Ground and pound offense came to work tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin – for one team, at least. While the Packers scooped up 31 measly rushing yards between three players not named Aaron Rodgers on 15 carries, the Eagles gobbled up 163 yards on 27 carries between Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, and Darren Sproles. Howard alone made sure to seize his opportunities picking up 5.8 yards per carry and scoring three total times –two on the ground and 1 through the air.
Miles Sanders, aside from his spectacular offensive production (11 carries, 72 yards, 6.5 yards per carry), also returned the kick that sparked the entire offensive explosion in the 2nd quarter. The offense only had to go 35 yards for an Alshon Jeffery touchdown.
The rushing attack was so terrific that Carson Wentz only ended up with 160 yards passing. They simply didn’t need to pass, and admittedly, they didn’t need to late in the game. A few questionable pass plays on their last offensive series had me questioning Doug Pederson’s decisions. On 2nd and 5, Pederson called a pass play with a little over 5 minutes or so remaining when the Packers defensive line was put on skates. This was definitely a situation where a head coach could’ve been conservative enough to simply keep calling run plays – Green Bay didn’t have a chance in stopping them.
Now, on defense – there’s an elephant in the room, and we all need to, HOWIE ROSEMAN needs to acknowledge it. The pass defense is atrocious. The Eagles desperately must address this massive concern or suffer the consequences against big times passers like Aaron Rodgers. #GetRamsey
In tight moments, the pass defense was serviceable, and they finally came up with a big interception in the most clutch moment of the game. Nigel Bradham made up for his dropped interception, which likely would’ve gone for six, by securing the tipped Rodgers pass at the end of the game. Next time, though, please just fall down in the endzone. Thanks.
Anyway, as bad as the pass defense was, the run defense was as amazing. As previously stated, the Packers couldn’t get anything going on the ground – it was almost shocking that they kept trying. Aaron Jones carried the ball 13 times for 21 yards and a short yardage touchdown early on. It honestly seemed like every time the Packers ran, they lost a down and a few yards.
One thing Eagles fans can maybe question about this game, and most games, is the ability for officiating crews to get calls right. The most egregious tonight was the pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling that bounced on the ground and then into his hands late in the game. It was an obvious incompletion that was ruled a catch. It wasn’t ground breaking, but it turned 2nd and 10 into 2nd and 2. Any amount of yards in a game of inches during a drive like that count.
There were ticky-tacky plays all night. They really seemed to let the Packers play while not quite allowing the Eagles, aside from one blatant pass interference on Maddox, to play without penalty. You can make an argument the Eagles defensive backs deserved a lot of the flags they saw, but one in particular stood out. Andrew Sendejo made a terrific play to force an incompletion late in the game and had his arm around the Packers receivers’ waist. There’s no way it was hooked around the receiver, nor did it impede his ability to make a play on the ball. It should’ve been an easy no call.
I digress. The Eagles got a really solid team win tonight, and although they made mistakes, they fought through adversity and battled until the end. It really does feel nice to be on the right side of that game-ending interception, huh Philly?
On that note, Go Saints (just for Sunday night).