As was predicted on this here website!
For the second week in a row, Rasul Douglas was the lone bright spot in a shockingly poor cornerback room. Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones both struggled mightily in man coverage over Davante Adams, and while Douglas saw him for fewer reps, was more effective over him in those opportunities. You live with the DPIs when you have no other option; Sul has played the best of any Eagle corner at the quarter pole of the season.
...save for Craig James, who is making a game-winning impact play on 50% of his snaps! Next Gen Stats is telling me that this is the best figure in the league!
Zach Ertz + Dallas Goedert
Needed a huge day from Ertz and got one; Nelson Agholor was not a part of the game plan and Alshon Jeffery was clearly still banged up. Ertz was the stick-mover tonight, winning on out-breaking routes with his characteristic calmness and consistency.
The Eagles went heavy on the 12 personnel, especially when they wanted to run the football, and that’s where Goedert’s health and physicality came into play. Goedert is already one of the most effective run blocking tight ends in the league, despite the fact that it was a (phantom) concern of his coming out of South Dakota State. Add on the tuddy for good measure, and we have a classic Goedert game: red zone targets and yeoman’s work between the 20s.
The offensive line
Speaking of toting the rock, man it was nice to see that offensive line just dominate a good front in Green Bay from pole to pole. In the running game, Green Bay gave them light boxes and the Eagles’ line took advantage — few in the league, if any, are better in the second level. But in pass protection, the Eagles kept Carson Wentz as clean as any game I can remember. Huge win across the board, but Jason Kelce deserves a gold star for handling Kenny Clark like a champ.
A hat trick of touchdowns against an old division rival has gotta feel good, especially when it caps off what has been a steady climb to relevancy for Howard. An afterthought in Week 1 against the Redskins, Howard has continued to maximize his touches into a Week 4 matchup in which he couldn’t seem to do wrong with the ball in his hands. A physical and determined runner, Howard is the ideal back to string together first downs and get the Eagles’ offense in a rhythm.
They got a great Thursday night game for the first time in awhile, and they’ve got a wildly competitive NFC for the second year in a row.
Two players were taken off the field on spine boards. Review couldn’t get an easy call correct. The league remains its own worst enemy.
Nelson Agholor was targeted just once in the Eagles’ win over the Packers. Zero receptions.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 27, 2019
It hurts to see Sidney Jones leave the field yet again with injury, especially when unabated playing time — the experience that could have given him a boost in his on-field performance — was available to him. You’d say that 10 days’ rest might get Jones back to the field for Week 5 against the Jets, but issues like Jones’ calf and hamstring have been multiple-week naggers since he entered the league. Great film from college, but it’s tough to sell anyone on Sidney Jones as a viable option in the NFL.
It’s genuinely a shame, in that Sproles came out of quasi-retirement and is looking up at some legends on the all-purpose career yard list — but he’s been phased out of the Eagles’ offense after a surprisingly decent deployment in Week 1, and rightfully so. His pass-catching and kickoff-returning have both been dynamically replaced, and the Eagles’ have their #tough runner in Howard. He’s depth alone at this point.
The Packers defense was great coming into the game and is exposed out of it. It’s not that simple, really, but the Eagles took great advantage of the edges the Packers gave them, working to expose dime safeties in run defense and pass coverage alike. They folded blocks inside of the five-man fronts of the 3-4 defense and challenged Blake Martinez to play hero ball. They worked the quick game with out-breaking routes from their tight ends and never really tested deep because they didn’t need to.
Meanwhile, Matty Flowers was handed the game plan on a platter — his opening script was flawless, in terms of how previous teams had moved the ball on Philadelphia — and shirked it once the clock struck Quarter 2. Eventually, coaches will not run against the Eagles to get the ball downfield, but apparently, not today.
Funny thing about having both your offensive and defensive playcaller on the losers column:
Green Bay Packers
You typically lose the game.
Two Doug Decisions I didn’t get: punting on 4th and 3 in the middle of the first quarter from the Green Bay 47 — that feels like a spot he’d typically keep the offense out there without blinking — and the non-challenge with 3:40 left on a clear incompletion to Danny Vitale. Not sure how much that one remaining red flag mattered for the next 1:40, but either way, seemed like a less-aggressive night for Doug. Can’t fault the early down runs when they were working so well, either.
Woof. Poorly-officiated game from stem to stern.