COMMENTARY | The Green Bay Packers faced a very talented Philadelphia Eagles team yesterday afternoon and were unable to come away with a win. Aaron Rodgers was greatly missed as the Packers' offense struggled and the Eagles ended up winning 27-13. There are five observations to look at for the Packers coming off of the loss.
1. Scott Tolzien is a Solid Quarterback
Seneca Wallace started the game for the Green Bay Packers, but went down with a groin injury early on and was unable to return to the field. The Packers turned to a young quarterback who hadn't taken a regular season snap named Scott Tolzien, and they were pleasantly surprised with what they saw. While he did throw two interceptions, he also threw for 280 yards and a touchdown. He showed very solid arm strength and accuracy, which was more than could be said about Seneca Wallace in the majority of the plays he ran. Green Bay won't be able to play the kind of offense they want to until Rodgers comes back, but Tolzien appears to be a solid option in the meantime. Mike McCarthy has already named him the starting quarterback against the New York Giants next week, so we will get another look at the young quarterback out of Wisconsin.
2. The Secondary Needs Some Work
Nick Foles had a very easy job against the Packers' secondary and was able to lob passes to Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson over the top all afternoon. Green Bay blew coverage after coverage and gave up too many big plays. The Packers need to figure things out in their secondary if they want to win games without the powerful offense that they usually have.
3. Datone Jones is Coming into His Own
Green Bay Packers first round pick Datone Jones had a big game against the Eagles, recording two sacks and three total tackles. The Packers drafted him to help with their pass rush and he is beginning to do just that. As he continues figuring out the speed of the NFL game and developing his moves, he'll be a huge boost to the Green Bay defense.
4. Ground Game Won't Carry Offense Alone
Eddie Lacy and James Starks were expected to be able to shoulder a larger load in the absence of Aaron Rodgers, but that did not appear to be the case against the Eagles. Lacy was only able to gain 73 yards on 24 carries, which averages out to just 3.0 yards per carry. He was unable to score a touchdown on the afternoon as the Eagles focused on stopping the ground game and were willing to allow Green Bay's replacement quarterbacks to beat them if they could. James Starks carried the football four times for just five yards and was an obvious non-factor. Green Bay will have to figure out how to get their aerial attack working again in order to move the football.
5. Jarrett Boykin is a Legitimate Weapon
The Packers allowed wide receiver Greg Jennings to walk this past offseason and many fans thought that they would regret that decision. With Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and James Jones, Green Bay knew that they would be just fine. The emergence of wide receiver Jarrett Boykin could be a bit of a surprise, as he has turned into a very dangerous weapon through his first few games as a top target. Against the Eagles he was able to catch eight passes for 112 yards and will be a big piece for the Packers both this year and in the future.
Overall, there wasn't too much to take away from the game that was positive. There are huge holes that the Packers will have to find ways to fill in order to compete for a playoff spot without their star quarterback, but the coaching staff and players are still very confident. The season is certainly not over, but there is a sense of urgency for the team after dropping to 5-4 in a very difficult NFC North division.
Evan Massey lives in Indianapolis and has followed the Green Bay Packers for the past 16 years. He has written for many sports websites including ProSportsExtra.com, Hoops-Nation.com, ProFootballSpot.com, and NaptownsFinest.com. Follow Evan on Twitter at @massey_evan.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Rodgers
- the Eagles
- Scott Tolzien
- Seneca Wallace