The Packers came ready to play on Monday Night Football in unfriendly territory and perhaps played themselves back into the race for the NFC North in a 27-13victory over the Eagles.
Philly, hanging on by a thread in the jam-packed NFC East, will now likely have to run the table after falling to 5-6 with the setback.
The offense was fine, nothing special but as to be expected — with a second-half Jordan Matthews injury confounding woes from the absence of Ryan Mathews.
An aggressive and prolific start for Carson Wentz faltered into mediocrity as the quarterback was unable to mount any sustained drives, with a makeshift offensive line giving him limited time in the pocket.
And worst of all was the Eagles defense, which looked nothing like one of the top units in the game as it was shred to pieces by Aaron Rodgers, failed to collect a sack or turnover and was futile on third down. Davante Adams caught five passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive output at wideout for Green Bay.
Here’s a closer look at the three things we saw in Monday’s setback:
Not a lot of stop, a whole lot of go
A12-yard touchdownAdams came on the heals of a 10-play, 75-yard drive for the Packers right out of the locker room, mixing quick passes with Rodgers scrambles to take an early lead in front of a raucous Philadelphia crowd.
A second drive went 75-yards too, with a second touchdown strike threading the needle for 29-yards. For a second time Adams came up with the ball at the opposite end of Rodgers’ throw.
The Packers went 6-for-6 on third down before the Eagles finally got their defense off the field on their seventh try late in the second quarter. In all, Green Bay converted 10-of-14third down opportunities, with one 32-yard pass to Jordy Nelson late in the fourth leading to a mass exodus of fans with an 11-point deficit in toe. The Packers also converted a fourth and five on a Nelson reception to ice the game deep in their own territory (which ended on a field goal after a 17-play drive).
The Eagles responded to Green Bay’s opening touchdown with a long march of their own, as Wentz connected with Dorial Green-Beckham four times for 53-yards worth of catches on an 11 play 81-yard drive capped off by a QB scramble into the corner of the end zone to tie things at 7-all.
With their backs literally against the end zone, at their own foot line after a spectacular Green Bay punt, a Wentz to Jordan Matthews connection on a fade route out of the end zone got the Eagles moving inside the two minute mark. Wentz third big scramble of the game got the Eagles their second first down and a few plays later Caleb Sturgis ended the first half with 48-yard field goal and a 14-10 deficit.
The Eagles only compiled 292yards of offense, in the face of Green Bay’s 388yards from scrimmage but a lot of it came in garbage time. The Packers held the ball for 34:30 of clock. The scoreboard was not indicative of the full domination unleashed at the Linc.
Wentz made a big mistake on the first drive of the second half, throwing an interception to HaHa Clinton-Dix following a no-call pass interference on the play before. The throw was ill-advised and Wentz appeared to be pressing. A play later Rodgers went deep to Adams on a 50-yard bomb but a settled-down Eagles defense held Green Bay to a Crosby field goal.
Fletcher Cox followed with a big mistake on defense later in the third quarter (after the Eagles added a 50-yard Sturgisfield goal) slamming into Rodgers for a roughing the passer penalty after a third down incomplete.The Packers made Cox and the defense pay for the mistake, eventually punching in for a touchdown and a 24-13 advantage at the start of the fourth.
More penalty woes plagued the Eagles as DGB committed an offensive pass interference penalty on a 50-yard plus screen scamper by Darren Sproles that was, of course, called back as the Eagles attempted to close a big late-game gap. The drive would end in a punt.