What We Saw: Week 12

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Week 12

Packers @ Eagles

Final Score: Eagles 40, Packers 33

Writer: Adam Sloate (@MrAdster99 on Twitter)


The Eagles roared out to a 13-0 lead thanks to a rushing TD from Kenneth Gainwell on the opening drive, Miles Sanders on the subsequent drive, and a missed PAT from Jake Elliott. On the Packers’ first drive of the game, Aaron Rodgers tossed an interception to Josiah Scott thanks to a fortuitous bounce off CB Darius Slay‘s helmet:



The Packers answered with an A.J. Dillon rushing TD to make it 13-7, and then the Packers’ defense stepped up on two consecutive QB sneaks to stuff Jalen Hurts and give the Packers the ball back on a short field. Aaron Rodgers answered with a pass to Old Man Randall Cobb. 

The Eagles tacked on a TD of their own and then picked off Rodgers again with backup safety Reed Blankenship. The turnover luck swung the other way, though, as Packers LB Quay Walker picked up an A.J. Brown fumble and returned it all the way to the Eagles’ 12. Rodgers tossed a quick TD, and we were back to even at 20-20 with a Mason Crosby missed PAT. After trading punts, Philadelphia had the ball with 2:16 remaining in the half. Hurts utilized all his top weapons on the drive, finding A.J. BrownDevonta SmithQuez Watkins, and Sanders/Gainwell, and was able to push the ball to the Green Bay 30-yard line with 13 seconds. Here’s what followed:



Sometime in the first half, Aaron Rodgers apparently picked up a rib injury, which bothered him pretty severely in the third quarter. Rodgers didn’t look comfortable throwing the ball or even standing in the pocket, so Green Bay’s offense was fairly one-dimensional in the third. They picked up 3 total points on their 2 drives in the quarter, but the Eagles kept on scoring, with Hurts finding A.J. Brown for a TD to give the Eagles a 34-20 lead and the team marching down the field for another field goal to make it 37-23.

At this point, the Packers decided to bench Rodgers and bring on Jordan Love, who promptly connected with Christian Watson for their first TD of the half, making it 37-30:



The teams would trade field goals on their remaining drives, with the Eagles dragging 6 and a half minutes off the clock for their drive, and a Miles Sanders run iced the game with just over a minute to go. The Eagles improve to 10-1, while the Packers are left looking for answers at 4-8.


Green Bay Packers




Aaron Rodgers: 11/16, 140 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 3 sacks | 1 carry, -1 yard

Jordan Love: 6/9, 113 Yards, TD


Rodgers looked a lot better today than he has in weeks past; he scrambled and kept plays alive with his legs, looking a lot like the Rodgers that penalized defenses for their mistakes. He made the Eagles look silly on defense several times throughout the first half, which helped the Packers score with relative ease. But, his two first-half interceptions were mind-bogglingly bad.

Note again that Rodgers played through some injuries today — he’s been playing through a thumb injury for a few weeks now and looked fine playing through that, but he also played through a rib injury for three quarters:



The Eagles were able to get to Rodgers fairly often, sacking him 3 times in the first half, so those hits not only added more wear and tear on his various injuries, but it also severely limited the Packers’ playbook with Rodgers. Green Bay schemed up plenty of quick, short passes in the second half to prevent contact with the defensive line, similar to the Steelers’ offensive schemes with Ben Roethlisberger in 2020 and 2021.

Okay, let’s look at the good stuff. Here’s a sweet play from Rodgers (and Aaron Jones) to tack on a TD:



Rodgers is able to escape the pocket and make a wonderful throw on the run (with speed!), something he hasn’t done much of this season.



I also said that Rodgers made some puzzling throws that led to interceptions. He didn’t look like he had a clear vision of the field on these plays, as the first interception saw Rodgers toss the ball towards a clearly well-covered Allen Lazard, who was not only blanketed by Darius Slay but also had C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the vicinity:



The second interception saw Reed Blankenship step right in front of Robert Tonyan for one of the easier picks you’ll see this season:



It made me wonder whether Rodgers saw Blankenship at all on this throw– I’m concerned if he didn’t see him — or if he saw Blankenship and still decided to throw the ball anyway — which is even more concerning. It’s just a puzzling throw that Rodgers didn’t need to make.

In the second half, the rib injury hampered Rodgers significantly, so he wasn’t looking more than a couple of yards downfield, if he was looking downfield at all. Eventually, the Packers had to press the red panic button, sticking Jordan Love in the game and sending Rodgers to the locker room.

Love looked fine in fairly limited action. He had the nice pitch-and-catch to Christian Watson for a TD, which was over half of his passing yards, but it’s difficult to draw forward-looking conclusions from this sample, given that the Eagles had likely game planned for Rodgers, not Love. If Love were to start over Rodgers next game, he wouldn’t be trusted with much passing work; the Packers would likely lean on Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon until game script demands otherwise.


Running Back


Aaron Jones: 12 carries, 43 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD

A.J. Dillon: 8 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 24 yards


Holy running room, Batman! Both guys were able to move freely across the field on practically every carry and both were rewarded with touchdowns in the first half– Jones a receiving TD, Dillon a rushing TD. At the half, Dillon had an average of 10.2 YPC on 5 carries, thanks in part to this strong 20-yard run:



But, Dillon’s rushing prowess wasn’t contained to this one play, as he was able to rack up big chunks on the ground on virtually every carry. When there was early contact, Dillon ran through it, but for the most part, he was able to pick up yardage on large holes in the first level. By the time the Eagles got to him, Dillon was racking up 5+ yards. It was like watching the Chargers try to defend the run.

Jones was a nice rushing threat, but he might have been the Packers’ best receiving threat as well. The Packers trusted him to run more than just check-downs and screen passes, evidenced by the receiving TD you saw in the “Quarterback” section, as well as Jones’ seeing team-high numbers of targets and receiving yardage. Whenever Jones had the ball, there was a good chance you were going to see something special happen.

Both guys somehow saw even more opportunities in the second half with Rodgers’ injury, as nearly every throw on the Packers’ two third quarter drives was a short throw to the flat for one of Dillon or Jones. And, even with the Packers down two touchdowns, both guys still saw targets and carries, which is promising for the two players’ workloads in the remaining fantasy season.

Given Dillon’s success on the ground and Jones’ success through the air — and Green Bay’s willingness to feed both late into the game– fantasy owners might be perplexed about the distribution of fantasy points between the two moving forward. Jones seems more trustworthy, given his special talents as a receiver, while Dillon might be more variable week-to-week, as his targets this week had low fantasy value and he was able to take advantage of a very weak Philadelphia rushing defense, which inflated his YPC. Jones still feels like a must-start no matter the QB, but I would not be surprised if Dillon got more work and was truly fantasy-relevant with Love under center.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Christian Watson: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 110 yards, 1 TD

Randall Cobb: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards, 1 TD

Allen Lazard: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards

Robert Tonyan: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards


It was a quiet game for Cheeseland wide receivers in the first half. Rodgers was able to spread the ball around when he had it, but the Packers mostly opted to put the ball in the hands of their running backs, with the ground game chewing up yardage with ease. Game script didn’t play much of a factor here as it has in weeks past, as the Packers didn’t trail for a significant amount of time. Christian Watson, who in weeks past was the top red zone threat for the Pack, didn’t see a single red zone target in the first half. However, there were only 3 red zone targets in the first half to choose from, with one of them going to Robert Tonyan, the other going to Randall Cobb, and the third going to Aaron Jones. 

In the second half, with Rodgers hardly looking downfield, there wasn’t much to write home about. Aaron Rodgers’ only pass that wasn’t to Jones or Dillon was a short, quick toss to Christian Watson. But, when Love took over and Green Bay needed to throw to preserve clock, the passing game started to come alive. Allen Lazard finally picked up a reception. Christian Watson had his long TD catch and run. Robert Tonyan got back in the game. Randall Cobb saw a target. The offense started to really move down the field for a bit. However, looking at the state of this offense, with just 17 targets between them and most of those targets coming with the Packers down 14, it is difficult to trust anyone besides Christian Watson to pick up fantasy points from this group.

Here’s the Watson TD again for all those lucky souls starting him:



Philadelphia Eagles




Jalen Hurts: 16/28, 153 yards, 2 TDs, 2 sacks | 17 carries, 157 yards


Hurts put on an absolute clinic on the ground in the first half (or, I guess, the first quarter?):



Last week, Hurts was making awkward reads on option plays, the Eagles didn’t really trust his arm on the final drive of the game, and the team couldn’t get out of its own way on offense, with turnovers galore. This week, Hurts put the team on his back, piecing together a brilliant game on the ground and peppering in some nice passes to keep the defense honest.

Here’s Hurts’ best throw of the game, which is worth seeing again. It was the sweet back-shoulder toss to Quez Watkins to give the Eagles a late second-quarter lead:



And, here’s Hurts’ best run of the game, which came early in the first half:



Unfortunately, Next Gen Stats doesn’t appropriately capture broken ankles, but it still captures what a wonderful run this was:



Hurts was able to pick up such a lofty rushing total thanks to a handful of well-executed designed runs and superb blocking from the offensive line and skill positions alike. The designed runs stopped coming after the first half, as the Packers were able to adjust their defense to force Hurts to stay in the pocket. Hurts was still able to pick up the occasional rushing chunk when he was flushed from the pocket due to pressure, but the adjustments really forced Hurts to throw the ball more — which he happily did.

Hurts fantasy investors might be a little bummed seeing Hurts’ zero rushing TDs, given how many yards he racked up on the ground, but it’s not something to be concerned over. Kenneth Gainwell and Miles Sanders were vacuuming up those rushing TD chances and converting them easily enough that there weren’t many opportunities for Hurts to try for TDs of his own. This guy is so much fun to watch, and he should be started every week.


Running Back


Miles Sanders: 21 carries, 143 yards, 2 TDs | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 17 yards

Kenneth Gainwell: 8 carries, 39 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Boston Scott: 3 carries, 24 yards


Can Miles Sanders (whose nickname is “Boobie,” if you didn’t know yet) run with vision? Who knows — he sure seems to be running into a lot of linemen! — but it didn’t matter in this game, because he picked up two rushing TDs in the first half and hit the century mark in rushing yards with 12 minutes to go in the third quarter. Like A.J. Dillon with the Eagles’ defense, the Packers didn’t really test him at the line of scrimmage, so he was able to pick up huge chunks of yardage before facing any real contact. Sanders is a tough runner, too, so he was able to run through that first contact to churn up yardage on the ground. Look at him tear through multiple tackles on this TD:



If not for Hurts’ success on designed QB runs, Sanders might have hit 200 yards in this game. In fact, Philadelphia hit 300 rushing yards with 12:43 to go in the fourth — practically a whole quarter to go! Sanders isn’t always going to have this kind of success, as he struggles to score in the red zone because Hurts also eats into rushing TD opportunities, but he’s worth a start every week thanks to Philadelphia’s elite offensive line.

You know every Eagle “ate” tonight when all three running backs average over 4 yards per carry. They saw nothing but open grass for the most part, which is how the RBs were able to rack up 206 rushing yards between the three of them.  Gainwell also took up some of those extra rushing TD chances that could’ve gone to Sanders or Hurts, but he’s nothing more than a TD vulture, even when the team is racking up historic amounts of rushing yardage. Don’t start him, but do start Sanders.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Devonta Smith: 9 targets, 4 receptions, 50 yards

A.J. Brown: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 46 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble lost

Quez Watkins: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD

Grant Calcaterra: 1 target, 1 reception, -2 yards


As you might have guessed, with Philadelphia moving the chains on the ground with ease, the passing game didn’t see a ton of action tonight. Even so, Jalen Hurts gifted fantasy investors a little something, finding A.J. Brown for an easy TD in the end zone as redemption for his lost fumble:



Brown was battling with a stomach bug as recently as Thanksgiving. He was apparently throwing up all week, which is what caused him to lose seven pounds and his eye to look like this midway through the game:



Devonta Smith was the top target of the night, presumably due to Brown’s ailment, but he wasn’t able to turn those targets into an end-zone score. If it makes Smith investors feel any better, the first red zone target of the night came with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, and two of the first three red zone targets were passes to Smith. He continued to see a few red zone targets on subsequent drives, but with the Eagles moving the ball well on the ground, the majority of the red zone opportunities went to the running backs.

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