The Eagles already have faced Rodgers once this season. Lost to the Packers at the Linc in Week 1, 27-20. Did a pretty good job against him that day, holding him to 188 passing yards and intercepting him twice.
But that was then and this is now. Now, thanks to injuries, Sean McDermott's defense is playing with a lot of inexperienced and banged up parts.
A rookie seventh-rounder at middle linebacker (Jamar Chaney). A rookie seventh-rounder at free safety (Kurt Coleman). A twice-waived journeyman with nine career starts at one cornerback spot. A Pro Bowler with an ailing knee at the other.
And now, as Hanson correctly put it, Rodgers is on fire. In his last seven starts (he missed one game with a concussion), he's been playing as well as anybody this side of Tom Brady. He has a 71.4 completion percentage, averaged 9.3 yards per attempt, and threw 16 touchdown passes and just two interceptions in his last 206 attempts. His passer rating in those seven games: 122.0.
"He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league," said McDermott. "We've got to keep him on his toes."
By keeping him on his toes, McDermott means getting pressure on him. They sacked him three times and got a decent rush on him in Week 1. But the Eagles' pass rush hasn't been nearly as effective lately as it was early on.
They've had more than two sacks in a game just once in the last eight games. McDermott finds himself between a rock and a hard place with his pass rush. Much like last year at this time, he's been having trouble getting consistent pressure with only his front four.
Right end Trent Cole leads the team in sacks with 10, but has been shut out in five of the last seven games he's played. Brandon Graham's season-ending knee injury has forced McDermott to play left end Juqua Parker a lot more snaps than he'd like.
The alternative is to blitz a lot. But with a young defense that still is painting-by-numbers, that can be risky business.
"We've got to get pressure on him," McDermott said of Rodgers. "It's huge. But he throws well against the blitz.
"I've done some research and he's actually better against the blitz than not, which is the sign of a great quarterback. So we're going to have to mix it up."
The Eagles are second in the league in interceptions with 23. But they've got just four in the last six games. Twenty-six of the 31 touchdown passes they've given up have come in the last 12 games.
"Stats can be misleading," said safety Quintin Mikell. "A lot of those touchdown passes have been coming in the red zone and areas like that where we've been having issues all year and where we need to step it up. Now is the time of year where we've got to nip those things in the bud."
It would be easier to nip them in the bud if Rodgers weren't on the other side of the line. The Packers are seventh in the league in red-zone offense this year; the Eagles are 32nd in red-zone defense. Their .767 red-zone failure rate is the worst in the league in nearly a quarter-century.
"The biggest thing [in the red zone] really is experience," Mikell said. "We have a [complicated] red-zone defense. It's tough to pick up. A lot of checks. A lot of movement. Teams do a lot of different things down there.
"There's no margin for error. It boils down to the guys understanding where they're supposed to be and being there."
This will be the first postseason experience for many of Mikell's young defensive teammates.
"All we can really do is explain to the guys that it's a different speed," he said. "It's faster. It's more intense. Every mistakes is magnified, and there isn't any room for error."
No room for error, and one of the league's hottest quarterbacks on the other side of the line.
"If you give him time, he'll pick you apart," defensive end Darryl Tapp said. "He'll pick you apart. We've definitely got to have our act together as far as getting pressure from our front four and from our blitz schemes."
What McDermott's defense needs most Sunday is help, a lot of it, from Michael Vick and the offense. The Eagles own the league's second highest-scoring offense. Set a franchise record for points scored for the third straight year.
They've scored 27 or more points nine times this season. They are 9-0 in those games. When they don't score 27 or more, they are 1-6.
"They're going to be confident," Hanson said of the Packers. "When you've got a quarterback like that and receivers like that, you're going to go into any game confident.'"
DID YOU NOTICE?
-- Chad Hall did the Linc version of the Lambeau Leap after his 4-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Hall finished with a career-high six catches for 84 yards.
-- Center Mike McGlynn, who hadn't been scheduled to play, was forced into action after right guard Max Jean-Gilles went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter. Nick Cole, who had been playing center, moved over to Jean-Gilles' spot at right guard.
-- The crowd booed Kevin Kolb after the second of his three interceptions early in the third quarter. Kolb was looking for wide receiver Riley Cooper, but didn't see Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman slide over in front of him.
-- The way Miles Austin turned rookie corner Trevard Lindley around on his 32-yard completion in the third quarter.
-- Left tackle Austin Howard's all-day-long problems with Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
-- Former first-round pick Brodrick Bunkley, who lost his starting job to Antonio Dixon earlier this season, played most of the game at right tackle and continued to struggle. He was in on just two tackles.
-- Eagles did a nice job on Cowboys tight end Jason Witten until late in the game when he caught two passes on the Cowboys' game winning scoring drive, including a 4-yard TD catch.
-- How easily Jason Hatcher got around right guard Nick Cole for a sack early in the fourth quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
-- For the third straight year, the Eagles set a new franchise scoring record. They finished with 439 points (27.4 p/game), which surpassed last year's record of 429 (26.8).
-- Eagles have scored 27 or more points nine times this season. They are 9-0 in those games. They are 1-6 when they've scored less than 27.
-- The Eagles have scored on their first possession in just two of their last seven games. Overall, they've scored on their first possession seven times this season. Their first-possession numbers this season: 84 plays, 617 yards, 7.3 yards per play, 24 first downs and seven touchdowns.
-- They have scored on 17 of 32 first and second possessions this season. Their first- and second-possession numbers: 167 plays, 1157 yards, 6.9 yards per play, 54 first downs, 13 TDs and four field goals.
-- For just the second time this season, there was a scoreless first quarter in an Eagles game. The only other time was against Tennessee in Week 7.
-- For the first time this season, the Eagles defense wasn't scored on in the first half. The Cowboys' only first-half points came on DeMarcus Ware's 17-yard touchdown return of a Kevin Kolb fumble.
-- The Eagles are 37-18 in regular-season games in December and January under Andy Reid.
-- For only the fifth time this season, the Eagles held an opponent to 17 points or less. It equals the fewest times they've held opponents to 17 or less in a season during the Andy Reid era. In 1999, they also only had five games where they did it.
-- In their last six games, the Eagles have allowed 128.2 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry. In their previous six games, they had allowed just 73.7 per game and 3.6 per carry.
-- Opposing tight ends have caught 79 passes for 912 yards and 11 touchdowns against the Eagles this season. Last year, they had 102 catches for 1,079 yards and 10 touchdowns.
-- Kevin Kolb has thrown seven interceptions in 189 attempts this season. Vick has thrown six in 372 attempts.
-- The Eagles have turned the ball over 16 times in the last seven games after turning it over just nine times in the first nine games.
-- The Eagles, who gave up six sacks yesterday, have allowed four or more sacks in a game six times this season. They've allowed at least three sacks in 10 games and have given up 12 sacks in their last two games.
-- The Eagles have allowed a total of 50 sacks this season. It's the most since 1998 when they gave up 56.
-- For just the third time this season, the Eagles didn't have an interception yesterday.
-- Opponents have completed 37 of 57 passes and thrown 22 touchdown passes in the red zone against the Eagles this season. In the last eight games, opposing QBs are 18-for-28 with 13 TD passes inside the Eagles' 20.
-- The Eagles committed just four penalties against the Cowboys. It was the second fewest they've committed in a game this season. They had just three against the Bears in Week 12. They lost both games.
-- David Akers has converted 26 of his last 28 field goal attempts.
-- In the last nine games, 15 of Sav Rocca's 38 punts have been returned for a total of 58 yards (3.9 yards per return).
-- Rocca has just two touchbacks in 73 attempts this season.