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Eagles have defended top receivers well, and Packers rookie Christian Watson is the next challenge

"The Packers may be limping along at 4-7, but they feel like they've found a glimmer of hope in Christian Watson," writes Ed Barkowitz.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson (9) rushes with the football on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in front of Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland (26) before scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — It's a passing league and the Eagles have won nine of their first 10 games largely by limiting the damage inflicted by opponents through the air. The Birds enter Week 12 in the top-5 in fewest passing yards allowed and fewest TD passes allowed, and they had a league-best 13 interceptions.

The Packers may be limping along at 4-7, but they feel like they've found a glimmer of hope in Christian Watson. The rookie has caught five touchdowns the past two weeks, which is as many as the Eagles have given up in the last six games. Here's a closer look.

Their No. 1

The Eagles, with one notable exception, have done an admirable job clamping down on opposing top receivers. Other than Washington's Terry McLaurin, no receiver has more than 80 yards against the Birds. Here is how WR1s have fared against the Eagles, and who is left on the schedule.

Week 1 — at Detroit, Amon-Ra St. Brown 12 targets, 8 rec., 64 yards, 1 TD

Week 2 — vs. Minnesota, Justin Jefferson, 12 targets, 6 rec., 48 yards, 0 TD

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Week 3 — at Washington, Terry McLaurin, 9 targets, 6 rec., 102 yards, 0 TD

Week 4 — vs. Jacksonville, Christian Kirk, 9 targets, 2 rec., 60 yards, 0 TD

Week 5 — at Arizona, Marquise Brown, 10 targets, 8 rec., 78 yards, 1 TD

Week 6 — vs. Dallas, CeeDee Lamb, 10 targets, 5 rec., 68 yards, 0 TD

Week 8 — vs. Pittsburgh, Dionte Johnson, 9 targets, 5 rec., 35 yards, 0 TD

Week 9 — at Houston, Chris Moore, 5 targets, 4 rec., 43 yards, 1 TD

Week 10 — vs. Washington, McLaurin, 11 targets, 8 rec., 128 yards, 0 TD

Week 11 — at Indianapolis, Michael Pittman, 7 targets, 6 rec., 75 yards, 0 TD

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Note: The Eagles had a bye in Week 7. ... Top wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona, suspended) and Brandin Cooks (Houston, disgruntled) did not play against the Eagles.

Remaining wide receivers to watch

Week 12 — vs. Green Bay, Watson. After a dreadful start, the second-round pick out of North Dakota State had three touchdown receptions against Dallas in Week 10 and two more Nov. 17 against Tennessee.

Week 13 — vs. Tennessee, Treylon Burks. Robert Woods has the most targets, but that's only because Burks missed four games with a turf toe injury. He still hasn't scored a touchdown, but Burks had his first 100-yard game in the Week 11 win at Green Bay. The Titans used a first-round pick on Burks to help replace A.J. Brown.

Week 14 — at N.Y. Giants, Darius Slayton. The Giants WR situation is a mess. Three wide receivers have caught touchdowns this season. Two of them — Sterling Shepard and now Wan'Dale Robinson — are out for the season with torn ACLs.

Week 15 — at Chicago, Darnell Mooney. He's had more than 70 yards just once this season. The real threat is Cole Kmet whose five touchdown catches (all coming in Weeks 8-10) is tied for second among tight ends.

Week 16 — at Dallas, CeeDee Lamb. The first time the Eagles saw the Cowboys, Cooper Rush was quarterbacking. Dallas is 3-1 since Dak Prescott returned; the only loss coming in overtime at Green Bay. Lamb had 11 catches for 150 yards and two TDs that day.

Week 17 — vs. New Orleans, Chris Olave. Has three 100-yard games and made the Rams' Jalen Ramsey, an All-Pro the last two years, look pedestrian on a 53-yard score last week. Olave's for real, and his numbers would be better with a better QB.

Week 18 — vs. N.Y. Giants. The Kenny Golladay signing is to New York what DeMarco Murray is to Philadelphia. Has four catches in six games. His decline has been stunning.

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Where the Eagles rank in various pass defense categories entering Week 12

Passing yards allowed per game

1. Dallas, 174.5

2. Eagles, 178.4

Opposing QB rating

1. Eagles, 69.9

2. New England, 74.0

Opposing QB completion pct.

1. New England, 55.7

4. Eagles, 59.7

TD passes allowed

1. Denver, 8

T5. Eagles, 10

Interceptions

T1. Eagles, 13

T1. Buffalo, 13

Passes defensed

1. Jacksonville, 61

4. Eagles, 55

Yards per reception

1. Denver, 9.4

2. Eagles, 9.6

Sacks

1. Dallas, 42

3. Eagles, 33

(c) 2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Related Topics: GREEN BAY PACKERS
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