Packers-Eagles matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Jan. 07, 2011 @ 11:49 a.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into the wild-card game against the Eagles in Philadelphia this coming Sunday afternoon:

Packers ORT Bryan Bulaga vs. Eagles DLE Juqua Parker and DE Darryl Tapp

After playing 20 games in a row, counting exhibitions, Bulaga can be excused for probably being more than a little worn down in his first go-around at the pro level. But the fact remains that Green Bay’s first-round draft pick has not played very well lately. He had four penalties in the playoff-clinching victory over the Bears last week (two holding and two false starts), two of which halted back-to-back fourth-quarter drives. Bulaga has been playing too soft, getting lazy with his feet and not bending his knees enough, and he has been slow getting to the second level. 

Bulaga will be matched up mostly against Parker, a savvy pass rusher who was much more effective when he was sharing the load with 2010 first-round draft pick Brandon Graham, who went down with a torn ACL in Week 14. It’s very much worth noting that Parker started the season like a house on fire with a pair of sacks (for 14 yards in losses) against the Packers in Week One. And four of his six sacks came in the first three games, as he has only two sacks in his last 10 games.

Tapp, who was obtained in a trade with Seattle in exchange for DE Chris Clemons, also can be a disruptive pass rusher. He could provide a constant menace in tandem with Parker for the weary Bulaga, who for the majority of the season has held his own in the starting role at right tackle.