One team in Sunday’s match was considered an undisputed contender for the NFC. Star protection. Destructive running game. Quarterback MVP candidate.
A few months ago, it was hard to imagine that the Philadelphia Eagles would trade places with the Green Bay Packers this season.
The Packers are having a bad season, and it got worse when the Eagles did everything they wanted. The Eagles’ offense was fantastic: an impressive 40-33 victory on Sunday night. Even worse than the Packers’ loss that reduced them to 4-8 this season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled out in the fourth quarter with an injury that Rodgers said was in his ribs. Considering he left the game while it was still competitive, his status next week should be in question.
The Eagles are 10-1 this season, but until Sunday night they had been losing and nearly missing in their previous two games. Against the Packers, the Eagles looked like Super Bowl contenders again, at least on offense. They had 363 rushing yards, them most in game since 1948.
Maybe it’s just a reflection of the Packers defense.
The attack of the eagles has a great night
The Packers’ defense this season should have been good. How often in the offseason have you heard the term “charged” in reference to the Green Bay defense?
This group was mediocre most of the season, and on Sunday night they were just bad. Before the third quarter was halfway through, the Eagles had two 100-yard rushes. Jalen Hurts had 130 points and Miles Sanders had 116 with 7:19 left in the third quarter. By that time, the Eagles had 34 points.
The Eagles didn’t need to be invented. After two incomplete passes to start the game, the Eagles dribbled in 16 of their next 17 plays. Green Bay could do little to stop this. Hurts had a monster first half.
Rodgers helped keep the Packers in the game. He had good touchdowns on Randall Cobb and Aaron Jones. After a terrible start and a 13-0 hole, the Packers were leading 14-13. The Packers’ defense was poor, but the Eagles’ defense didn’t cover itself in glory either.
Rogers played the offense. He reported that he had a broken thumb on his right hand. During the game, the NBC broadcast focused on him grabbing his side while the Packers’ athletic training staff watched the injury. He flinched after shots in the second half.
Late in the third quarter, the Packers had many runs and ended with a field goal, and Rodgers went to the locker room to have an x-ray. Jordan Love took over as quarterback at the Packers’ next possession.
It looked like the game was up, but Love and rookie wide receiver Christian Watson kept it up.
Eagles get key drive in 4th quarter
On Lava’s first possession, Watson caught a pass on the crossing route and used his speed to go around the sideline defense for a 63-yard touchdown. The Packers didn’t have Rodgers and their defense wasn’t doing well, but the Eagles’ lead after Watson’s touchdown was only 37-30.
The Packers needed a stoppage, and then maybe Love could make a comeback that would go down in Packers history. The Eagles made a long trip that became a statement about their attack. They continued to run with the ball and get first downs, nearly seven minutes behind the times. Jake Elliott hit 54 yards from the field, a risky decision because a miss would have put the Packers in good field position, seven points behind, with 2:16 left. Basically it was then.
The Packers hit a field goal in the last two minutes, but the field goal failed and the Eagles hit the first down they needed to kill time.
The Eagles can be pleased that the offense, and especially the Hearts, looked great on Sunday night. Philadelphia had 490 yards. There is still work to be done in defense. But for the Eagles it could have been much worse. They could be wobbly Packers.