Eagles vs. Packers: Takeaways from Green Bay's 27-13 Loss to Philadelphia
It was a difficult game for the Packers from start to finish. Little went right for Green Bay as they wasted too many opportunities to come away with a win.
Let's take a look at a handful of takeaways from Green Bay's loss to Philadelphia.
*All statistics courtesy of NFL.com.
Tolzien Locks Up Starting Job Until Rodgers Returns
With quarterback Seneca Wallace forced out of the game early, the Green Bay Packers were forced to turn to Scott Tolzien.
Tolzien was promoted to the 53-man roster earlier in the week but was surprisingly good in his first career NFL start. He finished the game with 280 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
While the two turnovers are certainly worrisome, Tolzien did a good job at leading this offense under an immense amount of pressure. Even if Wallace is healthy enough to play next week, you have to figure that the Packers roll with Tolzien until Aaron Rodgers is ready to return from injury.
Too Much Eddie Lacy Appears to Be an Issue
With quarterback Aaron Rodgers out, the Green Bay Packers figured to run the ball quite often against the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, that plan didn't work so well after the first two quarters.
Running Back Eddie Lacy finished the game with 24 carries for 73 yards on the day. However, most of those yards came in the first half. For the majority of the second half, the Packers and Lacy couldn't get anything going on the ground.
The lesson learned here is that the Packers need to limit Lacy's carries in the first half in order for him to be effective in the second half. Considering backup running back James Starks only received four carries all game, the Packers could have certainly used him more to take some pressure off Lacy.
If the Packers want to survive without Rodgers, they'll need to pace Lacy in the first half so he can be effective in the second half.
Jarrett Boykin Is Turning into Another Weapon
Can you guess which wide receiver led the Green Bay Packers in receptions and yards this week? No, it wasn't Jordy Nelson but Jarrett Boykin.
Boykin finished Sunday's game with eight receptions for a whopping 112 yards. Sure, his 36-yard reception shouldn't have counted, but Boykin was still fantastic in this game.
He's quickly becoming another dangerous weapon for the Packers offense. If he continues to play at this level, he should have no trouble securing a long-term deal with the Packers once the season is over.
A.J. Hawk Is the Best Defensive Player This Year
With the majority of the defense struggling against the Philadelphia Eagles, inside linebacker A.J. Hawk continued his impressive play.
Hawk has been fantastic for the majority of the season, and it continued here in Week 10. He finished the game with seven total tackles, including a handful of key tackles for negative yards.
While Hawk has been widely viewed as a disappointment in his career with the Green Bay Packers, that is changing this year. Hawk has been the best defensive player on the team this year, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
The Secondary Is Absolutely Pitiful
As bad as the secondary has been in recent weeks, and it's been bad, they took their struggles to a whole new level this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
There wasn't a single member of the secondary who played a decent game this week. Cornerback Tramon Williams was routinely beat by the Eagles receivers. Safeties Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings were absolutely horrid.
In fact, the poor play from the safeties forced the Green Bay Packers to bench Jennings for rookie Chris Banjo. This caused ESPN.com writer Jason Wilde to poke a little fun at how poorly the Packers safeties were playing.
Until the secondary improves, the Packers will continue to see opposing offenses shredding them.
Lack of Turnovers Are Frustrating
The Green Bay Packers did finish the game with a fumble recovery (thanks to instant replay), but there were numerous other opportunities the Packers defense completely missed on.
It started in the first quarter when cornerback Tramon Williams missed an interception that eventually turned into a touchdown for the Philadelphia Eagles. There were also a number of underthrown balls by quarterback Nick Foles that Green Bay should have been able to make a play on defensively.
As long as this team continues to struggle creating turnovers, they'll continue to struggle winning games. This used to be a strong point for the defense in recent seasons, but it's been nonexistent this year.
Play-Calling Needs to Improve
Throughout the course of the game there were a number of "interesting" play calls from head coach Mike McCarthy.
Many of them came on short-yardage situations where he decided to pass the ball instead of pound it on the ground with running back Eddie Lacy. In fact, McCarthy commented on this after the game, saying via the Packers official Twitter account:
"There were fundamental issues. We need to do our jobs better, it starts with me."
Had McCarthy trusted his running back more often, who knows what could have happened in the game. All that is known is that McCarthy made some poor calls that cost his team better chances to put points on the board.
More Injuries Equal More Problems
It started with an injury to backup quarterback Seneca Wallace in the first quarter. Unfortunately, it didn't end there.
Key players like center Evan Dietrich-Smith, cornerback Casey Hayward, offensive tackle Don Barclay and defensive end Johnny Jolly were all injured during the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. For those keeping track, these injuries now make a million injuries on the year for the Green Bay Packers (slight exaggeration there).
It's not that the Packers don't have players to potentially replace those who get injuries. The problem is replacing the replacement players who get injured.
The Packers literally have no depth left on their depth chart. No team has seen more significant injuries this year than Green Bay, and it's starting to ruin its season.
The Season Isn't over Just Yet
It'd be easy to call it a season for the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out for the next few weeks and losing to the Philadelphia Eagles at home is certainly tough.
However, no one should be waving the white flag in Green Bay just yet. This team is still 5-4 and is only one game behind the Detroit Lions who lead the NFC North at 6-3. There's also a second wild-card spot that is wide-open that the Packers can play for.
Will it be difficult for the Packers to make the playoffs? Of course, but if the team can get healthy, and stay healthy, a late-season run is a definite possibility.
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