One Preview: Sanchez, Rodgers square off in huge NFC tilt

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Air & Ground matchup of Week 11

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX) -- Two quarterbacks coming off career games will square off at legendary Lambeau Field in a game with massive playoff implications in the National Football Conference.

In his 63rd career start (but first with the Philadelphia Eagles), Mark Sanchez threw for 322 yards in a 45-21 boat racing of the Carolina Panthers on "Monday Night Football". A night earlier, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 315 yards and six touchdowns in a 55-14 dump trucking of the long-time rival Chicago Bears. While that performance marked the 21st time Rodgers completed a game with 300 or more passing yards and no interceptions, Monday night marked the first time Sanchez had done so. He celebrated by devouring cheesesteaks (there's probably a lame cheese joke to be made here since he faces the Packers on Sunday, but we're not going there).

The Packers defense was dominant against the Bears, but still enters Week 11 with a less-than-imposing stat line against the run (Green Bay ranks 30th in the NFL against the run). That could mean big games for Eagles running backs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles.

One defeat

Rodgers has lost just one game in his last 17 regular-season home games against opponents from outside the NFC North. In those games, Rodgers has thrown for 53 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That lone loss? A 30-22 setback in Week 1 of the 2012 season against the San Francisco 49ers.

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Great Moments in Air & Ground History

Packers 38, Eagles 35 (Week 5 of the 1958 season) -- On a late October day at what then called City Stadium (before it became legendary Lambeau Field), the victory-famished Packerswon a shootout against the Eagles. Philadelphia's future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Norm Van Brocklin and the unforgettable Babe Parilli dueled in the rain, combining to throw for seven touchdowns (four for Parilli, three for Van Brocklin). This game is historically significant on profound levels. This marked the only win in a 1-10-1 season for the Packers, who dumped coach Ray "Scooter" McLean following that season and replaced him with a relatively unknown (at the time) fella named Vince Lombardi. The Eagles were in the first season under new coach Buck Shaw, who two years later would lead the Eagles to the last NFL championship that the franchise has enjoyed. Their opponents that day? The Packers, who suffered the only playoff defeat in the remarkable reign of Lombardi.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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