Green Bay Packers 27 – 13 Philadelphia Eagles
Before we launch into an (all too rare now) victory edition of Post Game Play Action, I’d like to give Jordan and Brian a shout out for filling in for me last week while I was busy being a scientist, the guys did a great job!
Back to the matter at hand, a drowning Green Bay Packers team traveled to Philadelphia for a week 12 match-up that appears to have at least left them treading water for the time being, coming away with the 27-13 victory. This halts a four game losing streak and showed that there may yet be hope for Mike McCarthy.
Strong Out of the Gate
For the first time in a long time the Green Bay offense hit the field strong from the very beginning. In recent weeks, the offense struggled with slow starts before finding rhythm in second halves. This week, however, quarterback Aaron Rodgers came out and captained a nigh-on perfect 5-minute knife-through-butter drive, punctuated with first downs gained by his scrambling ability. The drive was capped with a beautiful slant to receiver DaVante Adams to open scoring.
The Defense Gets A Stop – The Turning Point
With 11:20 left in the 2nd quarter the Green Bay defense, I believe for the first time since Ray Nitschke was at linebacker, forced a punt. After the defense had spent the first quarter parting as if Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz were Moses, this really set the stage for a turnaround for the remainder of the game. In fact, through the final 3 quarters the defense gave up 6 points on two field goals, and generated the rare turnover.
While the Philadelphia receiver group is not stocked with clones of Jerry Rice, it is promising nonetheless given what the defense has been party to over the previous month.
Closing the Gate
The closing of the fourth quarter was exactly what we’ve been hoping to see from the Packers, at long last. The Packers got the ball back with 10:18 left on the clock, and embarked on a 17 play, over 8 minute long drive to see out the game for the win. This was indicative of the time of possession in the game as a whole, with the Packers offense on the field for almost 35 minutes, precisely the formula this team needs to stick to in order to hide the embarrassment that is the Green Bay defense and squeeze out wins.
Ty Montgomery Player of the Week Award
I’d give you 5 guesses who is the recipient of our player of the week this week, but I’m fairly sure all 5 would be DaVante Adams, and all 5 would be correct. A player in whom I was definitely no great believer coming into this season has well and truly turned it around. Hauling in 5 catches (on only 6 targets) for 113 yards and two touchdowns, Adams well and truly dominated in this game. While he was no doubt the beneficiary of some utterly magnificent throws from Rodgers, he really has stepped up to put to bed the memory of his traumatic case of the drops through the 2015 season.
1. I hope we’ll see some of Christine Michael in the coming game against the Houston Texans after McCarthy calling him good to go prior to an Eagles game where he was very rarely utilized. A solid performer in the first few games of the season for Seattle, if he were able to establish some semblance of a running game (as let’s face it, we cannot rely on James Starks) it would vastly improve the Packers chances, making the ball control offense much easier to execute than having it all sit on the capable shoulders of Aaron Rodgers.
2. Don’t get too excited about the defense for only allowing 13 points in this game. The same combination of schematic issues and lack of talent was still apparent many times in this game.
The only reason for the ‘success’ this week was the maybe league-worst receiver group in Philadelphia, that had already decided to sit the struggling Nelson Agholor for the game, and was exacerbated by losing Jordan Matthews to injury early in the game. I’m not going to write them off, but I’d like to see them compete against at least very average receivers before I buy in to a resurgence of the defense.
3. There’s still a playoff possibility. Next week, hosting the Houston Texans in Green Bay, this team can scrape back to .500. In a surprisingly putrid NFC North, and NFC as a whole, this would position us to at least have the opportunity to fight for a wild card spot, and once you’re in the big dance that is the postseason, anything can happen.