The Green Bay Packers offense put up 30 points for only the second time this season and did so against a very good defense. Unfortunately, the Packers defense couldn’t get a stop or come close to slowing the Eagles’ run game.
Now at 4-8, if there was some hope of the Packers making a playoff push, those are likely all but gone.
As I do after every Packers game, here are my instant takeaways from their performance.
– I imagine all of us have been wondering if the Packers would transition to Jordan Love at any point this season once they are eliminated from playoff contention. Aaron Rodgers had been playing through a thumb injury, but his latest injury may not give Green Bay much of a choice.
– It was a small sample size, but Love looked confident — he was letting it rip — went through his progressions, extended plays, and had a few impressive tosses. An encouraging performance.
– Granted, the Eagles’ offense makes a lot of defenses look bad, but my goodness, the Packers looked completely unprepared. Did they know that the Eagles are a run-heavy team? Green Bay had no answers for Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts. Sanders had massive running lanes between the tackles, while the edge rushers continued to set poor edges, which Hurts took advantage of. Quay Walker was used as a spy at times, but it either wasn’t enough, or he was ineffective at it.
– On top of that, it’s not as if Green Bay slowed the passing game, either. The Packers’ cornerbacks, especially Rasul Douglas, and the safeties had rough performances as well.
– More missed tackles by Green Bay. Like, a lot of missed tackles.
– Third downs on both sides of the ball were awful. The offense couldn’t convert any, while the defense did well at creating several third and long situations, but it didn’t much matter as they couldn’t get off the field.
– Joe Barry wasn’t good, but neither were the players.
– Darnell Savage left early with a foot injury, but before that, he was not among the starters. In the Packers’ nickel formation, it was Rudy Ford and Adrian Amos deep, with Keisean Nixon in the slot.
– The Packers only have Savage and Tariq Carpenter under contract in 2023, but you can pencil in Ford after he made another play with a forced fumble. He was brought in to be a special teams player, but he has been a solid defender as well.
– During the first six minutes of the game, the Packers’ offense, defense, and special teams all looked completely lost. Credit to Green Bay for continuing to fight and making this game competitive. It could have been very easy to just give in.
– Justin Hollins, who was claimed off waivers on Wednesday, had a nice debut with a run stop, a sack, and a pressure. He’s already been more effective than Jonathan Garvin and La’Darius Hamilton.
– As I wrote prior to the game, the Packers’ best chance of success on offense was going to begin with the run game, and we saw that. The Eagles run defense has been susceptible as of late without Jordan Davis, and the Packers were able to create some wide running lanes for Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Early on, anyways, this helped set up some success in the passing game.
– There were more two running back sets than what we’ve seen recently, and Green Bay was much more effective out of those sets than they were earlier in the season. Jones and Dillon were also used more in the passing game as well.
– AJ Dillon easily had his best game of the season. He looked far more explosive than what we’ve seen all year.
– Here’s a stat for you from Rob Demovsky, the Packers’ defense has allowed 60 points this season in the final two minutes before halftime. The most in the NFL.
– The Eagles came into the game as the best in the NFL at creating turnovers, and we saw that as they picked off Aaron Rodgers twice.
– There are some drops here and there still, but Christian Watson continues to make huge strides right before our eyes as a playmaker . His speed is game-changing.
– It looks like the Packers may have actually found a return man in Keisean Nixon, who brings some serious juice to the position.
Packers PFF grades: Best, worst players from Week 12 loss to Eagles
The worst performance of the season by the Green Bay Packers defense doomed Sunday night’s showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles gained 500 total yards and 363 rushing yards in the 40-33 defeat of the Packers.
Based on grades from Pro Football Focus, here are the best and worst performers from the Packers’ Week 12 loss to the Eagles:
Top 5 offense
1. RB A.J. Dillon: 90.1
2. QB Jordan Love: 85.7
3. WR Christian Watson: 84.6
4. RG Jon Runyan Jr.: 80.8
5. TE Marcedes Lewis: 76.0
Dillon produced three runs over 10 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run, and he gained 31 of his 64 yards after first contact while also catching three passes. Love had a 146.8 passer rating on nine dropbacks, with an adjusted completion percentage of 77.8 and one “big time throw” while leading the Packers to 10 points over two drives. Watson averaged 27.5 yards per catch, had four catches of 15+ yards and finished with an average yards per route run of 4.4 (110 yards on 25 routes run). Runyan gave up two pressures, including a sack, but he was the Packers’ most consistent lineman in the run and passing games. Lewis earned high grades as both a run and pass blocker.
Top 5 defense
1. S Rudy Ford: 88.7
2. DL T.J. Slaton: 75.1
3. CB Keisean Nixon: 73.4
4. CB Jaire Alexander: 68.0
5. OLB Justin Hollins: 61.9
Ford forced a turnover on a strip and had three “stops” without giving up a completion in coverage. Slaton had a run stop and was the defense’s top-graded player against the run overall. Nixon produced two stops in coverage and one against the run, and he gave up just two catches. Alexander was targeted six times but he broke up one pass and gave up just 23 receiving yards. Hollins had three total pressures, including a sack, and he had a stop against the run.
Bottom 5 offense
1. TE Tyler Davis: 44.8
2. QB Aaron Rodgers: 57.9
3. TE Robert Tonyan: 61.3
4. WR Randall Cobb: 63.6
5. RT Yosh Nijman: 65.7
Davis ran the wrong route on Aaron Rodgers’ second interception, and he earned poor grades as a blocker. Rodgers had two turnovers in the first half and took three sacks overall. Tonyan ran 19 routes but gained just 20 receiving yards, and he wasn’t effective as a blocker. Cobb caught a touchdown but finished with just 19 yards on 17 routes run, and he dropped a pass. Nijman gave up four hurries as a pass-blocker and had a false start penalty.
Bottom 5 defense
1. LB Isaiah McDuffie: 26.3
2. LB Krys Barnes: 28.9
3. DL Dean Lowry: 30.4
4. LB Quay Walker: 30.7
5. DL Jarran Reed: 35.3
McDuffie missed two tackles and was terrible against the run over 19 snaps. Barnes also missed tackles against the run while also giving up five catches on five targets for 51 yards in coverage. Lowry had one hurry but also zero stops against the run, and he graded out very poorly in the run game overall. Walker missed a season-high four tackles and struggled against the run, offsetting a promising performance in coverage. Reed had three pressures and a sack but was terrible against the run. Overall, the Packers missed 16 tackles.
Aaron Rodgers: 57.9
Rodgers threw two interceptions and took three sacks. He was efficient from clean pockets and throwing off play-action run fakes, and he played under pressured on 31.6 percent of dropbacks. When blitzed, Rodgers was 4-of-5 passing for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Jordan Love: 85.7
Love completed 66.7 percent of his throws with an average depth of target of 11.4, and he had one “big time throw,” which was dropped by Aaron Jones. He extended both plays he was under pressure and nearly had a scramble drill touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. His one play-action passing snap resulted in a 63-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson. Three of his completions and 95 yards came on throws to the intermediate middle portion of the field.
Eric Wilson, Innis Gaines, Tariq Carpenter, Dallin Leavitt and Corey Ballentine all made special teams tackles without a miss. Keisean Nixon averaged 34.4 yards per return over five kickoff returns, including two over 50 yards. The Packers didn’t have a missed tackle or a penalty on special teams.