The Packers entered Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a 3-0 record on the season and 5-0 on Thursday Night Football at Lambeau Field. A four and a half point favorite, the Packers got on the board first with a three-yard run by Aaron Jones with 10:31 to play. After a Mason Crosby field goal early in the second quarter, the Packers were up 10-0 and seemingly in total control of the game.
A 67-yard kickoff return by Miles Sanders gave the Eagles some life. After five plays and 34 yards, they cut the lead to 10-7 after Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for a six-yard touchdown. A field goal by Mason Crosby put the Packers up, 14-13, but the wild second quarter continued. The Eagles marched down the field on a 11-play, 60-yard drive culminating in 3-yard touchdown pass from Wentz to tight end Dallas Goedert.
Just two plays into the next possession, Aaron Rodgers was stripped by Derek Barnett for the first turnover of the game. Four consecutive Jordan Howard runs produced another Philadelphia score, putting the Packers down, 21-13. Rodgers marched the Packers down the field at the closing of the half, finding Geronimo Allison with a 19-yard pass to cut the deficit to 21-20 at the half.
Both teams mounted long scoring drives in the third quarter. The Eagles continued to pound the ball on the ground and finished with a 20-yard pass to Jordan Howard. The Packers continued to rely on Rodgers, hitting Jimmy Graham with a 14-yard pass with 3:16 left in the third to tie the game at 34.
Philadelphia went back on top, using a great combination of run and pass. The Packers didn’t have an answer against the run all day, as Howard took the final two plays of the drive 18 yards on the ground to put the Eagles ahead 34-27.
The Packers had an excellent chance on the next possession, marching down the field 78 yards to the Eagles one. Completely abandoning the run, the Packers failed on four consecutive passes, losing the ball on downs. The allowed the Eagles 50 yards on the next possession but forced a punt. Driving for the potential tying score, the Packers used the pass on every play to get down to the Philadelphia seven. On first and goal, Aaron Jones ran to the Eagles four. With 28 seconds to play, Rodgers attempted to find Marquez Valdes-Scantling, however the pass was broken up and intercepted by Nigel Bradham, sealing the win for the Eagles, 34-27.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 422 yards on 53 attempts for two touchdowns and an interception. Davante Adams had 10 receptions for 180 yards. The rushing game outside of Rodgers’ 46 yards on five attempts was stifled. Jones was held to 21 yards on 13 carries.
Defensively, the Packers were again torched on the ground, allowing 176 yards on 33 carries and two scores. Although they held Carson Wentz to 160 yards passing, he threw three touchdowns and the Packers failed to record a sack or an interception.
At 3-1, the Packers remain on top of the tight NFC North. They head to Dallas for a tough test against the Cowboys on October 6 before returning home for a Monday Night divisional contest against the Detroit Lions.
Run defense aside (because it’s a blatantly obvious issue), there’s a soft spot in our D right behind Martinez that I’ve now seen three teams start to exploit with good success. The Vikes, Broncos, and Eagles all were able to extend drives and convert on third downs attacking that area with combinations of slot hitch and drag routes. If I’m any team that has the Pack on their upcoming schedule, I’m running the ball and attacking the middle-under all day long.
Is it 2012 all over again? A good passing attack (just waking up, it seems), a good pass defense, but a hideous running game and run defense. That may work if you play with a lead.
Adding on to Adam’s comment: while we get exploited behind the LB level, we ourselves rarely throw it to the middle of the field. Instead, we regularly throw it to the sides, deep or shallow. Incidentally, that’s where you find the TEs the most, which may explain why they don’t have a ton of receptions. And that happened with McCarthy as well.
*meant that you find the TEs IN THE MIDDLE the most, so that explains the low yardage they collected this far.
Just to co-sign your observation: Here’s a pic I took of a failed third-and-about-7 in the early forth (if I recall correctly).
Rodgers is trying to force this throw to Davante coming off the far left. But he has Jimmy Graham WIDE OPEN in the middle for a sure fire first down with room to run.
Mercedes Lewis was the cause of Rodgers strip sack, check it out. I thought we signed him for his blocking prowess? That isn’t the first time i’ve seen him whiff on pass blocking, or i wouldn’t bring it up.
Our defensive front got schooled (bad). i’m not going to deal reasons why, they are obvious and others have mentioned.
This game was lost up front…plain and simple, on both sides of the ball. We can dissect, this play and that play all day long. Maybe even bring up a bad call by the ref if it makes us feel better. But we got our asses kicked up front.
Here’s the real problem when you have 4th and goal at the 1, and you don’t call a run play. You have no faith in your line and your telling your line you have no faith in them. On the flip side…if your going to run pass plays….fucking figure out a play that can work, no one can get a good look? I suggest the Packers offense put in some extra time and figure that out. End of the game down 7? That’s embarrassing.
The team is 3-1, i’m not jumping off the cliff, or saying the first 3 games were against easy opponents (which may be true) until this becomes a pattern. That we will find out in 10 days when the Packers face the Cowboy line, Elliot and Pollard. Not too mention Dak and Amari, (Cobb (cough) Witten, and company. If they have the same problems with those boys, then we have a pattern and you call
it how you see it.
Good analysis but lacking one other area of failure…special teams. From the big kick return..to the out of bounds kick…to Shepards ill advised return attempt on the 5….. the packers really helped philly.
The silver lining is…despite royally fuxking up in basically all facets of the game..
The packers still had the opportunity to win convincingly. Rodgers fumble…and the two goal line failures were a 21 pt swing.
Agreed, but I also think that’s exactly what made the game so frustrating. As well as Philly executed and absolutely dominated in the run game, we still had two (two!) goal-to-go possessions in the final minutes of the game to put it away – and came away with zero points.
Isn’t pointing out most of the failure enough Stig. I know the special teams sucked. But
GDI, i’ve been drinking the kool-aid during the 3-0 start. But go ahead, back up the dump truck
and let’s get it all out :)
In less serious entertainment: Some of you may have witness Jordan Howards td run at the beginning of the 4th quarter, with Tramon Williams having a front row seat, watching the whole play develop into a td. Williams was asked why he didn’t dive into the play trying to keep Howard out of the end zone Tramon said: “Are you serious Dawg?..A guy could get hurt doing that.”
I hope you are kidding……
I’m not kidding about him standing there watching the play, but i’m “obviously” kidding about his response to a question never asked. Which i personally thought, was pretty funny. But i have a sense of humor.
Well, I am not saying you don’t have a sense of humor. What I am implying is, that would actually be a believable statement, or at least mental thought every time Tramon Williams is faced with tackling someone. I mean, it is actually kind of believable that he would have that thought process
That’s what makes it funny.
Here, …..in the BEST case scenario, the BEST case. Bringing this current Packer team from not being a playoff team, to building a Championship caliber team is a 2-3 year project, and that is if 80% of the moves are the right moves.
No, we’re not 4-0 and that sucks. I know it sucks because we could be….but we aren’t. Everything in perspective…no body, i mean nobody thought this team would be 3-1 right now. Believe it or not, LeFleur is a coach in training, he’s not going to do everything right. Rodgers isn’t God (although that’s the standard) and he’s going to make mistakes also.
We (as fans) are not looking for the Packers to go to the Super Bowl this season, lets keep this real. But, i think as fans we want to see improvement, we are demanding improvement, something to build on. I think that is happening.
No, i’n not on board with the Turners, Gary’s (too soon?) and Savage didn’t exactly impress me yesterday. Plus i think Pettine got out coached and out schemed. But…i see improvement, something to build on. It’s going to take some time for these coaches, players, and this team to learn, mature, and get on the same page in a new regime. Gute may have some retooling to do in the O line, receiver will still be a question (although Allison and MVS had some moments) and inside linebacker.
At the end of the day, after years of talent regression. For the moment, all we can ask of Gute, LeFleur, Rodgers, and Pettine, is noticeable improvement. As a wise man once said…IT’S A WORK IN PROGRESS. In other words, be happy that he’s being honest and not blowing smoke up your ass.
Sure, things could change. But we’re 3-1 so far, and so far, i’m pretty damn ok with that because i do see improvement. As Packer fans, isn’t that what were looking for?
It’s already better, and you are 100% correct, this is not a Super Bowl team. A couple more drafts and a Tom Brady retirement and it could be. Neither are the Bears nor the Vikings. And of course not Detroit. Is it me or did Matt Stafford stop eating Krispy Kreme every meal?
LaFleur learned something last night I think….it’s all on him, before he could hide. How suck is your running game with 4 passes from the 1? Plus Jones had already run for 1.
Dez Bryant just landed in Green Bay, he heard how great the Fall Family Festival is. He’ll play for the league minimum.
All of you chuckleheads chirping about Packer O and D listen to this…Mason Crosby single-handedly lost us the game on kickoffs! We have more of a special teams crisis than anything right now. I hear Slocom is free :)
He also single handedly stopped a TD on a KO return.
The point is that in today’s NFL there should be no KO return, ever.
Ezra’s correct to a point. It seems to me that with the recent additions of dual yardage placement adjustments on kick-offs and touch backs, a run back in today’s game seems rare. So much so that while i watch the game i’m thinking, why even bother kicking off, it seems like a waste of time. If the NFL wants to eliminate kick-off returns, then just eliminate them and place the ball at the 25, instead of pretending they still exist.
I don’t have hard data on the percentage of touch backs to actual returns, just sayin, off the top of my head.
Ezra, I agree when your team is ahead and has the momentum why allow a kickoff return? Kick the ball out of the endzone. There is no need to get cute on Kickoffs. The other side is, I remember the Patriots used the high pouch kickoff as part of their strategy to get back into, and win the Super Bowl against the Falcons. In the second half while making their comeback they pinned the Falcons at about the 10 or 12 yard line twice with pouch kickoffs. I also remember Belechek claiming the high kickoff HELPED them win another game.
Not sure how many times the high pouch kickoff has bit the Patriots in the butt. However, I know it HELPED the Patriots make their comeback in the Super Bowl.
Another instance where teams can use kickoffs, and it happened twice last year is teams kicking squib kicks to Lucas Patrick of the Packers. Patrick was being used as a deep blocker, at a position most teams put a sure handed receiver or running back. I’m sure teams wanted to see how Patrick handled the ball, and thought he might just fall on the ball. Patrick did well fielding and running with the ball. I think he was injured on the second attempt.
Kickoffs into the playing field can be used as an advantage when your team is behind and needs a boost or Hail Mary type play. I agree with you that it makes no sense to put a kickoff into play when you are ahead and have momentum.
I’m kind of wondering if any thought has been given to trying JK Scott on kickoff duties. If the guy can punt over 60 yards I’m guessing he could boot touchbacks from a tee with regularity. If he can punt with accuracy to hit the corners near the 5-10 yard line, I’m thinking he could kick from a tee and keep it in the field of play. Pat McAfee used to kick off all the time for the Colts and was damn good at it. Of course, JK would need a bit more meat on his bones to smoke a returner off his feet like McAfee once did.
I thought the same thing Mitch. Ideally we would have someone able to kick touchbacks consistently and not put the D behind the 8 ball.
In other Sports: For those born and bred a Wisconsin sports fan, the 8th ranked Badgers will be taking on Northwestern at Camp Randall today at 11 CT. Looking forward (hopefully) to watching the slaughter.
A win is a win.
The mathematics are wrong, the Packers got robbed. The Packers were tied with the Eagles at 34, but somehow 7 Green Bay points disappeared in the article, and that’s why Green Bay lost. The Game should have been tied yet at 34, but evidently they didn’t play any overtime, so I just don’t get it. With Danny Vitale, and Aaron Jones, both able to breathe yet, the coach didn’t feel that he should risk running the football. Scared, I suppose, that one of his backs could get hurt. Jamal Williams could likely have got into the endzone with a brain concussion. Number 10 was all alone in the endzone also, (Shepard) but Rodgers selects only receivers that he trusts, and evidently # 10 isn’t one of them. Jimmy Graham should go play basketball someplace, our unsung and oldest tight end Lewis out-produces him. Lots more problems to fix also. This was a gift to the Eagles, and to Doug Pederson for his years as a backup, might teach young LaFleur something about play calling. LaFleur is the one with a brain concussion, if it weren’t for Mike Pettine, he’d be fired already. There ought to be a Mike Pettine show each week, so he can point out LaFleur, and his P P Offense.
Yea, and maybe during Pettines first show, he can explain how his run defense is so strong.
The blame game is a broad stroke.
Say no to drugs kids.
Update: Shocking as this might be to some, NFL QB’s tend to throw to receivers they trust. The same way a manager is going to start his best pitcher on opening day, or start the World Series. Who is the NBA coach going to go to, down by one with 5 seconds left taking the ball out at half court, someone he doesn’t trust? This isn’t complicated..
Not quite sure why Rodgers hasn’t built up trust with Shepard. After all…Shepard is 0-1 in completions in his NFL career.
Yet another head scratcher.
You really need to hand it to the Eagles. Their odds of winning this game were minute.
Lambeau Field in September.
Short week. Basically just a couple days to prep with the Packers having at least 50% more prep time not having to travel.
Cornerback cupboard nearly bare. By the end of the game they only had two! Craig James was an undrafted free agent who is only starting year 2 in the league. Where was he last year? With the Vikings! Got trained by DC George Edwards and Mike Zimmer! Then destiny brought him to Philly to help defeat Green Bay.
Then the refs did what they could to give the game to the Packers. (Yes, a couple calls went the Eagles way but most went the Packers way. That TD called back due to offensive pass interference was ridiculous and the booth man had to take it back. James did not “bear hug” on that interception as some delusional Packer fans claim. Ridiculous. He is allowed to knock the ball away. Had that been a Packer you’d be bragging about it.)
Against all that the Eagles still won! Incredible! Set up in every way to lose and they overcame it all.
The last paragraph says the Packers remain on top of the NFC North but that is not true. The Lions are on top. No defeats unlike the Packers. Now, I do think the Lions will lose today. Still, accuracy is important. Until the Lions lose the Packers do not “remain on top”.
From the schedule I anticipated the Packers at this point in the season to be 3-1. It is just that I thought they would lose in Chicago and win this Eagles game. September games are in the past for the Packers and they’ve used up 3 of their home games. At Cowboys is a tough one. I hate both teams but hate the Cowboys more so I’ll actually be rooting for the Packers. I just don’t see them winning that game. Then, two more home games! At that point 5 out of 7 games will have been home games! Yes, the NFL likes to try to help the Packers get out to a fast start. Yes, they do!
Next time you “anticipate” a teams record, say it before the fact. Not after, trying to make yourself look smart.
You then must have “anticipated” the Packers beating the queens. I’m sure, according to your past logic, the Packers won because…it was their turn.
Just stop embarrassing yourself already, it’s getting mundane.
I finally watched the game. Unfortunately, I already knew the outcome. First, the Eagles are just as trashy as their fans. Headhunting everywhere. They even knocked out one of their own guys trying to take out a Packer. There was Eagle fans picking fights in the stands as well. Both equally pathetic. I hope Jamal Williams is doing well.
What the hell is Jimmy Graham on this team for? Sure, he had a TD catch but he dropped a few more. I know a guy who used to lead the league in TD catches that is sitting home right now. Maybe he’s the one that should be in the endzone. 87>80.
Speaking of the endzone, how do you not try running it in with that many tries? I thought this was supposed to be a “run-based” offense, and not even one attempt. Another “run-based” offense that has Rodgers leading the rushing stat line, lol. Then they can’t find a single pass play that will work that doesn’t involve Davante. Does he need to be the entire offense? They need to figure this redzone stuff out.
Not to complain too much. I thought the passing offense looked better besides those last two drives. They have a new coach and there will be bumps along the way. Give it time, hopefully they figure it out. Vikings lost to da Bears, and the Lions dropped the ball as usual.
Yea man…..that 87 for 80 pick-up was a colossal fail of a move. It’s interesting to go back and read the comments in here when all that went down.
Packers 3-0: It’s the dawn of a new age.
Packers 3-1: Whaaaa! Same old Packers! Fire everyone!
Why am not surprised a Bears fan has trouble with nuance?
Helmet to Helmet on Williams changed the feel of this game. Coupled with the two bad kickoffs. Should have locked down this game.