Packers Pray on Eagles In 14-Point Win
The Green Bay Packers advanced to 9-3 with a 30-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
The Packers looked sloppy early until Rashan Gary and Keke Kingsley had back-to-back sacks to knock Carson Wentz and the Eagles out of field goal range. The Packers scored on the ensuing drive as Davante Adams had four catches on five targets including a 1-yard touchdown on 4th and goal.
The Packers used an explosive offense (7.2 yards/play) and a disruptive defense (11 QB hits, 7 sacks) to dominate the Eagles for the majority of the game.
On Green Bay’s next offensive possession Rodgers looked to his tight ends. Rodgers found Robert Tonyan wide open for a 25-yard touchdown to end the drive, but the big play came from the veteran Marcedez ‘Big Dog’ Lewis as he got free down the sideline for a 36-yard gain.
The Packers coasted into halftime with a 14-3 lead.
Aaron Rodgers and Adams connected for a second touchdown on Green Bay’s second drive in the second half. The touchdown capped a 99-yard drive that started with 42-yard bomb to Adams from the back of Green Bay’s endzone. The touchdown also made history as it marked the 400th of Rodgers’ career (faster ever to reach 400) and the 200th of Adams’ career.
The Packers appeared to be running away with things as Doug Pederson inserted Jalen Hurts into the lineup halfway through the 4th quarter. Hurts made a few nice plays with his legs and his arm to get the Eagles into Packer territory before facing a 4th and 18 from the Packers 32-yard line. Rolling out to his right, Hurts threw the best ball of his young NFL career to Greg Ward Jr. for a touchdown. A minute and 22 seconds later, Jalen Reagor was standing in the end zone after a 75-yard punt return touchdown. A shanked extra point later left the score at 23-16 — Packers lead — with 6:30 left to go in the game.
After trading punts, the Packers had the ball with 2:57 left in the game and the Eagles still had all three timeouts. The Packers ran Aaron Jones up the middle, and he got tripped up for a 3-yard gain. As the Eagles took their first timeout, CBS Broadcaster Tony Romo mentioned that Jones was almost able to slip away from that tackle for a big gain. On the very next play, Aaron Jones busted free and was ushered into the endzone for a 77-yard touchdown by a cast of blockers.
Hurts trying to make one last ditch effort in his breakout game was pressured — and hit — by Preston Smith as he threw the ball. The ball fluttered downfield, and Darnell Savage made a leaping grap to secure his third interception in the last two games.
The special teams unit, specifically the punt teams, continue to plague the Packers. JK Scott has had difficulties with his power this year, and when he does get ahold of them he seems to be ‘out-kicking’ his coverage which results in big returns (Packers have allowed two of the four punt-returns in the NFL this year). The punt-return team continues to set-up the offense with terrible field position, and Mason Crosby has missed an XP in back-to-back games. These are simple things that Super Bowl contenders have figured out come playoff time.
The Packers have a three-game lead in the NFC North, and they are in second place in the entire NFC. Yet, I still believe that they have not played a complete four quarters of mistake-free football. Hopefully, they are saving those performances for the playoffs.