On a night of historic offensive numbers for Philadelphia, Jordan Love took over control of the Packer offense in the 4th quarter after an oblique injury forced Aaron Rodgers to the sidelines. Love produced two scoring drives that tallied ten points. The second drive stalled after a pass to Randle Cobb was broken up by K’Von Wallace that could have been penalized for pass interference, but no call was made. Unfortunately, Love’s heroics were not enough.
The Packer offense found their rhythm in Philadelphia. Scoring 33 points is the season high for this 2022 Packer team. A.J. Dillon averaged 8 yards a carry and 8 yards on 4 completions. Jordan Love passed for 113 yards on six completions on nine attempts for a 146.8 QB rating. But the offense could not overcome Rodgers’ two interceptions.
The first set up the Eagles with a short field at the Packer’s 29 yard line. Three plays later, the Packers were down 13 points in the first quarter. The second snuffed out a scoring drive, but the defense was able to create a turnover on a huge tackle by Rudy Ford forcing the fumble. Walker had a great return on that fumble that was a high reel in itself. His 63 yard return set up the offense and you have to give him props for that.
Give this Packer offense credit too for not quitting. They battled back to tie the score at 20, but the Eagles last second drive before the half, commencing with a back shoulder toss past Douglass for the touchdown, ended the Packer’s momentum. The third quarter started with the Packers offense going three and out after Rodgers was sacked on third down. Rogers was injured on the play. His injury was communicated to the press as an oblique injury, but he might have broken ribs based on the location of his pain on the sideline.
Lost in this defeat were good showings of potential from Love and Christian Watson. Love hit Watson in stride on a short crosser on a first down play from the Packer 37. Watson had two steps on his defensive back and left the entire Eagle defense in his dust as he accelerated all the way to the end zone. Love also made accurate throws to Lazard, Cobb and Aaron Jones. He looked calm and his passes were accurate.
With nine minutes left, the Packers were seven points down. The Eagles’ first play was a run right at Quay Walker. He missed the tackle, and the Eagles gained 11. After another scramble run by Hurst for another first down, Walker missed another tackle on Sanders, allowing 4 instead of lost yardage. The Packers had the Eagles at the 48 of the Eagles on a third and three. Walker made the tackle…making contact 8 yards downfield. Walker did not advance towards the line of scrimmage after the snap and could not get off the block of the Eagle offensive lineman. The Eagles kicked a 54 yard field goal that sealed the victory.
Perhaps the best special teams plays of the season came from kick returner Keisean Nixon. His 53 yard return near the end of the game padded his stats, which were impressive. (5 returns for 172 total yards) Rudy Ford made his first start in the secondary and had nine solid tackles. He took over for Darnell Savage who, in an early sub package, suffered a toe injury while missing a tackle and was not missed.
The Packer defense was roasted by the Eagles for 363 rushing yards, 500 total yards, 29 first downs and 35 and a half minutes of possession time. All of those numbers produced 40 Philadelphia points that were just too much for the Packer offense to match.
The Eagles drove the field on their first drive, a seventy five yard 10 play drive that was a highlight reel for Jalen Hurts and a lowlight reel for Quay Walker. The initial Packer defensive game plan seemed to have Walker shadowing Hurts on pass plays to prevent scramble runs. Walker is billed as the fastest linebacker on the team. But speed can only be used once the correct play diagnosis is made. There have been some recent articles talking about Walker’s improvement over the season, but this writer does not see it. He repeatedly failed to keep Hurts in check and the 200 rushing yards that came from Eagles not named Hurst, were often running right at Walker.
He is slow to diagnose and cannot get off any block, even tight ends. He did make a couple of plays in space, running down backs on outside runs, but in the middle he plays small, slow and weak. Five hundred yards and 40 points are not all on Walker. Adrian Amos seemed like he was a step slow all night. Rasul Douglass looked like he belonged back on the Arizona practice squad, giving up huge plays, including a back breaking last second long TD right before the half.
Th Packers now have a date in Chicago with the Bears next week. The Bears have one fewer loss than this Packer team. It is possible Jordan Love will start his first game in 2022. It’s Packers v. Bears and Packer fans can’t wait to get this loss in their rear view mirror.