Thursday Night Observations

That was actually a good game. That the Packers could not run against a stout Eagles front forced them to put the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands, and it’s obvious Rodgers still has it, the goal line failures on the last two drives notwithstanding.

The game also illustrated the importance of the running the ball effectively. The Eagles’ ability to run at will made a big difference in the red zone — they didn’t settle for a single field goal. By contrast, the Packers settled for two and couldn’t cash in their last two drives. That was the game.

Aaron Rodgers passed for 422 yards and ran for 46 more, making accurate throws, often while under pressure or on the move. And he scrambled masterfully for first downs.  Hopefully Matt LaFleur realizes what he has and turns him loose more often.

Aaron Jones saw 13 carries to Jamaal Williams’ zero and seven targets to Williams’ one. So much for the timeshare. Apparently, I missed Williams getting carted off the field (I watched the 40-minute condensed version of the game.)

Davante Adams had a monster game before leaving with a toe injury late. But he got caught from behind on the deep ball down the sideline, and he wasn’t fast enough to score on the hand-off inside the 10. He’ll torch weak secondaries all day — especially with a healthy Rodgers under center, though.

Jimmy Graham showed a pulse with nine targets and a TD. The Packers also threw a goal-line fade to him which was broken up.

Carson Wentz did a nice job as a caretaker, but the running game carried the day.

Miles Sanders looks fast and shifty. Unfortunately for him, Jordan Howard is a big part of the offense (15 carries, three catches, three TDs), and I doubt that’ll change any time soon. Howard’s never been a good receiver, but the Eagles are willing to use him that way.

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Alshon Jeffery scored a TD, had at least one other end zone target and dropped a couple passes. He looks much bigger than whoever’s covering him, but a little uncoordinated.

Good job by LaFleur calling timeouts on defense at the end of the first half and preserving enough time for what turned out to be a TD drive. Bad job for kicking a field goal on 4th-and-2 from inside the 10 and sticking with an ineffective running game for way too long.

Pederson’s play design and play calling were excellent, especially the screen pass to Howard who jogged 20 yards into the end zone untouched.

I guess Erickson was right on the SXM show — the Packers run defense was abysmal.