GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers needed a victory when they visited the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016. They got that win, then ran the table with six consecutive wins to close the regular season. On Sunday night, the Packers need a victory as they visit Philadelphia. Can history repeat itself? Follow along all night for updates.
Eagles 40, Packers 33
In the least-shocking development in human history, the Eagles ran the ball three consecutive times for the clinching first down. Here is the quick game story, complete with game ball, questionable call and more.
Eagles 40, Packers 33 (1:08 remaining)
Set up by another big-time kickoff return by Keisean Nixon, Jordan Love drove the Packers to a 33-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. The big play was a 17-yard completion to Allen Lazard. On third-and-4, Love threw just behind Randall Cobb in the end zone and the pass was broken up.
Jack Stall recovered the onside kick. Can the Packers stop three consecutive runs to give Love one more shot?
Eagles 40, Packers 30 (2:16 remaining)
Could Green Bay get a stop to give Jordan Love a shot at a 2-minute drill? Of course not. The Eagles ran the ball nine consecutive times to set up a 54-yard field goal that made it 40-30 with 2:16 to play. The drive consumed 6:44 Keisean Nixon’s big kickoff return to the 47 has Love in a good spot with 2:09 to play.
Eagles 37, Packers 30 (9:00 remaining)
Eagles 34, Packers 23
Injury update: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out with an oblique injury. Jordan Love will play the rest of the game, facing a mission impossible on the scoreboard.
Eagles 34, Packers 23 (2:03 remaining)
Mason Crosby booted a 29-yard field goal but none of that is relevant. After the drive, Aaron Rodgers ran into the locker room. He’s been laboring through injured ribs.
On the scoring drive, AJ Dillon had a run of 10 and a catch for 11. Coach Matt LaFleur kept the offense on the field for a fourth-and-3 from the 6 but right tackle Yosh Nijman was flagged for a false start.
Injury update: Aaron Rodgers (oblique) is questionable.
Eagles 34, Packers 20 (7:19 remaining)
Green Bay’s run defense has been little more than a speed bump. Miles Sanders had four consecutive runs that gained 21, 8, 28 and 8 yards. He did all the heavy lifting to set up Jalen Hurts’ 6-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown to make it a 14-point game. Hurts (130) and Sanders (116) have topped 100 rushing yards and there’s a quarter-and-a-half to go.
Eagles 27, Packers 20 (12:42 remaining)
Keisean Nixon returned the second-half kickoff 52 yards to almost midfield but the Eagles’ defense swarmed for a three-and-out. On third-and-7, the pocket collapsed and Aaron Rodgers was sacked.
Eagles 27, Packers 20 (13 seconds remaining)
Quez Watkins ruined Rasul Douglas’ Philadelphia homecoming. Jalen Hurts threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Watkins just before halftime. Douglas, who was drafted by the Eagles and won a Super Bowl with them, had good coverage but the ball was – perhaps intentionally – underthrown. Watkins caught the ball just in front of the pylon and spun into the end zone. Hurts will go into halftime with 128 passing yards and 126 rushing yards.
Packers 20, Eagles 20 (5:48 remaining)
Sacks by Josh Sweat (vs. David Bakhtiari but set up by Ndamukong Suh) and Fletcher Cox (vs. Jon Runyan) resulted in a punt.
Packers 20, Eagles 20 (5:48 remaining)
The Packers forced a three-and-out punt, with newcomer Justin Hollins getting a sack on second down and Jarran Reed applying the pressure on third down.
Packers 20, Eagles 20 (7:41 remaining)
With the Eagles in position to take a two-touchdown lead, safety Rudy Ford stripped star receiver A.J. Brown. Quay Walker went from blitzing up the middle to the sideline to scoop up the loose ball, which he returned 63 yards to the Eagles’ 13.
The Packers appeared to score on the next play, with Aaron Jones picking up big-time blocks by Josiah Deguara, Allen Lazard and Elgton Jenkins for the touchdown. Jenkins, however, was flagged for holding for ... blocking someone with physicality, apparently. On second-and-20 from the 23, Aaron Rodgers escaped the pocket and found Jones in the back of the end zone against safety Marcus Epps for the touchdown. Jones took his route to the right, then maneuvered back to the left and made a leaping catch. Mason Crosby missed the extra point.
Eagles 20, Packers 14 (11:20 remaining)
The Packers were on the move and looking about as unstoppable as they have all season until Aaron Rodgers was picked off by rookie safety Reed Blankenship. Tight end Tyler Davis was open but Blankenship fired forward from the deep secondary to make the play. Blankenship is in the game because the NFL’s interception leader, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, was injured on the previous possession.
Eagles 20, Packers 14 (14:54 remaining)
Miles Sanders rode his offensive line for a 2-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Tight end Jack Stoll was like a snowplow vs. Dean Lowry. The Packers entered Sunday having given up 112 rushing yards to quarterbacks all season. Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts had 103 in the first quarter alone. On third-and-2 from Green Bay’s 45, Preston Smith took his rush too far upfield. Hurts cut inside and the only man between Hurts and a free lane up the sideline was defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Hurts, obviously, is going to win that race a million out of a million times. Hurts ran for 42 to the 3.
Packers 14, Eagles 13 (3:09 remaining)
The Packers, in shocking fashion, have the lead. Aaron Rodgers fired an 11-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. Christian Watson went streaking across the middle, taking two Eagles defenders with him, to free up Cobb. On fourth-and-5, Watson lined up in the right slot, was wide open and caught a strike from Rodgers despite absorbing a big shot by big-play safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. It was a gain of 21 to the 11.
Eagles 13, Packers 7 (5:00 remaining)
Through 6 minutes, it looked like the Packers were going to be embarrassed on national television. But they’ve answered the bell. After AJ Dillon’s 20-yard touchdown, the Packers stuffed the Eagles on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1. On third down, Jalen Hurts tried to move the chains on a quarterback sneak but was pulled back by outside linebacker Kingsley Enagbare. Credit to defensive tackle T.J. Slaton for holding off the Eagles’ push. On fourth down, Jason Kelce and Hurts botched the center-quarterback exchange. Miles Sanders recovered but short of the marker. Dean Lowry was the low man.
Eagles 13, Packers 7 (6:40 remaining)
Are the Packers toast? Nope. Starting at their 41 following a 38-yard kickoff return by Keisean Nixon in which he broke two tackles, Aaron Jones ran for 10 and gained 30 on a screen – Elgton Jenkins had the key block at the line of scrimmage, one in which the Eagles wanted a hold – before AJ Dillon cut back through a huge hole and scored on a 20-yard run. Right guard Jon Runyan, whose father was a longtime Eagles standout at right tackle, had the key block.
Eagles 13, Packers 0 (9:02 remaining)
Six minutes into the game, the Packers might be toast. Starting at the 29, the Eagles needed only three plays to score. On first down from the 15, Miles Sanders broke Kenny Clark’s tackle at the line and Quay Walker’s tackle at the 9 and scored. The extra point was no good.
Eagles 7, Packers 0 (10:23 remaining)
What a disastrous start. Keisean Nixon muffed the kickoff, picked it up in the end zone, slipped and was tackled at the 9. On third-and-4, nobody bothered to block stud defensive tackle Javon Hargrave. Aaron Rodgers stepped out of the sack, threw a wounded duck off the helmet of Eagles cornerback Darius Slay. The ball ricocheted into the air and was intercepted by Josiah Scott at the Packers’ 29.
Eagles 7, Packers 0 (11:19 remaining)
Kenneth Gainwell scored on a 4-yard run to put the Eagles on top. Isaac Seumalo blocked linebacker Krys Barnes on the play. The Packers started Keisean Nixon in the slot and Rudy Ford at safety – with former first-round pick Darnell Savage on the bench. On the opening third-and-10, defensive coordinator Joe Barry had the Eagles right where he wanted them. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scrambled and juked the spy, linebacker Quay Walker, then broke tackle attempts from Adrian Amos and Savage for a 24-yard run. Savage was hurt on the play. On the next third down, Hurts ran for 28 on a quarterback draw.
Hurts had two runs for 52 yards against a defense that had been one of the best in stopping quarterback runs.
Injury update: S Darnell Savage (foot) is questionable.
Still Having Fun
Aaron Rodgers has a broken thumb and a losing team. Nonetheless, while it might not always seem like it on the field, the four-time MVP says he’s having fun.
“I love these guys,” he said this week. “It’s tough. Obviously, you’d love to be sitting here with a better record, but I still love this game, love the guys, love the stuff we get to do outside the facility. We still try to find ways to make it fun with pranks and jokes and the normal things that keep you stimulated during the day. Yeah, as a competitor, you’re frustrated but this is life in the NFL. There’s a lot of ups and downs. Can’t just be happy when it’s going great and you’re soaring high and pissed off when it’s not going low. As a competitor, you want to win but you’ve got to enjoy this thing or else it’s time to move on.”
Doubs Out Again
Early in the season, rookie receiver Christian Watson twice was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Without Watson, fellow rookie Romeo Doubs played a big role.
Now that Watson is healthy, Doubs is injured. He will miss his third consecutive game with an ankle injury. Considering the injury was sustained on the first snap at Detroit, he’s essentially missing a fourth game in a row.
“There’s nothing like – especially for younger players – getting those both in-practice reps and then, ultimately, the game reps are really where you see these guys, how they react to certain situations, because it’s impossible to present every situation to your players in practice,” coach Matt LaFleur said.
“There’s no substitute for not knowing exactly what’s going to be called, what’s going to be on the script. Obviously, you know the plan but just the sequence in terms of how those plays get called off a call sheet, I think you’ve got to be on your toes at all times. And then having the defense in terms of what they’re going to call and the looks they’re going to present to you, it makes these guys think on their feet.”