The Green Bay Packers had their first loss of the season Thursday night as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 34-27. I was a little worried coming in to this game, honestly. A short week is never good, especially after a game with so many minor mistakes.
I’ll try not to ramble too much, but there were several things that had me irritated all night. The run defense was atrocious. The offense couldn’t score in the red zone. Too many penalties. Officiating was awful. I could go on and on.
Let’s start with the run defense. The Eagles had their way with the Packers as they rushed for 176 yards. The thought of “I wonder if the Packers can stop the run” never entered my mind any time before this game kicked off. The defense had three solid weeks and looked like they were going to be a force to be reckoned with. I knew Philadelphia’s offense was decent (#2 ranked offensive line by Pro Football Focus) but the Packers made them look unworldly good.
Speaking of running the football, it was almost non-existent for the Packers offense. Aaron Rodgers…yes, Aaron Rodgers…was the leading rusher with 46 yards on 5 attempts. I will say, he had some good looks and took advantage, rushing for a few key first downs. With Jamaal Williams out early in the game, Jones would be the workhorse for the running game. Sadly, it was the same story as last week, as the rush could never get established.
The Packers did had a phenomenal game through the air. It looked like we were watching the 2014 offense, as Rodgers was zipping the ball into windows and Adams was making huge catches. Rodgers ended up with 422 yards and 2 touchdowns. Adams had a big night, as he ended up with 180 yards off of 10 receptions. I was a little concerned about the pass game coming in to this matchup, but after that performance, I know how deadly this passing attack can be.
The Packers pass defense looked decent for the most part. Although the run defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed, when it came to the pass the defensive backs looked solid. Kevin King and Jaire Alexander had two big performances. I felt like Pettine was really wanting to play aggressively and turn his defensive backs loose in man coverage. Both King and Alexander were playing physically in press-man coverage. It was good to see them get after it.
The most disappointing thing about this game was the officiating. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I absolutely hate the rule change allowing pass interference calls to be reviewed. Even when reviewed, the call isn’t right. I’m beginning to think that the league has no idea what pass interference is anymore. That disrupted the flow of the game so much on Thursday. There were several blown calls that would have helped out the Packers. When the Eagles scored on their touchdown to Howard, it clearly looked like a pick play left him free. The inconsistency is what gets me. If they call it one way, the should call it that way throughout the course of the game.
The Packers have a lot of work to do before they take on the Cowboys, especially with the run defense. These things can be fixed, but it shouldn’t become the norm around Titletown. Sometimes you learn more about a team in how they respond to a loss as opposed to a win. Hopefully, this team will rebound and get a win over the Cowboys in Dallas.
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