Wisconsin State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Green Bay Packers' performance in their 34-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers' 58-yard pass to Davante Adams helped Green Bay score on its opening drive for the third straight game. Rodgers spread the ball around to all of his receivers after that. Rodgers' two turnovers — a fumble and a late interception — were killers. Aaron Jones found little running room for the third time in four games.
The Eagles offensive line created big holes in the running game. The Packers offset good opposing ground attacks in the first three games by forcing turnovers, but they couldn't turn over the Eagles. Philadelphia picked on nickel safety-linebacker Will Redmond in coverage. Kevin King had solid coverage on Alshon Jeffery.
Special teams: D
For the second straight game, the Packers gave up a kickoff return of 60 or more yards to the right side. Mason Crosby sent a kickoff out of bounds, putting the ball on the 40. The Packers can't keep coughing up field position and momentum like that after scores. The downside of directional punting? JK Scott hit a 31-yarder.
Not enough Adams in the game plans? He had six catches for 107 yards in the first quarter. Four straight passes after first-and-goal at the 1? Ugh. Matt LaFleur used his timeouts to give Rodgers time late in the first half and got a touchdown. Mike Pettine's five-man pass rushes almost never reached Carson Wentz.
The Packers defense wasn't going to dominate every game and the Eagles became the first team to shred it, especially when they scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions. That left it up to the still-developing offense to win the game and, though it was improved, it still wasn't up to the task as Green Bay fell to 3-1.
Contact Tom Oates at email@example.com.
Tom Oates has been a staff member of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department for 30 years and its editorial voice for more than 15, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day — from UW athletics to the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, as well as local teams such as the Mallards and Mustangs.
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Tom Oates has been part of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department since 1980 and became its editorial voice in 1996, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day.