The Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles shared similar obstacles this season.  Both teams suffered injuries to key positions, including running back, offensive tackle, and of course, quarterback.  Unlike the Packers, the Eagles were able to ride their backup quarterback to not only the playoffs, but ultimately to a Super Bowl victory.   How were the Eagles able to overcome losing their MVP quarterback, but the Packers were not?

It all starts with defense.  The Eagles had a top five defense, an underrated defense at that.  Leading that defense was Fletcher Cox and the defensive line.  That defensive line rotated seven players, keeping them fresh all season.  It allowed the Eagles to disrupt opposing quarterbacks and force them into throws that often led to mistakes.  It’s something the Packers defense was unable to do all season, and quarterbacks were able to pick them apart.

The play of both backup quarterbacks cannot be overlooked.  Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has shown before that he can play at a high level.  In 2013, Foles finished the season with 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions.  During this playoff run, he played at a similarly high level, which earned him Super Bowl MVP.  Unlike Foles, this season was Brett Hundley’s first meaningful NFL snaps.  Hundley’s inconsistency from week to week contributed to the Packers lack of success.  He did show glimpses of promise, but followed those performances up with duds.

With the success of Foles, it makes one wonder if the Packers should keep Hundley or go after a veteran quarterback in free agency.  Of course, the expectation is that Aaron Rodgers will be healthy the entire season and this discussion will be unwarranted.  However, a team can never be too prepared for the worst.

While the Packers can use the excuse of losing Rodgers as the reason they failed to make the playoffs, all they have to do is look at the Eagles.  Losing Carson Wentz could have been a reason to throw in the towel.  Instead, the Eagles rallied behind Foles and won a title.  The Packers have some decisions to make if they are faced with a similar situation again.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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