What We Saw: Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers

Ryan Kruse shares what he saw during the Thursday night game between the Eagles and Packers.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers

 

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Quarterbacks

 

  • Carson Wentz: 16/27, 160 yards, 3 TD | 6 carries, 13 yards

 

Carson Wentz and the rest of the Eagles’ offense started slowly but eventually found their footing. The line started giving Wentz some time and his throws began to look better and better. Carson also displayed some of his toughness, shrugging off some big hits and sneaking for a few first downs in short-yardage situations. His game was more scrappy than sexy, with the Eagles running most of their offense with short completions (mostly up the middle). That’s not to take anything away from Carson’s performance. He seemed to get better and better as the game went on, which is exactly why fantasy owners drafted and love the guy. You can’t complain about an almost-twenty-point performance. His yardage should come back when DeSean Jackson returns.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Miles Sanders: 11  carries, 72 yards
  • Jordan Howard: 15 carries, 87 yards, 2 TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards, 1 TD
  • Darren Sproles: 1 carry, 4 yards

 

Oh, the sweet feeling of fantasy vindication. I was labeled “indecisive” by a Reddit user who shall remain nameless, forcing my editor to quickly change my prediction for Miles Sanders. I’m going to sleep well tonight knowing that Sanders only put up seven points and I was right to be cautious. Miles Sanders technically got the start, but Jordan Howard came in for the very next play, got the handoff, and stayed in the game for a bit. Then Darren Sproles came in after a Howard catch for zero yards, and fantasy players everywhere collectively pulled their hair out. Howard started the second drive and Sanders didn’t get much rushing work at all until about halfway into the second quarter after he impressed with a big kick return.

Sanders was put in for a drive but didn’t do much, then Howard was put in for the next drive where he was leaned on heavily and ended the series with a touchdown. The Eagles continued to mainly give the carries and snaps to Howard, who hauled in a short pass and ran it in for another touchdown. People are going to say, “but look at the carries! And Sanders’ YPC!” Sanders’ average was padded with one good 30-yard run. Howard was the guy the Eagles relied on when it mattered, and his crazy 32 fantasy points show it. Howard got a bit banged up at the end of the game but it didn’t seem too serious. This section probably sounds like a bunch of back-and-forth ranting because that’s pretty much what it was with the Eagle’s backfield. Nobody knows what is going on in Doug Pederson’s head here.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Alshon Jeffery: 9 targets, 3 receptions, 38 yards, 1 TD
  • Zach Ertz: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 65 yards
  • Mack Hollins: 2 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards
  • Nelson Agholor: 1 target, 0 receptions
  • Dallas Goedert: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards, 1 TD

 

Zach Ertz had the first meaningful Eagles catch of the night with a solid 14-yard reception. He was pretty much the only Eagles receiver to make any catches in the first quarter and continued to be a big part of the game plan. Ertz was the backbone of this offense tonight. His production was respectable for a tight end, but as an Ertz owner, it’s got to leave a sour taste in your mouth to see Dallas Goedert get the touchdown. Goedert looked good but he ended up with less than 10 fantasy points despite his touchdown. His production isn’t enough to get too excited about.

Alshon Jeffery was questionable heading into this game but he was nevertheless an important part of the Philadelphia offense. He only had three targets in the first half but two of those targets were in the end zone and one was a successful touchdown catch. He almost had his touchdown taken away from a bad offensive pass interference call. Luckily the referees got that one right. I wanted to see him come down with more catches tonight. It also seemed like that injury was still nagging at him a bit.

I thought Mack Hollins would get more work with DeSean Jackson out, but he just wasn’t on the same page with Wentz from the start. On his first and only target of the first half, it seemed like he wasn’t even expecting the ball to come his way. Nelson Agholor was a ghost tonight. I really don’t know what more to say here. That’s a rough goose egg.

 

Green Bay Packers

 

Quarterback

 

  • Aaron Rodgers: 34/53, 422 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT | 5 carries, 46 yards

 

Aaron Rodgers came out looking good and playing efficiently. He was ten-for-ten while he put together two good drives in the first quarter and didn’t even play a third down until the very end of the quarter. The Packers’ offense has been pretty darn good during their first quarters, it’s the rest of the game where they need to maintain consistency. They slowed down a bit during the second quarter but still ended the half with a great downfield drive in less than a minute to put seven more points on the board before the half.

Rodgers took a little while to heat up in the second half but he had a great drive towards the end of the third quarter. Rodgers had an impressive scramble for an important first down and threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Graham to close out the drive. Many thought this would be the coming-out party for the Packers offense. Unfortunately, it looks like there are still some issues they need to work through. There are clearly still some wrinkles to iron out when they cannot get the touchdown on four attempts from one yard away. The night ended in frustration when the game-tying pass bounced off of Valdes-Scantling’s hands and into the defender’s hands for an easy interception. One bright spot to note is that Rodgers can still be dangerous on the run. He was the leading Packers rusher of the night. Throwing for more than 400 yards and putting up 25 fantasy points ain’t bad either.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Aaron Jones: 13 carries, 21 yards, 1 TD | 7 targets, 6 receptions, 37 yards
  • Jamaal Williams: 1 target, 1 reception, 0 yards
  • Danny Vitale: 1 carry, 3 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards

 

Interestingly, both of the backs were on the field for the first play of the game. On that very same play, there was a dirty helmet-to-helmet late hit on Jamaal Williams while he was stood up against a defender in a stalemate after the catch. Aaron Jones immediately waived for the medical staff and Williams had to be carted off. With rookie Dexter Williams inactive, Jones quickly benefited as the only active back besides Danny Vitale. Jones had a nice pivot and spin move for a touchdown on the Packers’ opening drive. He played pretty well through the air, but the Packers had extreme difficulty keeping the ball moving on the ground. Jones was stuffed behind his line numerous times. Losing Bryan Bulaga didn’t help the line’s struggles either.

If Williams is out for an extended time, I’m guessing all that LaFleur talk about splitting carries goes away pretty quickly. Even though Jones couldn’t do much on the ground, he showed that he has plenty of other talents. He ended up with a solid 17 points and that’s mainly thanks to his six catches.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Davante Adams: 15 targets, 10 receptions, 180 yards
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 47 yards
  • Geronimo Allison: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 52 yards, 1 TD
  • Marcedes Lewis: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards
  • Jimmy Graham: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 61 yards, 1 TD

 

Davante Adams started his day off right with a huge 58-yard catch on the Packers’ first possession. Fantasy owners should be excited to hear that Adams was once again a central figure of the Green Bay passing attack. He had more than 150 yards from his first eight catches (all in the first half).  Adams finished the night with career-high receiving yards but his night was unfortunately cut short with a toe injury after he had a clutch catch to set up the Packers in the red zone. Celebrate the awesome performance for now, but keep an eye on that injury. Adams looked frustrated on the sideline and toe injuries have a tendency to linger.

I said this day would come. The day where Geronimo Allison has a couple of huge plays and people begin to wonder if they should pick him up. That being said, Allison made some amazing plays to get the Packers an important touchdown before the half. He’s still mainly going to be used around the flats. He had a great game, but I think he will be too “boom or bust” to trust this year. Marcedes Lewis doesn’t usually do much, but there are times he can impress. He had a really cool hurdle over a defender for a ten-yard reception to start off his night.

Jimmy Graham had himself a fantastic night. The Packers wanted to target him around the red zone and his 18-point performance is proof. Unfortunately, he had a costly drop in the end zone that could have changed the tide of the game. If Graham is healthy, he could hopefully be a viable weekly option if the Packers keep targeting him. Marquez Valdes-Scantling left plenty to be desired tonight. I’m sure there will be plenty of plays he wishes he had another shot at. He had an early end zone target that he couldn’t come down with but it was a little out of reach. From there, he just had a tough go of it for the most part. He had a challenge not go his way that could have easily been ruled a pass interference. To make matters worse, he couldn’t make the game-tying catch on a short slant route in the end zone. He had a few nice plays and ran some quick routes, but overall, it was a pretty disappointing week for MVS.

 

–Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse)

 

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