Week 12 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 14, Philadelphia Eagles 19
What you need to know
Coming off of their disappointing Monday night loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers played a sloppy uneven game in Philadelphia. Their performance was marred by five turnovers and poor overall execution on offense. After going into halftime with a 14-10 lead, Green Bay failed to score a point in the second half.
Favre was off the mark early in the game, and never really was able to get it going. He started out just one for ten throwing, and finished the day with 15 completions on 33 attempts. Many of Favre’s passes simply sailed over the heads of his intended receivers. He threw for 171 total yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions.
Tony Fisher started the game in the backfield, but quickly gave way to Samkon Gado on the Packers’ second offensive series. Overall Gado ran well, notching 111 yards on 26 carries. His long run of the day was a 33 yard touchdown run on which he broke several tackles. Gado did cough up another fumble in the contest, his fifth fumble in his last three games, but he returned to the backfield on the next Green Bay offensive series. Tony Fisher was only given two carries, though he was targeted four times out of the backfield.
Donald Driver led all Green Bay receivers with 50 receiving yards, but managed just three catches in the game. David Martin saw his workload increase after Bubba Franks was knocked out of the game in early action. Martin was the recipient of Favre’s lone touchdown pass, a 13 yard pass to the back of the end zone.
Playing in their second full game without quarterback Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles struggled to move the ball and sustain any long drives on offense. Playing with inexperienced quarterback Mike McMahon, as well as two new starters on the left side of the offensive line, the Eagles implemented a conservative game plan that relied on a heavy dose of Brian Westbrook in both the pass and run game.
McMahon never really got into any sort of rhythm in the passing game. When he did throw the ball, it was primarily to his backs and tight ends. He completed 12 of 28 throws for just 91 yards, with only three completions to his wide receivers. McMahon did show off his mobility, running for 29 yards on four attempts. He did not throw an interception in the game.
Westbrook was the workhorse for the Philadelphia offense, and their most potent weapon. He got the Eagles off to a quick start with a 27 yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Westbrook finished with 117 yards on 21 carries, in addition to 11 receiving yards on four receptions. Rookie running back Ryan Moats saw his first action of the season, and finished with 24 yards on six carries. Lamar Gordon lost a fumble on a carry deep in Green Bay territory on the Eagles’ first possession of the game and was used sparingly thereafter.
L.J. Smith led all Eagles’ receivers with a paltry 28 yards on two catches. Philadelphia’s longest pass completion of the day was 17 yards to Chad Lewis.
What you ought to know
|QB Brett Favre, Pass: 15 - 33 - 171 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0|
Favre struggled early in the game, completing just one of his first ten passes and frequently missing open receivers with high errant throws. At times he looked like he was starting to find a rhythm, but turnovers proved costly time and again to Favre and the Green Bay offense. Favre found David Martin in the back of the end zone with a well thrown ball for his lone touchdown pass of the day. Favre often forced the ball to Donald Driver, despite frequent double coverage. Favre had two interceptions in the game, though one came on a Hail Mary throw late in the game.
|RB Samkon Gado, Rush: 26 - 111 - 1, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)|
Gado did not start at tailback, but came in on the Packers’ second series. Gado ran strong throughout the game, breaking off four runs for more than ten yards. Some of his most impressive running came on Green Bay’s second possession, when he ran for 17 yards up the gut, and on the following play took a toss from Favre 33 yards to the end zone. He broke several tackles on the touchdown run, spinning out of a Brian Dawkins tackle on the way to the end zone. Notably, Gado was also used by the Packers in short yardage situations. Also of note, Gado’s otherwise solid performance was marred by a costly fumble at midfield at the end of the third quarter. The fumble, recovered by Philadelphia, was Gado’s fifth in his last three games. The play was reviewed to see if he was down by contact, but the fumble was upheld. Gado did come back into the game on Green Bay’s next series and proceeded to rip off 13 yards on his first carry.
|RB Tony Fisher, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (4 targets)|
Fisher started the game at running back, but gave way to Samkon Gado on the Packers’ second series. After that, Fisher was used sparingly, primarily in passing situations. Keeping with the theme of the day for the Packers, Fisher fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter, but Green Bay recovered.
Lee fumbled the second Green Bay kickoff return, then left the game with a rib injury and did not return.
Driver had a relatively quiet game, managing just 50 total yards on three catches. He was targeted eight times by Favre, but a number of those throws were not catchable. Driver was often blanketed by two defensive backs, although that did not stop Favre from throwing his way. Driver also gained four yards on an end around.
Ferguson had just two catches for 15 yards, and was not much of a factor in the game. He was targeted twice on deep sideline routes, but was overthrown on both passes.
Chatman was targeted three times by Favre but did not have a catch.
Martin’s role increased after Franks left the game. Martin scored a touchdown on a post pattern from the Philadelphia 13. The ball was juggled by Martin, but instant replay confirmed that he secured the ball before running out the back of the end zone.
Lee had two catches in the game for 21 yards. He was targeted in the end zone on an out and up, but the ball was badly underthrown by Favre and intercepted by the Eagles.
Franks was injured early in the game on a hit by Eagles’ safety Brian Dawkins. He was carried off the field on a stretcher for precautionary reasons.
Longwell did not attempt a field goal in the game. He hit both of his two point after attempts.
The Green Bay rush defense was spotty throughout the game, at times holding Eagles’ runners to minimal gains, but also giving up some long runs. In total, the Packers allowed 180 yards on the ground and one touchdown.
The Packers’ pass defense played well, holding Philadelphia to a meager 91 yards in the air. However, this paltry total can also be attributed to the Eagles’ success in the run game, as well as their very conservative game plan. Green Bay had zero interceptions and two sacks.
|QB Mike McMahon, Pass: 12 - 28 - 91 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 29 - 0|
McMahon looked very much like an inexperienced quarterback in this game. He was out of synch with his receivers and had a number of passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. Although he was afforded time to throw by his largely inexperienced offensive line, he was unable to connect with his receivers downfield. Importantly for the Eagles, McMahon avoided making any big mistakes. He looked most comfortable when he was outside of the pocket, throwing on the run. McMahon also showed off his mobility at times, scrambling for 29 yards on four attempts.
Westbrook answered the call for the Eagles in all phases of this game. Westbrook saw 21 carries out of the backfield, ten targets as a receiver, and also returned two punts. His most impressive play of the day was his 27 yard touchdown run, on which he ran up the middle, hesitated with a jump cut, then ran back across the grain to the outside and went to the end zone untouched. Westbrook also had a 22 yard run on a fourth and one play at midfield. He had a 12 yard carry negated by a holding penalty at the end of the first half.
Moats, a third round pick out of Louisiana Tech, saw his first action of the season against Green Bay. Moats had a carry on the Eagles’ first series, and was used to spell Westbrook throughout the contest. Moats’ long run of day went for 12 yards after he broke a tackle in the backfield. Moats was also active in special teams. He forced and recovered a Green Bay fumble on a kick return in the fourth quarter.
Gordon fumbled the ball on his first touch of the day, a costly turnover as the Eagles were driving at the Green Bay nine. He had just two more carries in the game.
Parry made the most of his only target, lumbering ahead for 11 yards and picking up a Philadelphia first down.
Mahe had one target, no catches, and no carries. He muffed a punt in the second quarter but the Eagles recovered.
McMullen was the only Philadelphia wide receiver to have a catch in the first half. He finished with ten yards on two catches.
Lewis started the game despite being questionable with an elbow injury. Like the rest of his receiving corps, Lewis failed to make any big plays. He finished with just one catch for nine yards. Lewis was targeted in the end zone by a scrambling McMahon, but the ball was thrown out of bounds. He was also targeted on a deep sideline route, but the ball landed just out of his reach.
Brown was shut out in this game. He was targeted on a quick slant early in the game, but he was blanketed by the defensive back and could not make the catch. Replay showed that he had difficulty getting off the jam at the line. Brown was also targeted on a deep sideline route and a deep pattern in the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter, but both balls sailed over his head.
Lewis caught both passes thrown his way for 22 yards.
Smith had a quiet game, with just two catches for 28 yards on four targets. His first catch of the game came went for 17 yards to convert a third and long for the Eagles.
Akers looked to be fully recovered from his torn hamstring, as he was perfect on the day. He connected on field goals from 44, 38, 37, and 33 yards. Notably, Akers resumed kickoff duties in this game, a job that previously had been performed by the recently released Jose Cortez.
The Eagles’ rush defense played well on occasion, but also gave up a number of big plays. Poor tackling and overly aggressive angles to the ball carrier led to Gado’s long touchdown run. In total, Philadelphia yielded 128 yards on the ground. The Eagles did force fumbles by both Gado and Fisher. Two additional Green Bay fumbles came on special teams.
The Eagles’ pass defense enjoyed a solid game, allowing just 171 yards in the air and one passing touchdown. They employed a more conservative game plan than usual, opting to rush four in favor of blitzing in most long yardage situations. They sacked Favre only one time in the game, but intercepted him twice.