- GB gets a season saving win to keep their playoff hopes alive
- The Packer offense was efficient converting an absurd 10/14 3rd downs while earning 3 1st downs from Eagle penalties.
- #12 looked like his 2014 self, 30-39 for 313 yards, 0 sacks or turnovers, and 2 TD
- #12 smartly used his legs (until a hamstring? injury later) to move the chains when needed. But in general, less of him racing around looking for something and more of the high % quick throws to blunt any Eagle pass rush and letting his WR make plays
- GB had 8 yard/attempt above the season mark of 6.85. On the season, #12 ranks 25th in the NFL in Yds/Attempt which is between Colin Kapernick and Ryan Fitzpatrick
- #12 hit 8 different targets on his 30 completions with Davante Adams having a superlative effort especially in the red zone.
- Jared Cook caught 1 pass on 2 targets but his presence in the middle of the field seems to open up more underneath space for Cobb and Adams.
- Offense did a great job closing out the game with a 8+ minute FG drive
- Looked like a long night for the D early on, but things settled down and they only allowed 13 points.
- HHCD with a big INT on the Eagles first possession of the 2nd half.
- Randall back in the secondary made a difference. He wasn’t flawless, notably missing a big tackle on 3rd down that let the Eagles convert, but did finish with 7 solo tackles and provide some more stability on the back end. Playing a bad WR group in Philly was helpful.
- GB with a couple inexcusable encroachment penalties on 3rd down.
- Julius Peppers had a sack but also whiffed on a sack and grabbed a facemask on a 3rd down giving the Eagles new life. I will keep complaining about his $10.5M deal
- SPECIAL TEAMS
- Cobb muffed a punt but recovered avoiding a disaster that would have given the Eagles life
- Jacob Schum only had 1 punt but it was a beauty pinning the Eagles at the 1
- Kick coverage was great allowing just 16.3 per return on average. No Josh Huff swerving through the coverage units was helpful.
Demarious Randall is not listed so he is active. But I have no guesses as to how close to 100% he is. We should know early on if he is on any kind of a snap count. The Eagle WR aren’t anything too fast which has killed Gunter and Rollins. Jake Ryan and Blake Martines are both scratches at ILB which would leave Joe Thomas and Carl Bradford as the starters. So in reality, that means a lot of Clay Matthews inside with Peppers, Perry, Elliott, and maybe Datone Jones taking snaps at OLB. Lang and Tretter are out. I would have to think (hope) that Jason Spriggs and not Don Barclay is the man then at RG.
For the Eagles, former Oregon megastar Taylor Hart is inactive as is former Chip Kelly 1st round pick Nelson Agholor. As expected, Ryan Matthews is out for Philly meaning Darren Sproles should carry the load with an assist from former Eagles Megastar Kenjon Barner. The less we see of Sproles on a LB the better. Ask 2011 AJ Hawk for further details.
17 WR Nelson Agholor
24 RB Ryan Mathews
51 DE Steven Means
69 G Dillon Gordon
72 T Halapoulivaati Vaitai
77 DT Taylor Hart
79 G Brandon Brooks
Apparently #12 turned 33 on Friday. ESPN didn’t say if he celebrated with his family. Spriggs does start at RG. GB immediately jumps into no huddle. Nice throw underneath the Eagle zone sets up 3rd & 1. When Eagles are in zone I hope #12 is patient and doesn’t force deep throws. He smartly uses his legs to move the sticks off a bootleg. Cobb slips a tackle on a quick throw and takes it inside the Eagles 40. Same thing on the other side and GB is in FG range. These are the quick throws I’ve been waiting for. And sure enough, #12 rooted in the pocket has to throw it wide of a covered Richard Rodgers. On 3rd & 4 a vintage #12 throw to Cook over the middle. That’s why a TE matters because GB has been awfully horizontal lately. Need a TE with good hands to stretch the middle of the field and also open things for Cobb on crossing routes. #12 again takes the space from the Eagles D for a 1st down. #12 slings a dart to Adams on a slant for 6. 10-play 5′ drive to open the game. Now for the downbeat. GB (although not last week) has started fast in games only to dissolve as the game went on. But that was certainly encouraging.
Eagles copying GB so far with easy underneath throws and I think have gains of 9, 13, and 8 on 1st down so far. That’s pretty good. Ex-Packer washout Allen Barbre destroys Clay on an end around. Shades of what Clay did to Russell Wilson in the NFC Championship Game I don’t want to talk about. Next play, off play action, Eagles find acres of space in the GB zone and they’re in the red zone. Couple more slants gets the Eagles inside the GB 5. Off a bootleg, Wentz dives in for 6 as Hyde couldn’t stop him.
GB still no huddle, Starks with some tough running to move the chains but bottled up on his next attempt. Nelson catches an out for a 1st down. He still lines up outside, but wonder if GB will take a page from Arizona and move Nelson around a bit more, as he, like Fitzgerald, is a good run blocker. #12 slips one to Nelson for a big gain on a funky formation with Starks, Montgomery, Cobb in the backfield together. Some New Mexico Lobo stuff there. Starks with one of those slow developing pitch plays I hate on 3rd & 1 but Starks with his decisive cutback. Cobb gets GB knocking on the red zone door as the 1st quarter ends
2nd Quarter (GB 7 Eagle 7)
#12 with a beautiful throw to Adams in the corner of the endzone. No idea why Braeden didn’t stick with Adams on his fantasy team. Just inch perfect. Textbook definition of “throwing a WR open” I guess. #12 in a groove so far. GB 14 Eagles 7 14:53′
Peppers can’t get home and another big 1st down gain for the Eagles. John Gruden is unimpressed with the GB defense which might be one of his few negative comments about any team/players I’ve ever heard from him. GB finally with a TFL on 1st down, but Wentz scrambles across midfield to set up a 3rd & 3. He probably could have hit a receiving target over the middle there. Gunter is there early but avoids a DPI flag. First break of serve.
Jeff Janis with a catch on a pick play to set up 3rd & 1. GB ran the option. No idea if that was actually the play call but it worked for the 1st down. Yeah, it was, fake the dive to Montgomery and Cobb available for the pitch. Some Chip Kelly gimmick college stuff that. #12 not happy an Eagle offside was whistled dead. Looked like correct call. Spriggs moves which gives us 5, but #12 wanted to throw it up. 8′ left 2nd qtr and Eagles finally get a little pressure, as Spriggs gets beat by Fletch Cox. #12 finds Cobb out of the slot for enough to get the 1st down with a little help from Cook to draw defenders. Again, nice having a TE as a threat over the middle. And then he flinches on a hard count and now GB faces a 3rd & 7. First longer 3rd down. Interesting formation with Cobb, Cook, Nelson to the right, and slips it to Cobb for the conversion. On 2nd & 10, #12 goes up top to Nelson bypassing Starks in the flat for a nice gain. Nelson just isn’t separating on those vertical routes very often this season. He was singled covered by Eagles 7th rounder Jalen Mills. Eagles D finally gets a 3rd down stop but GB could go for it on 4th & 3 at Eagles 44. Nah, looks like a hard count. #12 takes a TO which really doesn’t make sense if GB is going to punt. And GB does out of the TO, and GB downs the punt at the 1. Officials are discussing it but it looks obvious that GB’s long snapper touched it and regardless Jay Elliott had already reestablished himself in the field of play. Not sure why the consternation. Eagles challenge. Probably worth it to get 19-yards of field position but they lost of course.
Eagles jump but if you’re going to false start that’s the place to do it. Eagles get out of jail on a fade to Matthews. Randall had NO idea where the ball was. Nice throw but Randall needs to do better. But Matthews comes off. Not sure what the Eagle plan was there but it ended courtesy of Mike Daniels. Fake handoff, fake end around, and a big sack puts Eagles in 2nd & 24. Screen forthcoming or something short out of the 2′ warning to give Eagles a shot at 3rd down. GB has 2 TO left. Zack Ertz gets about half of it back and GB uses a TO as Eagles face 3rd & 11 with 1:48 left. Do not like that TO with the GB defense playing like it is. Eagles still have 2 TO. Perry jumps and now it’s 3rd & 6. Randall whiffs badly on a scrambling Wentz who was escaping Clay Matthews pressure. Randall makes the tackle and it’s a punt. Instead, Eagles ball on its own 43. Another easy completion and Eagles are on GB side of the 50. Peppers comes free on a stunt but again can’t get home and Wentz is able to throw it away. GB defense doesn’t inspire much confidence especially our end-of-half D which makes that TO even more baffling. Eagles inside GB 35. Finally Peppers does something and knocks Wentz down. That was very close to a fumble. Rollins on a blitz bats Wentz’ pass away. Nice play. Eagles set up a screen to Sproles but tremendous pursuit by Perry from the backside gets him down. 4th & 7 from GB 31. GB took its last TO and Eagles flirt with going for it but decide to take 48-yard attempt which Sturgis knocks through.
GB 14 Eagles 10 :25 to halftime
GB has no TO and assuming it’s a touchback, would need about 45-yards in :25 to give Crosby a chance. Well, Montgomery down at the 16 with :22 left.
HALFTIME: Stats from ESPN
GB has the edge in possession 17:09 – 12:51. #12 looked great, and long drives fueled by short throws is why we’ve only seen 24 points. It certainly isn’t defense. Somebody’s DC is going to adjust right and stop with the soft zone and dare a QB to throw vertical. Right? Fairly even in stats. The probably unsustainable 6/7 on 3rd down for GB is likely why GB is ahead right now.
Eagles 1st down yards gained
TD drive: +9, +2, +8, +24, +6, +2 (1st & Goal)
Punt drive: +17, +6, -2,
FG Drive: +1, -14, +11, 0, 0
|Passing 1st downs||8||7|
|Rushing 1st downs||5||5|
|1st downs from penalties||0||0|
|3rd down efficiency||6-7||2-4|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-0|
|Yards per Play||6.0||6.2|
|Yards per pass||6.8||7.4|
|Yards per rush||4.5||4.4|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-1||1-1|
Jordan Matthews back out there for the Eagles but seemed glum about it. A run and screen to Matthews gets little. 3rd & 6. Big opportunity early in the half for GB D to get off the field. Again, GB jumps, this time Mike Daniels moves and 3rd & 6 becomes 3rd & 1. Expensive. Dumb. Smallwood bursts through the middle. Matthews guesses wrong on the gap and a Rollins tackle saves an even bigger gain. Doubt that was the play call on 3rd & 6. Smallwood runs around right end for 9.5 on 1st down. Smallwood keeps it going and Eagles at midfield with fresh set of downs. Wentz go blown up by Datone Jones and Burnett tackled Zach Ertz but no flag. That’s twice GB should have been flagged for DPI and weren’t. Lucky. Eagles overthrows his WR and Clinton Dix is the beneficiary. Eagles fan in full throat with their economic anxiety. So much economic anxiety in those stands.
#12 off play action drops it into Adams video game style and GB is at the lip of the red zone. Given a nice clean pocket and tonight at least, Adams needs a tiny window and #12 finds him. Seriously, what was Braeden thinking dropping Adams in fantasy. Michael runs for 6 and Nelson can’t shake his defender on the screen and its 3rd & 3. Seems like GB should have gone faster there with the Eagles on their heels. GB goes 5 wide with trips to the left but with all dday to throw, #12 scrambles around and can’t find anyone. Eagles get the stop and Crosby on for a FG try.
GB 17 Eagles 10 8:51′ 3rd quarter
Randall with a good tackle that time to limit the Eagle gain to 1. Eagles go no huddle. Screens sets up 3rd & 4. GB stays onside but Sproles with simple catch and run to get it. Perry disrupts a screen with his length and it’s 3rd & 9. #12 is in a tent and the sideline report isn’t telling us much. Meanwhile, Eagles give Wentz a clean pocket and Ertz is wide open for the easy conversion. Barner gets another 1st down, although looked like Peppers was being held. Eagles on edge of FG range now. Ertz with a drop and ANOTHER 3rd down. Hyde and Rollins blitz, and pressure gets to Wentz. Sturgis drills a 50-yarder to trim the GB lead.
GB 17 Eagles 13 5:21′ left.
A playoff caliber team scores a TD here and really turns the screw on the Eagles. Starks and Ripkowski (kuuuuhhhhnnnn) with the first 2 touches because that’s how you get your O going. 3rd & 3. Timing all wrong on crossing routes. incomplete. But a RTP flag bails out GB and keeps the drive alive. Wasn’t so much late as perhaps high up near #12 neck and #12 helmet was pushed back which made it look worse. Cam Newton doesn’t get that call. Starks carries out to midfield. Cute play design with fake to the wide side and back to the middle for Starks but didn’t get much. 3rd & 2. Back shoulder juggled but Nelson keeps his concentration and hauls it in. Jalen Mills looks broken. GB inside the Eagle 40. Cook fumbles but it falls back into his arms. Letoff. And there it is, the worst challenge in NFL history even if he’s right. 2-yard pass completion to Jared Cook. Mind you, if he’s wrong, no Eagle challenge for rest of the game and they lose a TO. Again, best case 2nd & 8 becomes 2nd & 10. Brilliant. And they are out of challenges. Promising screen to Starks blown up. Looked like Taylor and Linsley both went for the same Eagle defender instead of picking up the free player and Starks doesn’t get there. But Starks picks up 1st down off a checkdown and GB not in FG range. Gruden says #12 is hurting as 4th Quarter ends.
4th QUARTER: GB 17 Eagles 13
ESPN guessing its a hamstring thing for #12. On 3rd & 10 it’s BIG PLAY DAVANTE (srsly Braeden) on a slant. Some hard running after the catch gets GB inside the 5. Holding on Eagles in the endzone. Terrible call. He tried to hold but didn’t. Refs have been extremely generous to GB tonight. 1st & goal on the 1. 4 WR to the right and incomplete fade to Adams to the left. Perhaps a little too cute on that one. Sometimes you leave that one in the playbook. Ripkowski plunges fwd for the TD!
GB 24 Eagles 13 13:53 left 4Q
Sproles takes a screen deep into GB territory but another friendly flag, this time OPI by Eagle WR erases it. That was actually a good call. Eagle WR blocking right off the snap and pretty obvious OPI. 1st & 20 screen gets the penalty yardage back. 2nd & 10. Miscommunication from Eagles WR and Wentz and it’s 3rd & 10. GB needs to get after Wentz because when he has had time he has found wide open WR. Peppers with a clean shot at the sack but he grabs the facemask (obvious call) and Eagles gifted a 1st down by the $10.5M man. Looked like GB was going to force a punt. Another screen and this time no OPI and Sproles takes it to GB 35. Burnett destroys a screen as Eagles go to hurry up. Bad snap and Matthews gets to Wentz and it’s 3rd & 19. Screen to Sproles seems like the obvious call. Matthews on the sideline. Wentz just off the mark with Randall in coverage and it’s 4th & 19. Cobb muffs the punt but gets back on it.
GB 24 Eagles 13 10:18′ left
GB backed up inside its own 5. Starks run gets nowhere. #12 hits Ripkowski for some breathing room but GB facing 3rd & 5. A couple first downs here might be enough to salt this one away. Eagles jumped and Bahktiari bolts out of his stance to get a free 5-yards and the 1st down. Bahktiari dangerously close to getting a false start as he was slow to jump. Starks with some patient running to roll the clock under 8′. GB in no hurry here. Quick strike to Nelson gets another 1st down and GB can chew more clock. Eagles didn’t fool #12 with its pressure. 1st down run a pretty safe bet from here on our from GB and clock gets under 6′. #12 goes deep for Nelson for some reason. Accurate throw but Nelson couldn’t get a play on it amidst some handchecking. Good no call. But that’s just good old aggressive play calling that makes MM famous. On 3rd & 12, a long time in a nice clean pocket and Nelson eventually works himself wide open at midfield. Clock under 5′. Starks busts free out of the pistol and a nice gain on 1st down. No idea who #40 is on GB but he is in the backfield with Ripkowski and Starks. Another 1st down. Eagles no start using TO . 2nd & 10 for GB 3:20′ left
Hold on Linsley backs up GB to a 2nd & 20. Not a terrible hold to take to avoid a free run at #12 I guess. Blocking might have been good too because #12 zipped it to Nelson for a gain into FG range. Ripkowksi for a nothing run and it’s 3rd & 18. ESPN now talking about #12 Thanksgiving turkey. I wonder if he was with family for it. Eagles take their 2nd TO. This seems like a good screen down or really anything safe to either get Eagles to use their last TO. Quick throw to Adams who runs out of bounds like an idiot at the Eagles 40. So GB will punt back with about 3′ left. Eagles with 1 TO. Eagles with 12 men in formation so it’s 4th & 5 and MM smartly decides to bring the O back out. Might as well from the Eagles 35. But GB uses a TO. I would go for it here and try and finish this off. A punt from the opposition 35 would be ridiculous and pick up maybe 20-25 yards of field position that would easily be erased in a couple plays with Capers late game defense. Don’t bother with a long FG and give Eagles field position, right Gary Kubiak? 4th & 5, Nelson pushes off big time. Clear OPI, he is smirking about it. I think he knows it. Toe taps, and GB inside the Eagles 15. Another missed call benefits GB. This is what a Seattle fan feels like. Lot of inexplicable friendly flags and suddenly loving your team when they’re winning. Couple runs and we’re at the 2′ warning. Crosby helps somebody’s fantasy team and GB extends the lead.
17 Play 78-Yard Drive that took 8:21. That is how you close out a game.
GB 27 Eagles 13 1:57′ left 4Q
Good kick coverage tonight from GB. Josh Hawkins with a nice play. Hawkins another undrafted free agent who made the team out of camp. Clay is still out there which is probably a good sign for his health. Packers had right defense called but Rollins isn’t deep enough in zone and Wentz drops it over him. Julius Peppers with a sack despite a hold. Nick Perry bulls through Jason Peters and its back-to-back sacks. Clock running under 1:20 now. GB OLB padding their stats knowing Eagles have to to go downfield. The underneath throw fails to pickup 4th & a mile. Packers in victory formation for the first time in a long while.
FINAL GB 27 Eagles 13
|Passing 1st downs||15||12|
|Rushing 1st downs||7||7|
|1st downs from penalties||3||1|
|3rd down efficiency||10-14||5-11|
|4th down efficiency||1-1||0-1|
|Yards per Play||5.8||5.0|
|Yards per pass||8.0||5.3|
|Yards per rush||2.6||4.5|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-4||1-1|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|