Observations: Packers 53, Eagles 20
GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles-Packers game.
* On a day when the Eagles needed an offensive explosion to keep up with Aaron Rodgers, they instead delivered a complete clunker. On 13 drives, the Birds produced two touchdowns and two field goals. Both TDs came in the second half with the team down 33+ points.They punted four times, turned it over four times and finished with a turnover on downs.
* Mark Sanchez was not the problem in the first half, going 10-for-16 for 148 yards. But he was a disaster down the stretch. He finished 26-for-44 for 346 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions overall. Sanchez failed to see Julius Peppers dropping in the third, and the result was a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown. Later, Jeremy Maclin slipped near the sideline (there was some contact), and Sanchez was picked off by Tramon Williams. He had Zach Ertz open on a corner route, but missed him. He overthrew Riley Cooper on a deep post. And he was off-target to Darren Sproles near the sideline.
* Sanchez’s teammates deserve plenty of blame as well. Jordan Matthews had five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. But he dropped a downfield throw on a corner route before the game got completely out of hand. Sanchez and LeSean McCoy turned it over on a handoff attempt. Jason Kelce’s high snap got away from Sanchez, and the Packers returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. Josh Huff had a clean drop on a crossing route.
* The offensive line had issues. Matt Tobin got beaten badly for a sack early on. Later, Kelce passed his man off, expecting help, but it wasn’t there, and Sanchez was sacked again. The third sack came on a bootleg where the Eagles left Clay Matthews unblocked.
* Sanchez’s best throw came on the Eagles’ final offensive drive of the first half. He stepped up in the pocket and fired a strike to Matthews for 40 yards.
* The Eagles entered the game 7-for-7 in the red zone with Sanchez at QB. They went 1-for-4 against Green Bay.
* McCoy carried 23 times for 88 yards and was generally ineffective (3.8 YPC). His longest run went for 13 yards. Sproles carried two times for 21 yards and had two catches for 23.
* The Eagles are now 7-3 and in a first-place tie with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.
* The Eagles’ defense delivered an uninspired effort and got picked apart by the hottest quarterback in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers went 22-for-36 for 341 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also carried three times for 32 yards. The Packers scored on all four offensive possessions in the first half – a field goal and three touchdowns. Green Bay went 7-for-11 on third down and averaged a whopping 8.0 yards per play.
* Bradley Fletcher got lit up all game long. Early on, Jordy Nelson beat him on a fade for 64 yards down the sideline. Rookie Davante Adams beat him for a touchdown on a 6-yard slant. And Nelson got him for a touchdown on a 27-yard fade. Fletcher was called for an 18-yard pass interference penalty to set up another Packers touchdown.
* It wasn’t just Fletcher. The entire defense was outmatched. Nelson had four catches for 109 yards (all in the first half). Randall Cobb had nine for 109.
* In the second half, Rodgers dumped one off to Eddie Lacy. He ran through a Nate Allen tackle, and Vinny Curry failed to bring him down. Malcolm Jenkins, Nolan Carroll II and Cary Williams all had chances, but couldn’t bring him down as Lacy spun into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown. Lacy had 10 carries for 69 yards and three catches for 45 yards.
* Brandon Boykin suffered a head injury in the first half on a Lacy run, but ended up returning.
* The Eagles failed to pressure Rodgers. Vinny Curry sacked him once, but that was it. On some occasions, Rodgers got rid of the ball quickly. Other times, he had all day to stand in the pocket.
* Special teams allowed a 75-yard punt return to Micah Hyde.