How far have the Eagles come in just one year? On Sunday, I watched them go to Green Bay and win at Lambeau by 14 points. I came away with mixed feelings from that win. The Packers were playing their 3rd string QB and while the Eagles won by 14, it didn’t always feel like such a big lead. As I re-watched the game, I felt different. The Eagles outplayed GB and overcame some injuries of their own. Imagine if back in June I told you the team would go beat the Packers based on Allen Barbre blocking Clay Matthews so that Nick Foles had time to get deep balls to Riley Cooper.
Last year the Eagles won 4 games…by a combined total of 6 points. There were some lucky breaks in each win.
Suddenly, Sunday’s win seems pretty damn impressive, huh?
Remember the Eagles losing to John Skelton and the Cardinals in 2011? The Eagles blew a 4th quarter lead in that game and provided the greatest game in Skelton family history. The Eagles asserted their will in this 4th quarter. They made big plays and didn’t allow anything close to a comeback.
This might not be a great Eagles team, but they are showing the right signs. There is talent. And there is some toughness. It also feels like a team. Najee Goode stepped in and played very well at ILB. Who was that Emmanuel Acho guy we all loved so much? And Barbre played a very good game at LT. One of the best signs you can get that a team is headed in the right direction is when backups play well. They fit the system. They’ve been prepared well. And they feel pressure to perform because the starters are playing well.
The more I see of this Eagles team, the more I like it.
Of course, should they lose to Dallas in the rematch I’ll completely dis-own them.
The big story with Chip Kelly and the staff was challenges. They failed to challenge a 1st half pass play that gained 36 yards and set GB into scoring position. The coaches in the booth said they didn’t get the right replays in a timely fashion. Without being up there, it’s hard to say what they should have done. Clearly the receiver was out and the play would have been overturned. Since the Packers didn’t score there, it was a case of no harm, no foul. Still, the Eagles need to learn from this.
There was a play in the 2nd half when the TE was tackled on 3rd/1 after gaining a couple of yards and then fumbling. His knee was down before that. We don’t know if the ball would have been short of the sticks. The Eagles would have won the challenge if the ball was moved at all. The 1st down would have been irrelevant. That would have been a result of the re-spotting of the ball. Kelly said they didn’t think the ball would have been moved back enough to make a difference. I had no issue with them passing on this challenge. It was in the middle of the 3rd quarter. I’d rather save the challenges for plays that I knew were critical (TDs, big gains, 4th downs).
The offensive gameplan caught me off guard. I expected lots of passing, but Kelly ran the ball over and over. And it worked.
Bill Davis sold out to stop the run. That let the Packers get a lot of passing yards, but they only scored 13 points. I don’t have any major complaints. I’d rather lose to Scott Tolzien’s arm than Eddie Lacy’s legs. Make the new guy beat you.
You have to love the Eagles mixture of tempos. They moved quickly most of the game, but then slowed to snail’s pace for the final 9:32 of the game. That drive was nothing short of greatness. The Eagles marched from their own 8-yard line to the GB 19 before kneeling down for the final trio of plays. The Eagles got up on the LOS quickly and just stood there. The OL held their stances. Then the ball was snapped late. Normally you don’t want the Biggies to be in their stances that long, but the Eagles guys are athletic enough that it didn’t seem to bother them. Packers defenders did seem negatively affected. They could not stop Shady McCoy on that drive.
The Eagles obviously didn’t feel Green Bay had ideal defensive speed. They ran outside on a regular basis and had some luck. Shady had enough speed to get wide for some really good gains. On the final drive, McCoy used cutback runs very effectively. The inside duo of Raji and Pickett was diminished by this running strategy.
Foles helped the run game by delivering big plays in the passing game. Foles completed 12 passes. 6 of them went for 21 yards or more. And none of those were screen passes. The Packers were attacked horizontally and vertically by the run and the pass. That kept them from getting into a defensive groove.
The one wrinkle that stood out to me was having Brent Celek go in motion. He would line up off the LOS and then motion from one side to the other. This helped give the Eagles the right numbers in the run game on some plays. It also helped with figuring out if the Packers were in man or zone on some pass plays. Kelly has used motion very specifically in recent games. He did it with Shady, DJax and Celek. He repeats the motion over and over so you can tell it is by design.
* 3rd/4. GB had 6 in the box. Eagles had 6 blockers. Should have been good situation. Barbre got stuffed by Matthews. Johnson was at “LG” and didn’t block his guy well. Shady had nowhere to go on the front side. Ertz missed his block on the backside and Shady got stuffed. This happened in the RZ and forced the Eagles to settle for a FG. Hate to see such a good opportunity blown by sloppy blocking.
* Eagles scored first and never trailed.
* On the first sack, looked like Jones was spying Foles. Didn’t rush. Watched, mirrored Foles. Very odd.
* Eagles were 0-4 in the RZ. That’s somewhat misleading. There was only 1 goal-to-go situation. A couple of the RZ stops happened when the team got to the 19-yard line. And one of those was the kneel-down drive at the end. The one GTG series was disappointing. I didn’t care for the plays, but the execution was just as bad.
* Eagles were 4 for 11 on 3rd downs.
FOLES – Good game. 12-18-228. 3 TDs, no picks. QB rating of 149. I felt better about Foles performance after studying the game. He made some better throws than I realized. He made smart decisions. I loved the way he ran so aggressively. If a defense ignores you, make them pay. You don’t need Vick’s speed to come up with timely yards on the ground.
Made a smart decision in the late 1st. Dropped back and had a clean pocket. Didn’t see anyone open. Could have held the ball longer, but instead dumped it to Shady for a short gain. Don’t be greedy. Get the ball to a playmaker in space and let them do their thing.
Didn’t see wide open Cooper on crossing route on 3rd down. Got sacked and that moved the Eagles out of FG range. It was tough to see if Riley was in his line of sight before the rusher got there.
Not sure what happened on 3rd down pass play in the mid-2nd with Avant. Jason seemed to flatten his route. Nick threw deeper. Not sure who is at fault. That was a RZ pass play.
There was one pass play where Foles slid to the left and threw for Cooper. Pass was incomplete, but I liked the play. He moved out of the pocket and pointed where he wanted Riley to go. Didn’t have better options so he tried to make something happen, but in a safe way.
Missed Avant over middle. Had pressure, but Avant was wide friggin’ open. Oh…to have that play back. Great route by Avant.
Moved right and hit Cooper late in the half. Good throw. Foles didn’t have time to set his feet, but still had some zip on the pass and it was on the money.
Failed to see a wide open Celek in the RZ. Nick was rolling to the right and Celek was back to the inside. Nick was focused on players to the outside.
On the 45-yd bomb to Cooper, Foles did have a clean pocket. He threw ball to the right intentionally. While Cooper was behind the DB, there wasn’t a good throwing angle so Foles created one.
Hit Avant over the middle in the late 3rd. Moved up in the pocket and then threw the ball while “jumping”. Not ideal, but liked the fact he was able to make a tough throw off-balance. Also like that he was willing to throw into traffic
On the TD to Cooper, the ball left Foles hands just as Riley was making his cut. He wasn’t open yet. That was an anticipation throw. Love that play.
As we talk about arm strength with Foles, there was a play that stood out to me. DeSean got behind his DB. There was a FS back deep. Someone like Matt Stafford could have planted his feet and fired the ball on a line to DJax for a 40-yard (or so) TD. Foles had to throw to an intermediate guy. He doesn’t have the kind of arm to make that throw. His arm is good enough, but isn’t going to make those type of “wow” throws.
Ran the ball well. Kept it on option play on 3rd/1. Got 3 yds and moved the chains. Scrambled for 9 yds in the mid-2nd Qtr. Had wide open space so he took off. Smart. Scrambled for 16 yards on 2nd half pass play. That helped a scoring drive. Ran for the final 9 yards of the game so the Eagles could then just down the ball and end the game. Didn’t slide on that run. Instead went forward so he got every inch. Smart. Pick and choose when to be aggressive and expose yourself to hits.
SHADY – Great game. Shady at his best. Made an handful of laterally explosive cuts that just had your jaw hitting the floor, along with the defender’s jock. Late in the 1st Qtr, bounced a run outside left. Went for 20. Could have been more. Had room up the field, but went toward the sideline. Big run to the outside in the early 3rd. Showed good speed. Had a great inside run in the mid-3rd. Made Matthews miss at the line and then got upfield. Great run in the 4th. Play flowed left. Shady cut back to the right. Made the OLB miss with a great move and busted wide right for big gain. Ran hard on some plays that went straight up the field for short gains. You can’t have the cutback runs without the N-S stuff as well. Finished 25-155. So much fun to watch.
Had a good chip block on Matthews on the long TD to DeSean. Had at least one more really good blitz pickup of LB coming free up the middle.
B BROWN – Good run to the outside late in the game. Made sure to go down inbounds and keep the clock running. Finished with 4 carries for 11 yards. Had a good gain in the 1st half wiped out by holding call. Not sure if the defender would have tackled him or not.
POLK – Didn’t play on offense.
CELEK – Only catch of the game came on the first play. Gain of 7 over the middle. Blocked well. Good seal of Hawk on play that Shady took outside for a big gain. That was an unbalanced line and Brent was essentially the LT on that play. Had a poor backside block of LB on play where Shady had the horrible facemask non-call. Good backside seal block on early 3rd Qtr run. Gave Shady a clean cutback lane. Had interesting block of Matthews in the mid-3rd. Washed him to the inside, but that’s where Shady ran. Celek stayed on Matthews and that helped to keep him from making the tackle. Celek did a good job on the final drive of the game.
ERTZ – Good down block of DE late in the game. Sealed him, gave Shady room outside. Blocked okay on some other runs. Didn’t have any passes come his way.
CASEY – Caught TE screen late in the game. Headed inside. Had tons of room outside. Poor decision on his part, but still got upfield for the 1st down and that was crucial. Was key target on RZ pass play, but GB covered him to Foles couldn’t get the ball to him.
D JACKSON – Started the game by lining up in the backfield and then going in motion. Caught WR screen on the 2nd play. Went outside, but didn’t have much room. Only got 2 yds. Could have gone inside, but there was a pursuing LB coming out wide. Still looked like that would have been the bigger play. Got behind a pair of DBs on deep pass play. The ball got hung up in the wind, but DJax caught it after the DBs deflected the pass. Love his concentration on those plays this year. Seemed like the kind of play he rarely made in the past. Finished the game 4-80-1.
AVANT – Caught a 23-yd pass over the middle and a 2-yd pass on the sideline. Those were his only 2 grabs of the game and they came back-to-back. Foles tried to get the ball to him a couple of times in the RZ. Was well-covered on one. There was mis-communication on the other. Used a great cut on one pass play to get wide open over the middle of the field, but Foles never saw him. Easy gain of 25 to 30 yards, maybe more. So frustrating.
COOPER – Another big game. 3 catches, 102 yards and a pair of TDs. Had a drop on the opening drive. Came across the middle and slowed down. Foles seemed to expect him to keep going and tried to lead Riley with the throw. He was still able to get his hands on it, but wasn’t able to make the grab. The first TD came on a post route. Foles wasn’t going to be able to get the ball to Cooper so he instead threw the ball more wide. Riley was able to track the ball and then get into position. He then made a diving catch for the score. I went back and forth on whether that was a catch or if the ball hit the ground. Other TD came when Riley ran a terrific route and sold his cut perfectly. That left him wide open for an easy score. I’m impressed with his route-running these days.
D JOHNSON – Didn’t see him on offense, but might have played.
MAEHL – Did play, but no passes went his way.
PETERS – Played about a quarter before getting hurt and leaving the game. Good seal block of ILB on Fole’s 3rd/1 run early. Really caved the guy in. Hurt himself initially when pulling on a toss play. DB went low and Jason tried to fall on him to punish the guy. Gave up a sack late in the 1st Qtr. Got bull-rushed and re-aggravated an injury. Hobbled off the field.
MATHIS – Good game. Kept control of his defenders. Just a good, solid performance. Had a subtle, but outstanding block on 1st Qtr run. Had to reach to get the OLB. Evan kept moving laterally and was able to get control of the guy. Was able to sustain and eventually put the guy on the ground. That’s impressive blocking. Shady went wide to that side for a big gain.
KELCE – Up and down game. His ability to fire off the ball and get the flow going on run plays blows me away week after week. So crucial to the zone blocking scheme. Wasn’t able to make a good reach block of DT and that blew up a run play in the late 1st Qtr. Pulled and made good block on the outside on Shady run in the early 3rd Qtr. Beaten by DT for sack. Great lateral explosion and the DL crossed his face. Real impressive play. Missed block of ILB on late screen to Casey. Good block could have turned that into a big gain. Had some very good blocks on run plays where Herremans would “hand-off” a defender to Kelce and then go block a LB. It doesn’t wow you at first glance, but watch his footwork and you’ll be really impressed by his ability to slide, engage and sustain.
HERREMANS – Good block on early run to his side. Got into the DT and helped move him off the ball, then released and blocked ILB. Shady went through there for a gain of 9. Gave up a couple of pressures late in the half. Did an excellent job on combo blocks with Kelce. Got outside on some run plays. Didn’t have any standout moments when he just floored DBs or LBs.
JOHNSON – Up and down. Mostly did a very good job in pass pro. Run blocking was too erratic. Lined up outside right on opening drive. Blocked DB. Looked like Lane expected DJax to go inside since he was sealing the DB to the outside. Not sure if that was a sloppy block or poor choice by DJax. Got beat by Matthews on the long TD to DeSean, but a chip block from Shady saved him and kept Foles clean. Had an effective block of 51 on run Shady bounced far right. Lane couldn’t sustain contact, but occupied the guy enough to let Shady get wide for a good gain. Had an excellent run block of J Jolly in the late 1st. Got under his pads and drove the guy several yards off the ball. Had a terrible block of Jolly on run play to the left. Play flowed that way. All Lane had to do was hit JJ in the side and move him laterally. Easy block. Almost whiffed. Jolly made the tackle for a loss. Lined up out wide on another screen pass and failed to cleanly block the DB. It is hard for an OL to block a DB in space since the DB can move around him, but Lane is a gifted athlete. He needs to make that block.
BARBRE – Good game. My favorite Eagles OL to watch in the game so that should tell you something. First play of the game was the long TD to DeSean. Initially helped with the DE, then peeled off and blocked blitzing DB. Called for holding on run play in the late 1st Qtr. LB got into him and pushed Barbre back. Had an effective block of Matthews on run play the right when Barbre lined up to that side on unbalanced line. Couldn’t sustain the block, but kept Matthews from making the tackle. Good block of Matthews late in the 1st Qtr. Pass blocked him and eventually put Clay on the ground. Put Matthews on the ground on a pass play in the mid-2nd. Good block on final series. Hit LB to push him wide, then peeled off an blocked DB. Lined up to the right side on run play late and gave Brown the edge. Might have gotten away with a hold on the play. Mostly a good block, though. Shoved the guy to the ground. Loved his nasty streak, quiet feet in pass pro and his athleticism in space.
TOBIN – DNP
VANDERVELDE – DNP
KELLY – DNP
Odd performance. Gave up 396 yards. To the 3rd string QB. But the defense held the Packers to just 13 points. That is the lowest total the Eagles have allowed all year and continues their recent hot streak. No opponent has scored more than 21 points since September’s debacle in Denver. The defense still gave up too many yards on Sunday, but you can live with yards if you keep the other team off the scoreboard. There were two missed field goals and a pair of red zone stops. Some of that is luck, some of it is skill.
With Rodgers out, the Eagles knew Green Bay would lean on the running game. Eddie Lacy had 24 carries, but only gained 73 yards. His long run was just 11 yards. The Eagles made Green Bay move the ball methodically on the ground. Last week, the Packers had a 32-yard touchdown run and a 56-yard run that set up a touchdown. Without those big plays, the run game was kept under control. Running backs finished with 29 carries for 80 yards. By comparison, the Eagles ran for 204 yards.
Bill Davis used line stunts and run blitzes to try and confuse the Green Bay blockers. Linebacker Najee Goode took over for Mychal Kendricks very early in the game. Davis had Goode blitz at the snap on a lot of run plays. Goode would attack the guard in front of him and just try to disrupt the play. His goal was to get penetration and affect Lacy. Goode didn’t need to make the tackle. He just needed to drive the blocker backward or get by the blocker and into the backfield. Lacy is a north-south runner. If you can get him to run east-west, he becomes a mediocre player. If you can get Lacy to stop moving his feet, he becomes easy to tackle.
The Eagles pass defense still needs lots of work, but Davis strategy led to a pair of INTs and it put the game on Tolzien’s back. I give Tolzien credit for making some terrific throws, especially along the sidelines, but he made some rookie mistakes that hurt the Packers as well.
* The Packers final play of the game came on 4th/GL from the 7. The Eagles showed good maturity on this. GB had a group of receivers to the right side. Roc Carmichael had Jordy Nelson covered at first, then he pointed to Nelson and passed him off to Nate Allen. Nate went wide with Nelson and had pretty good coverage. Tolzien threw a good pass and gave Nelson a chance to make a great play, which he almost did. I do not think Nelson had control of the ball when it was under his body. I love the fact the DBs communicated in the middle of the play and made such good changes on the fly. That would have been an easy TD last year and probably this September.
* Eagles were offside on 2nd Qtr play where the Packers got the bogus 36-yd completion. Fletcher Cox was slung to the ground by his blocker, but there was no call. Should have been offsetting penalties for offside and holding.
* Packers were 0-4 in the Red Zone.
* They were 7 for 16 on 3rd downs.
COX – Good job on 1st Qtr run. Fought through 2 blockers and kept moving out wide. Helped to stop Lacy and limit the play to just a couple of yards. Drove the LG back into Tolzien’s face on 3rd Qtr pass play. Showed good speed as he chased Tolzien on the 19-yd scramble. Showed that speed on the next play when he flew out wide and tackled WR on quick screen. Flowed laterally and tackled Lacy on late GL series. Stout vs the run throughout the game. Used creatively as a pass rusher at times. Stood up on at least one pass play.
LOGAN – Best game yet. Got push on some plays. Moved well laterally on others. Shed block of the C and helped tackle RB in the mid-2nd. Used explosive burst to the right to shoot into the backfield and disrupt a 2nd Qtr run play. Drove the C back on run and then ran down the LOS to force the RB out of bounds. Great job vs the run in the early 3rd. Got into the C and controlled him. Gave the RB nowhere to go. Got good pressure on QB in the 4th after looped wide on pass play. I could have written about another handful of plays where he got the best of the C, but they seemed to get redundant. Faced the starting C for part of the game and then the backup for the rest. Did well vs both.
THORNTON – Another strong performance. Hustled downfield to tackle Lacy on inside run. Had a chance for a TFL in the 1st Qtr, but couldn’t get hold of Lacy in the backfield. Drove the LG back to the QB to get some pressure on early 3rd down. Helped stuff a run play that came at him in the early 2nd Qtr. Knocked the RT back and then shed the block to help make the tackle. Drove the C back into Tolzien’s face on the play where Goode almost had his pick-six. Batted down pass in the 2nd Qtr. Helped to blow up a run play. Stunt called. Ced moved right at the snap, engaged the blocker and clogged the lane. Played some NT in the 2nd half and was disruptive. Finished with 4 total tackles.
CURRY – Continues to get better. Now a functional run defender and good pass rusher. Slanted hard to the inside on 4th/1 and helped to make the stop, but GB did get their yard. Played good 2-gap defense in the mid-2nd Qtr. Took on the LG, shed the block and tackled Lacy. Getting better at this each week. Batted down 3rd down pass in the late 2nd Qtr. Drove the LG backward on pass play late in the 1st half and flushed Tolzien. Beat the RT for a sack in the 4th Qtr. Used a good move and shot by the blocker and into the backfield. Davis mixes in plays where Curry can explode off the ball with the base 2-gap stuff as well.
GEATHERS – Tackled RB for short gain on 3rd Qtr play. Didn’t do much in the 1st half.
SQUARE – Backup NT. Came off block and tackled Lacy on run that came at him. Got moved off the ball on 4th/1 inside run. Shot to the inside on 2nd Qtr run play and forced Lacy to cut back. Got pressure on 3rd Qtr pass play where Tolzien was picked off by Ryans. Used hard move to the left to get penetration and blow up 3rd Qtr run. Struggles when asked to anchor, but effective when allowed to use his movement skills.
COLE – Semi-quiet game. Had 6 solo tackles in the game per NFL.com, but felt like many of them came when Cole was the 2nd or 3rd guy to Lacy. Trent set the edge well on runs, but wasn’t as disruptive as usual. Quiet as a pass rusher. Blew up 3rd Qtr run by knocking blocker into backfield and then grabbing the RB. Stuffed 4th Qtr run play that came right at him.
BARWIN – Was in on 5 total tackles, but felt like his biggest impact came in controlling the edge. Did a good job of controlling the guys trying to block him. Rushed up the middle on 1st Qtr pass play. Flushed Wallace on the opening drive with good pressure and that caused Wallace to get hurt. Really good play in the early 3rd. Set the edge, shed the TE and tackled Lacy. Got tackle at the LOS in the 3rd after Square blew up a run play. Drove the LT back to the QB and flushed him in the early 4th Qtr. Batted down pass in the mid-4th.
GRAHAM – Crashed hard to the inside on inside run play in the mid-2nd, but couldn’t cleanly wrap-up Lacy. Slanted hard to the inside and stuffed Lacy on 3rd Qtr run. Drove the LT back to the QB on 3rd Qtr pass play. Didn’t seem to play as much in this game.
KENDRICKS – Got hurt early and was out for the game. Wolff hit him from behind and in the knee as they went for Lacy.
RYANS – Terrific game. Had 11 solo tackles, 2 TFLs and picked off a pass. Made a great play in the 1st Qtr. Moved to his right on inside run. Got to the hole as Lacy stopped to cut upfield. Ryans squared up and really popped him, for a loss. Had big hit of TE along the sideline. Guy caught a pass and Ryans nailed him. Blitzed to the outside and got a hand in the QB’s face to open the 2nd Qtr. Shoved down the LG and chased down Lacy from behind. Impressive play. Chased Starks out wide and forced him out of bounds on 2nd Qtr pass play. Made a lot of stops between the tackles that weren’t sexy, but were just good quality run defense. Very active game. Flew all over the field.
GOODE – Wow. Didn’t expect Goode to play that well. Came into the game early. Flew upfield on run and helped to create TFL. Almost broke up a pass in the 1st Qtr. Got into the passing lane. Reached for the ball, but couldn’t get it. Did a good job of attacking blockers. Had chance for TFL in the 1st Qtr. Fired into the backfield and got a leg, but Lacy broke free and got a yard or so. Good job on 1st Qtr run. Fired into OL and then moved down the LOS. Got hold of Lacy from behind and limited him to short gain. Good job on 2nd Qtr run. Fought off block of FB and then stuffed Lacy for short gain. Had a chance for a pick-six in the early 2nd Qtr. Read the play and jumped the route, but couldn’t make the play. Did break the pass up. Blew up run in the mid-2nd by driving OL backward. Blitzed through A-gap in the 3rd Qtr and got in QB’s face. Hit his facemask and drew flag. Disruptive player throughout the game. Didn’t have even one solo tackle, but played well.
MATTHEWS – Didn’t see him on defense.
KNOTT – DNP
ALLEN – Solid game. Credited with 4 solo stops. Tackled Lacy in space on pass play. Wasn’t a clean tackle, but did get him down. Went low. Forced fumble in the mid-3rd on 3rd/1 pass to TE. Came up quickly in run support on a regular basis. Helped to keep Lacy from getting loose. Had coverage on Nelson on the Packers final pass play. Wasn’t great, but kept it from being an easy TD.
CHUNG – Took over when Wolff got hurt. Credited with 5 total tackles. Seemed to play pretty well. Hustled out wide and made tackle of WR on quick screen. Got out wide and broke up 3rd down pass to the FB. Came up quickly to help stuff a run at the LOS in the mid-2nd Qtr. Broke up a pass in the early 3rd. Fell down on 3rd Qtr pass that turned into TD. Not sure if that was his guy or if it was zone coverage. Falling down in coverage isn’t good no matter what.
WOLFF – Had 2 tackles, 1 TFL early before getting hurt. Was doing a good job in run defense.
COLEMAN – Didn’t see him on defense.
ANDERSON – Played in some Nickel/Dime sets. Had one tackle.
FLETCHER – DNP.
WILLIAMS – Had a lot of passes come his way. Gave up too many completions. Ended up with 7 solo tackles. Broke up a pass in the 3rd Qtr. Deflected the ball into the air and Ryans picked it off. Badly missed tackle on WR screen in the 4th Qtr. Not a good game for Cary, but the INT he created was a key momentum play.
BOYKIN – Faced Jordy Nelson quite a bit. Won some, lost some. Had 3 solo tackles and a huge INT. Looked like he blew a coverage on early 3rd down. Everyone else appeared to be playing zone. Boykin ran with the slot guy. Ball went to his area, but tackle got made and GB didn’t get a 1st down. Made pick in the end zone. Tolzien threw behind Nelson and Boykin came out of his break and made the pick. Ran it back 76 yards. I was hoping for a pick-six, but Boykin ran out of steam. Good awareness and hands on that play. Put big hit on Nelson along the sideline late in the 1st half. Had tight coverage on Nelson late in the half, but still gave up big completion that set up FG. Had pretty good coverage on 3rd Qtr pass to Nelson, but got called for PI. Looked like a legit call. Boykin never looked back for the ball.
CARMICHAEL – First NFL start. Solid game. Credited with 4 solo tackles and a PD. Made good stop on early 3rd down. Came up quickly to force WR out just short of the sticks. Came inside to help tackle Lacy on inside run play in the 1st Qtr. Missed tackle of WR on quick screen. Tackled WR after giving up completion in zone coverage. Wasn’t pretty, but got him down. Broke up a pass in the 4th Qtr. Broke up pass in the 4th Qtr inside the RZ. Got away with some handsy coverage at times. Did a good job of not giving clean releases to receivers. Looked comfortable when allowed to press.
JONES – Only had 2 punts, both in the 1st Qtr. One went for 43, one for 33. The short kick was on a short field and was downed inside the 5.
HENERY – 1 of 2 on FGs. Missed short kick. Kelly said you could clearly see the ball move due to the wind. Not sure all Eagles fans will agree. In Henery’s defense, Mason Crosby missed 2 FGs. Wind was a factor in the passing game as well. 2 of his 6 KOs were touchbacks.
KOR – The Eagles didn’t get a chance for a true KOR. Casey had a short one for 10 yds. Graham fell on a short KO for no gain.
PR – DeSean had one fair catch. The other punt was downed.
– MISC –
* Boykin downed a punt inside the 5-yd line in the 1st Qtr.
* Jeff Maehl was in on a couple of tackles and drew a block in the back call on another play.
* Colt Anderson had 2 solo tackles. He was involved in a wild play. GB thought they had the Eagles pinned deep. At the last second, Anderson ran in and tried to grab the punt to return it. He didn’t get it, the ball went into the endzone and the Packers recovered. They all got excited. Problem is, the receiving team can do that with no risk if the punting team has already touched the ball. Dumb rule, but it is legit. Turned out all of that was irrelevant since another Packer had touched the ball 10 yards up the field. Much ado about nothing.