NFL: Desperate Packers take shot at suddenly mortal Eagles
After a pristine 8-0 start, the Philadelphia Eagles have some things to tidy up heading into Sunday night’s visit from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
The Eagles (9-1) followed a Week 10 home loss to Washington by rallying for a late 17-16 win last Sunday at Indianapolis.
“When you have to win like that and it’s got to be grimy and gritty, that’s who we are,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said of the win against the Colts. “We are nasty. We are physical. That’s the type of team we are.”
Philadelphia trailed at halftime in the last two games after leading at the break in each of the first eight. The Eagles also turned the ball over four times against the Commanders and twice more against the Colts, after committing only three turnovers combined through the first eight contests.
Such trends are a bit worrying entering the Week 12 primetime clash against the somewhat desperate Packers (4-7), but the NFC-leading Eagles prefer to focus on the resiliency they showed against the Colts.
Down 13-3 entering the fourth quarter, Jalen Hurts threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Quez Watkins with 13:31 to play and rushed up the middle for the go-ahead, 7-yard score with 1:20 left.
“You have to find a way to win,” Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson said. “That’s what it is. That’s all that matters. Find a way to win. For us to be where we are speaks to the character we have here. We’re going to fight you to the very end. That’s what this team is all about.”
After showing some fight with a 31-28 overtime win against Dallas in Week 10, Green Bay lacked offensive punch in a 27-17 home loss to Tennessee on Nov. 17. The Packers were held to 56 rushing yards and 271 total yards by the Titans, who never trailed.
Still dealing with an injured right thumb — which he admitted was broken at the end of a Week 5 loss against the New York Giants, Rodgers completed 24 of 39 passes for 227 yards with two touchdown passes to rookie Christian Watson in the Thursday night loss to Tennessee. That gave Watson five TD catches in the span of five days.
“He’s playing really well, and I think he’s figuring out how he fits into this offense and he’s staying on the field,” fellow receiver Randall Cobb said of Watson, a 2022 second-round pick.
Following three consecutive 13-win regular seasons under head coach Matt LaFleur, barring a rebound the Packers appear poised to miss the playoffs for just the fourth time in Rodgers’ 15 seasons as the starter.
Rodgers isn’t giving up. After games at Philadelphia and at Chicago, Green Bay has a bye week before playing three of its last four at Lambeau Field.
“We gotta play up to our potential,” Rodgers said after losing to the Titans. “If we play up to our potential, we can win our last six games. I’m confident of that.”
Offensive linemen David Bakhtiari (knee), Elgton Jenkins (knee) and Rasheed Walker (illness) did not practice for the Packers on Wednesday. Neither did linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (knee), safeties Rudy Ford (illness) and Tariq Carpenter (illness) and wide receiver Romeo Doubs (ankle).
The Eagles held a walk-through practice on Wednesday and cornerback Josh Jobe (hamstring) was the only player on the injury report, listed as a limited participant. He has not played since Week 9.
–Field Level Media