdown passes of at least 75 yards, tying the NFL record shared by George Blanda, Ed Brown, Len Dawson, Sonny Jurgensen and Norm Snead. ... Favre is 0-6 in the state of Pennsylvania (0-5 in Philadelphia, 0-1 in Pittsburgh). Eagles: DE Trent Cole is tied for the league lead and has matched his rookie total with five sacks. ... FS Brian Dawkins has been part of 85 wins with the Eagles, tying the franchise record set by Chuck Bednarik.
-- DT Ryan Pickett returned to practice on Friday after missing two straight days and has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for Monday's game. Pickett suffered a sprained ankle last Sunday at Detroit but finished the 31-24 victory over the Lions. If Pickett is unable to play, Corey Williams, who had a career-high-tying two sacks in the game, will start in Pickett's place.
-- RB Ahman Green has been wearing a red, no-contact jersey in practice this week. Green is probable for the game, but the team modified his injury status to include hamstring with the previously listed rib. Green was questionable for the last game because of a sore hamstring that flared up late in the week but managed to play the entire way. -- DE Aaron Kampman was held out Wednesday and Thursday's practices for precautionary reasons after he took a blow to the head Sunday. Kampman is probable for and expects to play Monday.
-- TE David Martin missed practice Thursday because of illness but returned on Friday. He was added to the injury report as probable.
-- OL Junius Coston returned to practice this week and could be activated for the first time this season. The backup guard/tackle on the right side suffered a torn medial-collateral ligament in his right knee in the final preseason game Sept. 1. Coston is questionable for Monday.
-- CB Will Blackmon, who has yet to play a down in preseason and regular season, continued to be sidelined with a broken foot that he sustained in May. The rookie is questionable for the upcoming game.
-- LB Tim Goodwell, released in the final roster cutdown Sept. 2, was signed to the practice squad this week. Goodwell, whom the team originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis, filled the spot created when FB Brandon Miree was promoted to the 53-man roster Tuesday.
-- CB Lito Sheppard didn't practice Thursday and Friday and still is listed as doubtful for Monday's game against Green Bay with an ankle injury. Andy Reid said he's "close, but not quite there yet."
-- CB Rod Hood didn't practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as doubtful for Monday's game against Green Bay with a heel strain. He also was listed as doubtful last week, but ended up playing.
-- CB Joselio Hanson could get his first start for the Eagles Monday night if neither Lito Sheppard nor Rod Hood are able to play. Both are currently listed as doubtful.
-- RB Brian Westbrook didn't practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable for Monday's game against Green Bay with an inflamed knee. But he is expected to play.
-- FS Brian Dawkins was listed as questionable and didn't practice Thursday and Friday. He suffered a concussion Sunday against San Francisco, but coach Andy Reid expects him to play. "We're just keeping an eye on him," he said. "Just to make sure."
INSIDE THE CAMPS:
The Packers weren't tipping their hand this week about who will be the starting guards Monday night at Philadelphia.
Spitz has practiced this week after being out since suffering a deep thigh bruise in the season opener Sept. 10. He remains questionable on the injury report, however.
Colledge and Moll would appear to be the likely starters on the left and right sides, respectively, as they have been for the previous two games. Spitz, though, worked at both spots Thursday and Friday as he attempted to prove to the coaches that he's ready to rejoin the starting group.
McCarthy said that he would play the best two out of the three rookies, regardless of position. Spitz opened the preseason as the starter at right guard, then was moved to the left side after Colledge struggled in the first exhibition game. Moll was promoted to starter at right guard and has held the spot ever since.
"Their experience level is very similar," McCarthy said of the trio. "We're trying to get continuity. That's why we made the decision that we did early in training camp (with demoting Colledge). Jason, prior to the injury, was the most consistent of the three. So, we're trying to find the best combination."
McCarthy acknowledged that he prefers to have Spitz on the left side because of his pull-block capabilities on power runs that are generally to the right side.
"But, there's an argument that he's better suited at right (guard)," McCarthy said. The marked progress made by Colledge since becoming a starter again makes it more likely that Spitz will go back to the right side and displace Moll. Given Spitz's health status, another changing of the guards would seem more realistic to happen after Monday's game.
The Eagles could face red-hot Brett Favre Monday night without their second- and third-best cornerbacks.
Lito Sheppard and Rod Hood both still were listed as doubtful Thursday for the Eagles' game against the Green Bay Packers. Neither practiced.
Sheppard has been out since injuring his ankle in the Eagles' Week 1 win over Houston. Hood suffered a heel strain two weeks ago and aggravated it last week in the San Francisco game.
Earlier in the week, Reid talked like he expected Sheppard to be able to practice this week and play Monday night. But Thursday, he wasn't so sure.
"He's close," he said. "He's just not quite there yet. We'll see. It's literally a day-to-day thing. We'll just see how he does there."
Hood was listed as doubtful all of last week after hurting the heel in the Eagles' Week 2 loss to the Giants. He didn't practice all week, but ended up playing against the 49ers. He took himself out in the fourth quarter after aggravating the injury on a deep downfield pass.
"He's a bit better," Reid said. "But he is still tender."
If neither Sheppard nor Hood can play, Joselio Hanson, who spent the spring in NFL Europe, would start opposite Sheldon Brown. Dexter Wynn, who was cut in the preseason and re-signed after Sheppard got injured, would be the third corner.