PHILADELPHIA -- One thing you can take to the bank this Sunday afternoon is that the defences of both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers will be putting the pedal to the metal.
Both teams figure on being relentless with their blitz packages and will be bringing everybody but the ball boys.
Two weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings upset the apple cart in their game against the Eagles by blitzing and harassing quarterback Michael Vick at every opportunity. It worked as the Vikings registered six sacks in their convincing 24-14 victory and set a blueprint for opposing defences in how to handle Vick and stymie the Eagles offence.
Last week in Green Bay, meanwhile, the Packers brought everything short of the kitchen sink in some of the blitz packages they threw at Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in their 10-3 victory that sealed their playoff berth.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have lived and died by the blitz since the days of Buddy Ryan so they'll be coming at the Packers Aaron Rodgers with a vengeance.
Vick said he's ready for whatever the Packers bring.
"Pretty much that's what it's going to be -- they're going to come after you," Vick said of the pressure the Packers will attempt to bring. "They're going to come after you, they're going to try to get you rattled, get you off your square. But that's football. You just have to be ready for it."
The Eagles also will be going full tilt boogie after Rodgers even though they acknowledge that the Packers quarterback is the best in the business at picking up the blitz and dealing with it.
"I don't think there is," Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said when asked if there is a better quarterback at handling the blitz. "He distributes the ball extremely well and fast. If you look at the statistics, he's the best quarterback against the blitz in the NFL."
Regardless, the Eagles will be coming.
"It just becomes a part of the game plan," McDermott said. "We have to keep that (how well Rodgers deals with it) in mind but we're always going to blitz. It's not going to be a case of the Eagles aren't going to blitz, we're always going to blitz. It's just a matter of how much we blitz and in what situations.
"They do a great job offensively. Very few defences have been able to shut this (Green Bay's) offence down."
The Eagles hope come Sunday is that they are one of them.