Let’s deal with the green elephant in the room first off: Jalen Hurts did not look super-sharp but he played better than EYE expected when he took over at QB for the Eagles in the 2nd half.
The Great JB99 posted this observation of Hurts over at BGN:
“Hurts scrambled when needed. Sometimes that was after his first read but he maneuvered the pocket better than any QB we have had since Vick. I didn’t see him look at one guy and [just] run. He looked at as many guys as he could before he had to run.”
The discussion was about Hurts’ relatively calm composure under pressure which certainly was a plus to come out of this loss to Green Bay.
Too bad for Philly fans the talk isn’t about a comeback win led by Hurts. That didn’t happen, but at least the Eagles offense looked like it had a spark compared to what Wentz was leading in the 1st half.
On a day when Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams reached personal milestones, the Packers needed a long run from Aaron Jones to put the Eagles away.
Jones rushed for 130 yards and delivered a game-clinching 77-yard touchdown with 2:36 left as the Packers produced seven sacks and withstood a fourth-quarter comeback attempt to defeat Philadelphia 30-16 on Sunday.
“We ran a similar play the play before, and I felt like I was close to breaking it, somebody just got a hand on me,” Jones said of his career-long burst. “A-Rod called a similar play in the huddle, and I knew if I see a little crease, I’d be able to break it.”
Rodgers and Adams provided much of the highlights early in the game as Green Bay (9-3) built a 23-3 lead before the Eagles (3-8-1) scored two touchdowns in a span of just over a minute. Philadelphia’s comeback started after rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts took over for an ineffective Carson Wentz.
“We needed a spark,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “We needed something to go our way, so I put Jalen in the game.”
Rodgers connected with Adams on two of his three touchdown passes to increase his career total to 400, becoming the seventh player to join that fraternity.
The only other players with at least 400 touchdown passes are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Philip Rivers.
Rodgers got to No. 400 in his 193rd career game, faster than any other player. He has 36 touchdown passes this year and is the first player to throw at least 35 in five separate seasons. Rodgers also did it in 2011 (45), 2012 (39), 2014 (38) and 2016 (40).
“Those are fun milestones for sure,” said Rodgers, who went 25 of 34 for 295 yards. “I’m not sure how long I’m going to be able to hold on to the second one. There’s some really good young quarterbacks who I’m guessing are amassing some numbers in that vicinity.”
Adams, who caught 10 passes for 121 yards, has scored in seven straight games to tie Hall of Famer Don Hudson’s franchise record. Hudson had a pair of seven-game TD reception streaks in 1941-42 and 1943-44.
Rodgers put the Packers ahead for good with a 1-yard pass to Adams on fourth down in the second quarter. He threw a 25-yarder to Robert Tonyan later in the second. His 400th touchdown pass was a 9-yarder to Adams that capped a 99-yard drive in the third period.
Philadelphia’s rally started with Hurts’ 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward on fourth-and-18. Jalen Reagor’s 73-yard punt return cut the lead to 23-16 with 6:30 left, though Jake Elliott missed the extra point.
The Eagles forced a second straight three-and-out, but couldn’t move the ball and punted. That’s when Jones put away the game.
Jones ran through a big hole in the middle of the line, broke an attempted ankle tackle and headed downfield as a second defender made an unsuccessful diving attempt to stop him. He raced down the left sideline, eluded a defender inside Philadelphia’s 30-yard line and worked his way through traffic to reach the end zone.
“If it’s up to me, I’m taking every one to the house,” Jones said. “That’s my goal on every run. I know if I’m able to get a crease or break an arm tackle or something like that, it can turn into a big run.”
Hurts was 5 of 12 for 109 yards with an interception to go along with his touchdown pass. Wentz was 6 of 15 for 79 yards. An offensive line using its 11th different starting combination in 12 games struggled to protect both of them.
“Obviously, that’s frustrating as a competitor,” Wentz said of his removal. “I want to be the guy out there. At the end of the day, we lost. As a team, we lost, and that’s what I’m most frustrated about.”
The decision to bench Wentz, and the team’s uptick in play when Hurts was inserted into the lineup, will only intensify the quarterback debate raging in Philadelphia. Coach Doug Pederson said he has not decided which quarterback will start Week 14 for the Eagles (3-8-1) at home against the New Orleans Saints.
“Any experience and any opportunity to touch the field, it only kind of raises the value of that player. It’s kind of has been that way all year, and today Coach gave me that opportunity,” Hurts said. “With all my heart, I had every intention of coming in and getting it done and winning the game, but we came up short, and that only lights a fire in everybody moving forward.”
Wentz, 27, has been mired in the worst season of his career, entering Sunday’s game ranked first in interceptions (15) and sacks (46), 31st in completion percentage (58.1%) and 30th in yards per attempt (6.02).
Injuries: Eagles —
- Derek Barnett got banged up in the second quarter. He was rolling on the ground in pain. He re-entered the game, though.
- Davion Taylor suffered a knee injury in the second quarter. He did not return.
- Jason Peters (foot) and T.J. Edwards (hamstring) got hurt in the third quarter. Nate Herbig came in to play right guard.
- Darius Slay got hurt late in the third quarter and did not return. He entered the game with a calf injury. He was limping much of the game.
- Avonte Maddox got hurt early in the fourth quarter.
Packers: Tight end Jace Sternberger (concussion), running back/kick returner Tyler Ervin (ankle) and defensive tackle Billy Winn (triceps) left the game. Defensive back Raven Greene injured his shoulder and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was evaluated for a concussion.
|Passing 1st downs||8||14|
|Rushing 1st downs||7||6|
|1st downs from penalties||2||0|
|3rd down efficiency||4-13||5-12|
|4th down efficiency||1-1||1-1|
|Yards per Play||4.7||7.2|
|Yards per pass||4.7||8.0|
|Yards per rush||4.7||6.0|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-0||2-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|