Legendary senior writer jclombardi’s insider final reviews & grades.
SUMMARY: Eagles QB Foles completed 3 touchdown passes to beat the injury-ravaged Packer who struggled on offense with 3rd string QB Tolzien, while their defense simply fell apart, especially in the 4th quarter again.
GAME BALLS: RB Lacy. DL Daniels. ILB Hawk. CB Shields. WR Boykin.
INJURY REPORT: OL Barclay (knee); DL Jolly (groin); CB Hayward (hamstring); OLB Perry (knee).
PASSING OFFENSE: C vs C vs B. After the first series, backup QB Tolzien replaced injured starting QB Wallace. Like déjà vu, we were reminded of former QB Randy Wright. With decent pass protection , Tolzien completed 24 of 39 passes for 280 yards, touchdown, 2 big interceptions, and 70.5 passer rating.
With a negative 1.3 PFF score, they accurately summed up his performance:
His problems were two dreadful decisions, trying to force balls into areas where there was no space, and two very inaccurate throws including the ball behind James Jones and Brandon Boykin that were intercepted. It’s these that are more the concern; the former can more easily be overcome but the occasional inaccuracy may be inherent.
However, an optimistic BM assessment added:
The deep sideline shot to Nelson was special because of the throw and the fact Newhouse whiffed on a spin move, enabling Barwin to be in his face. Using a rapid release, he showed good timing on screens, runs-turned-quick passes, and check-downs. He was knocked down five times but shook it off. His hard count was effective. He rolled out three times, stepped away or ran from pressure, and threw well on the run. The negative included two interceptions (one too low and one too high) and three batted balls.
WR Boykin had a big game with 8 catches for 112 yards. WR Nelson had 6 catches for 56 yards and 1 big drop in the red zone. WR Jones had 4 catches for 44 yards. TE Bostick showed his potential with 3 catches for 42 yards.
Grading the offense line, LT Dakhtiari was adequate, RG Sitton was top-notch, C/RG Lang did okay, RG/RT Barclay was adequate, and RT Newhouse was awful allowing a big brutal sack.
Grading the red zone performance: Packers are an awful 30th in the league!
RUSHING OFFENSE: C vs C- vs C. For the game the Packers rushed for 99 yards averaging 3.3 ypc. Rookie RB Lacy had 24 carries for 73 hard yards against a stacked Eagles defense keying on him clogging the lanes. He is truly going to be a great Packers running back, if he can stay healthy. RB Starks had 4 carries for 5 yards. FB Kuhn's had a carry for two yards on an inside handoff during a big 4th and 1 yard call. QB Tolzien had a big 19 yard run.
PASSING DEFENSE: D vs D vs C-. The Packers gave up 415 net total yards in an awful performance. Facing porous pass coverage, Eagles QB Foles completed 12 clutch passes for 228 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a solid 149.3 passer rating. The entire defensive line, excluding DL Daniels (sack) and DL Jones (2 sacks), linebackers (excluding ILB Hawk), and secondary (excluding CB Shields & Williams) looked awful.
Raji and Pickett, the pillars of the run defense, were awful. Operating against an elite guard in Mathis, Raji never made a play and allowed too much movement. He started playing high late and it wasn't pretty. Pickett looked gimpy on a bad knee. He couldn't anchor, and labored trying to change direction. Jolly beat Johnson inside for a tackle for loss, went out with a groin injury, returned for two snaps when the defense was embarrassing itself at the end and then limped off again. Call it the worst game of OLB Matthews’ career….His entire approach and equilibrium were off-kilter. Neal had no excuse for his brutal performance. OLBs Palmer and Perry didn't offer anything, either against run or pass. ILB Hawk did play really well. This feckless defensive unit would have been blown off the field without Hawk's zeal and unselfish, disciplined approach. ILB B. Jones missed a couple of tackles, either was late or making questionable decisions, and showed no signs of being a good linebacker. Safety Burnett has never played this poorly [in coverage allowing 2 touchdowns]
We add SE’s assessment:
Of his 12 completions, half covered 20-plus yards, as Eagles QB Foles passed for 228 yards. Philadelphia's downfield carnage started in comical fashion when cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Morgan Burnett collided as they both jumped to try to intercept Foles' heave to DeSean Jackson (four catches, 80 yards) down the middle, only to have the ball pop out and into the hands of Jackson at the Green Bay 5-yard line and a 55-yard touchdown to break a scoreless tie in the first quarter. Foles exploited more busted coverage on Green Bay's back end on TD throws of 45 and 32 yards to Riley Cooper (three receptions, 102 yards) in the third quarter
RUSHING DEFENSE: F vs D- vs D. With the detailed assessments above, the Packers rush defense completely fell apart allowing 204 rushing yards. Eagles RB McCoy had 155 yards rushing averaging 6.2 ypc in many open lanes with no outside containments.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C- vs C- vs C. Kicker Crosby missed two field goals trying to gauge the wind, but he finally connected from 26 and 35 yards. Punter Masthay's had two punts with 48.0 gross and net averages. Dependable rookie KR/PR Hyde averaged 4 kickoffs averaging 17.3 yards, but he had only 2 yards on a single punt return. Yet, the specials teams did a solid job containing the Eagles’ return teams.
COACHING: D vs C vs ?. While they are to be commended for handling the ongoing injuries, Head Coach McCarthy & Defensive Coordinator Capers failed to deliver solid game plans and game management.
OVERALL: D vs ? vs C-. The Packers lost two home games in the span of six days with elite QB Rodgers who will be out for another 3 weeks (recovery time of minimum four weeks). Fortunately, they signed backup QB Matt Flynn who may start in two weeks.