The Eagles got out of Lambeau Field with a 34-27 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
How did the offense, defense and special teams perform? Paul Domowitch offers his grades, and then you can award your own.
The Eagles were confident going into the game that they could run the ball against the Packers, and boy, did they do it. The offensive line opened hole after hole for Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders, who combined for 159 of the Eagles’ season-high 176 rushing yards. The Eagles had 10 rushing first downs, including three by quarterback Carson Wentz. They averaged 6.1 yards per carry on first down. In their first three games, they averaged 3.4.
Having a ground game that averages 5.3 yards per carry and 6.1 on first down makes life a whole lot easier for a quarterback. Using more RPOs than they have since last season, Carson Wentz completed 16 of 27 passes, threw three touchdown passes, wasn’t sacked by a defense that came into the game with the second most sacks in the NFL, and had his second straight interception-less game. Wentz leaned heavily on tight end Zach Ertz, who had seven catches, five for first downs.
Take out Aaron Rodgers’ 46 scramble yards, which had more to do with the pass defense than the run defense, and the Eagles held the Packers to 30 rushing yards on 15 carries. The Packers lost running back Jamaal Williams early in the game, which left Aaron Jones to carry the load. He had a three-yard first-quarter touchdown run, but was held to 18 yards on his other 12 carries.
This was Super Bowl LII all over again, with Jim Schwartz’s defense hanging on for dear life as a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback sliced and diced them. The Eagles’ pass rush did a poor job of keeping Aaron Rodgers in the pocket. He threw for 422 yards and was sacked just once. The secondary lost yet another key component early when cornerback Sidney Jones got hurt. But the Eagles came up with big plays when they needed them, including a strip sack by Derek Barnett that set up an Eagles touchdown and Nigel Bradham’s game-clinching interception on the final goal line stand.
Miles Sanders had a 67-yard kickoff return in the second quarter that set up an Eagles touchdown. Punter Cam Johnston continued his superb season, putting three of his four punts inside the 20. Packers punt returner Darrius Shepherd was able to return just one of them, for zero yards.
This wasn’t exactly a must-win game, but it was pretty damn important, and the Eagles rose to the occasion, beating an unbeaten team on the road in a short week. The offense had its best overall game of the season. The offensive line completely dominated the Packers’ defensive front seven. The defense, well, they lost another cornerback, gave up a lot of yards, couldn’t keep Aaron Rodgers in the pocket, but hung tough and made plays when they needed to The Packers had seven red zone opportunities, but converted just three of them into TDs.