Game Balls and Lame Calls: Eagles 27, Packers 13 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
With Aaron Rodgers injured, the Packers are relying on Scott Tolzien at quarterback.
With Aaron Rodgers injured, the Packers are relying on Scott Tolzien at quarterback.

Scott Tolzien played the majority of the game for the Green Bay Packers at quarterback.

Scott. Tolzien.

To his credit, he was a solid quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers, but he was, in essence, a puppet carrying out Paul Chryst’s game plan, which relied heavily on a dominant power run game. But in his two years as the Badgers’ starter, never did I think Tolzien would be playing in the NFL, much less for a playoff contender like the Packers.

But against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tolzien filled in for an injured Seneca Wallace and played pretty well. Despite being intercepted in the red zone, which took points off the board, Tolzien moved the ball much better than Wallace did last week against the Chicago Bears after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.

For a fan base that’s used to watching Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre under center, the past couple games have been a wakeup call. Last week, Rodgers played one series before getting injured, and this week, the Packers again lost their starting quarterback (Wallace) after the first series.

Since 1992, the Packers have had three quarterbacks start a football game: Favre, Rodgers and Matt Flynn. Next week, with Tolzien slated to get the start, will mark the Packers’ third starting quarterback in three weeks. Crazy.

By no means was the Packers’ loss on Sunday due to Tolzien’s struggles. The blame falls on the defense.

Game Balls

Datone Jones

As bad as the defense was, Jones had (by far) the best game of his young NFL career against the Eagles. Jones was responsible for two sacks on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, which isn’t bad for a guy who was only on the field for 19 plays. After a debacle like Sunday’s, it’s easy to look past the few positives, but the rookie had a big day.

Jarrett Boykin

With a pair of backup quarterbacks throwing him the football, Boykin tied a career high with eight catches and set a new career best with 112 receiving yards. Quietly, Boykin is having a really nice season as his opportunities have increased. Despite subpar speed, Boykin always seems to be where he’s supposed to be, and he catches the ball when it’s thrown to him. That’s a really good thing for a wide receiver.

A.J. Hawk

Although victimized in coverage on a couple occasions, Hawk was (again) one of the defense’s most active players. He made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and totaled seven tackles for the entire game. For a guy in his eighth NFL season, Hawk is really coming into his own. Yeah, he may have been drafted too high when he was selected No. 5 overall, but you can’t call him a “bust.” Not a guy that suits up every Sunday and does his job.

Mike McCarthy

How can the head coach land in the “Game Balls” category after his offense scored just 13 points against a weak defense? Well, a head coach whose quarterback was Scott Tolzien. That’s who. McCarthy called a great game, leaning heavily on the running game but also trusting Tolzien to make plays when he had to. Overall, the points weren’t there, but the Packers controlled the clock how they needed to. It was a frustrating day for the offense because of turnovers, but those aren’t on McCarthy. He called a good game.

Lame Calls

Jordy Nelson’s touchdown (or not)

I know this comes down to the whole “conclusive” evidence thing, but Nelson’s hand was under the football. The ball may have moved slightly, but to me, it looked like a touchdown. What’s funny to me is that the official came in and called it incomplete, despite Nelson’s back being turned towards him, blocking his view. I guess I just don’t know what a catch is anymore.

The quarterback “situation”

It was funny and aggravating all at the same time. We were sitting behind Jason Avant’s family at the game Sunday; the ladies were cool, but (some of) the fellas were a headache. Dude was talking ad nauseam about how the Eagles were dominating the Packers “at Lambeau,” nonetheless. Eventually, I had to say something. So I simply said, “Aaron Rodgers.” His response was something along the lines of “It don’t matter who it is, you’re at Lambeau.” Yeah, I’m at Lambeau, and so are you, and we’re both watching a watered down Packers’ offense. The Packers aren’t much better than average without Rodgers. This isn’t news. Again, nothing against Scott Tolzien. The guy came in and played great. But dude, Scott Tolzien was playing quarterback for the Packers. And he will start next week’s game against the New York Giants. Scott Tolzien: the Packers‘ starting quarterback.

Injuries, injuries, injuries

It’s the same thing week after week. Evan Dietrich-Smith went down, Casey Hayward tweaked his hamstring, Seneca Wallace played one series before leaving the game. It’s unreal. Bob McGinn wrote this week that the 2013 Packers were going to be McCarthy’s best team in eight years, but then the injury bug bit them hard. Again and again.

The secondary

Nick Foles only completed 12 passes, but he threw three touchdowns and made it look pretty easy. Morgan Burnett and Tramon Williams fought over a potential interception, which bounced right into DeSean Jackson’s bread basket for a touchdown, and M.D. Jennings and Davon House still have yet to find the ball on Riley Cooper’s deep touchdown. For a team in pretty good shape at cornerback, the secondary, as a whole, was atrocious Sunday.


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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


39 thoughts on “Game Balls and Lame Calls: Eagles 27, Packers 13

  1. Secondary has been atrocious, both coverage and tackling, since the beginning of pre-season. Nothing new there.

    MM/TT have built a house of cards on the back one lucky draft pick, Aaron Rodgers. Down goes Rodgers, down goes the entire team. Makes you question how much credit MM/TT desrves for Packers’ success. Could it be that Aaron Rodgers deserves 100% of credit as we are now witnessing. Situation much like Peyton Manning and the Colts. No Peyton, no wins.

    There’s always looking forward to a top 15 draft pick. Could be a top S/CB. God knows we need somebody with size and speed who knows how to cover and tackle e.g., Darrel Revis. It still pains me to remember how the Jets traded around the Pack to draft Revis. Of course, insiders say TT had his mind set on Justin Harrell even if Revis was still there. What kind of scout would pick Harrell over Revis?

  2. The injuries are truly ridiculous this year. I think it tops 2010. Sitton, baktiari, and nelson are the only 3 offensive starters that haven’t been knocked out of 1 or more games, and baktiari was filling in for bulaga to begin with and nelson had the surgery in preseason. LG is literally the only unscathed position.

    Unfortunately, the defense doesn’t have quite as many excuses to fall back on. Pass rush (OLB’s) are gimpy, but the secondary has really disappointed. It seem we have wonderful depth, but no great players. It’s like that saying about qb’s. It you have 2, you really have zero.

    The thing about Nelson’s near-catch is that, while his hand was briefly under it, he did not completely prevent it
    from touching the ground during the whole process. You can see it scraping the ground shortly after he lands on top of it since his hand was rotating and he was sliding. That contact with the ground determined it.

    1. Amazing that only one offensive position hasn’t been affected.

      Agree that Jordy’s drop was ruled correctly. It was the right call.

  3. Bottom-line, Packers didn’t deserve to win that game the way the defense played. Worse yet, I don’t see that changing much when we play teams with decent offensive threats. In fact, I don’t even rate Foles as A MEDIOCRE STARTER. Wait till Stafford and megatron and Reggie get a hold of us in their turf. That will be a beat down on Turkey Day. It wll also mark the official end of any hope of making post-season this year. Maybe AROD will get back in time to rack up some meaningless wins to hurt our draft position. Nothing good here that I can see. Mow, were AROD to make it back for DET game and beat them, then the whole thinmg turns around all over again. But I’m not expecting that.

  4. I have completly lose my football enthusiasm. There’s just no replacing Rodgers, the injuries are down right depressing and the defense sucks.

  5. For someone(me) who often says the refs frequently pull crap out of their arse(especially with holding and PI calls), I can see where the ref called an incompletion on Jordy’s ball(that didn’t come-out right).

    Jordy clearly bobbled it at first before flipping over and then securing with one hand below his stomach. It’s possible the last visable image the ref has of the ball itself, was when it was moving as Jordy was trying to secure. He probably then saw Jordy lying on top of it. I’m pretty sure the ball made contact with the ground at some point too, but that might be OK if it were secure before so.

    Anyway, a tough call to make and to be honest I don’t think any of are certain – by rule – if it was a good catch or not, including Jordy. To much was screened out. Regardless what another spectacular effort by Jordy.

  6. While I don’t think our defense was great by any stretch, I think the offense shares some blame in this loss too. Defense got a turnover that gave us great field position and we got 0 out of it. Special teams is not looking too hot, either.

    1. agreed. & if crosby doesn’t miss the 42 yder, maybe they just settle for the fg after the fumble. still would’ve needed to get a stop at the end tho

    2. You know I agree with this. It’s all the rage to bitch about Dom etc, but how many games are you going to win while scoring 13 points? Not many. I’m as frustrated as anyone by their inability to stop the rush late in the 4th quarter, but the INT in the endzone and 2 missed FGs hurt just as much.

  7. O line- JC Tretter; Bryan Bulaga; G Van Roten; TJ Lang (last week concussion);ED Smith; Don Barclay
    QB – Aaron Rodgers; Seneca Wallace
    RB/FB – Dujaun Harris, James Starks 4 games; Eddie Lacy 1 3/4 games; John Kuhn 1 game
    WR – Randall Cobb; James Jones 2 games
    TE – Jermichael Finley; Ryan Taylor 2 games
    D line – none (Worthy PUP; Jolly – returned to game)
    ILB – Brad Jones 3 games; Robert Francois; Sam Barrington
    OLB – Clay Matthews 4 games; Nick Perry 3 1/2 games + new ankle injury; Andy Mulumba 1 game so far
    DB: Casey Hayward 6 1/2 games; Morgan Burnett 4 games.

    How do we even have 5 wins? I truly can beleive the amount if injuuries this year.

    1. Great job!! Funny how you forget guys that were knocked out before the season even began.I know Dujaun Harris (RB) & JC Tretter (C)? Not to mention Bulaga (LT) were huge blows before the season even started.

  8. “A poor craftsman blames his tools.”

    I hate the fact that we are now a 2-4 defense. Dline is the healthiest and (supposedly) one of our deeper positions so why not use it? Why not use three down linemen on passing downs? Or four? Our linebackers are hurting so why not try some 4-3 looks on obvious passing downs and let Matthews rush from wherever he likes? I like the idea of daniels/raji or jolly/jones rushing the passer. I guess my main issue with Capers is that he just uses the same schemes regardless of personnel and just hopes it works. Eh, what do I know? My defensive ideas would probably just end up generating no pressure,no turnovers, and letting guys run free through the secondary.

    Aside from his coaching shortcomings, I want Dom Capers fired so I can watch a packers game without hearing the term “exotic blitzes”. I think my kids are going to grow up thinking “exotic” means “ineffective or impotent”. As far as I’m concerned DomCapers Exotic-Blitzes can pick up BenJarvus Green-Ellis and move to the island of misfit names.

      1. Truth in advertising? Apologies if the post was trollish, but Capers has been chafing me for a while. I actually enjoy the generally optimistic tones of the articles here. Keeps me balanced.

    1. Great line about “exotic blitzes”! I also think we might want to consider more d-linemen in our looks. I’m a fan of the 3-4 but sometimes you gotta match to what you’ve got. And I see our personnel looking more and more 4-3 than it has since about 2009.

  9. The season will be decided in the next 3 weeks. We have to win the next 2. AR has to be back for the Lions game for us to win that one. And we have to beat the Bears.

    If the defense doesn’t get better, we’re done.

    If the injuries don’t stop (and I see no reason why they will) we’re done.

    That doesn’t make it suck less, but it’s quite simple really.

  10. I love all this whining about Rodgers being the sole reason they lost. You do realize the last two losses were at the hands of back up quarterbacks as well, right? No excuses. The team is just pathetic overall.

  11. We’ve been spoiled with Rodgers covering our weaknesses. We have been doing too well during his reign to get good picks. Silver lining here is that we will have one bad season to have chance to beef up talent to make run at another SB while Rodgers is our QB. We can use primetime safety and TE in first 2 rounds then trade up from later rounds to get good backup QB in second (Johnny Football might be good grab in second).

  12. More than likely rodgers will miss the lions game. But, im hoping hes back after that. The pack has to win the next 2 games, Giants &Viks, they will probably lose at the lions. This would leave the pack at 7-5 when rodgers gets back. 11-5 or 10-6 record would probably get them in as a wildcard. This of course is all contingent on rodgers retuning after the lion game and the pask has to beat the giants and viks. The next 2 games could be considered must wins

    1. It sounds cliche, but the Packers need to focus on going 1-0 each week. They have to keep pace with the leaders in the division and other WC contenders. If the coaching staff is worrying now about the Lions on Thanksgiving, that game will end up being meaningless.

      I would have some hope for the game in Joysee this weekend if there were some hope that the OL would be intact. No EDS or Barclay, no matter what you think of their play, is a real problem…even against a Giants team that isn’t rushing the passer well this year.

  13. The latest “lame call:” FOX Sports NFL Insider Alex Marvez reports the Green Bay Packers are bringing back Matt Flynn.

    1. Gotta have a second QB in uniform on Sunday who could play if he needed to (i.e. knows something about the offense). Do you see any better options at this point?

      1. Possibly John Skelton. I understand that the Packers are giving him a work-out today. The issue, though, is that had there been some degree of prudence and foresight by management, the Packers wouldn’t even be in this situtation. See SB Nation’s Jason Hirshhorn’s comments at Among other things, he writes, “No team in recent memory has voluntarily put themselves in a worse situation at backup quarterback.”

        1. Respectfully, the Hirshhorn article is pre week 1. If you’re banging on Wallace, it’s just not relevant anymore. Maybe they keep VY and he breaks his arm or tears an ACL in his first drive vs. Chicago or in practice. Whatever the case, the runner-up QB argument is now irrelevant.

          They’re on #3, now. How do you plan for that? Certainly talking about Skelton vs. Flynn would be fine (as #4!), but the #2 QB argument is now by the wayside.

          Nobody puts any $$$ or time into a 3rd QB once the season starts.

          1. The “lame call” I am awarding to management is for its lack of anticipation that a competent backup QB and even a backup to the backup could become a necessity. Our last two opponents, Chicago and Philly, are examples of teams that have competent backups on their roster. Denver, which carries 3 QBs on its active roster, would be another. Yes, you are right, it is too late to do anything about the mishandling of the QB backup position now. Management can only react to the current situation. I did not mean to denigrate the decision to re-sign Matt Flynn now or to denigrate Flynn’s abilities. I just wish that TT/MM had been proactive.

            1. Wouldn’t have [doesn’t matter] who the backup QB was, it wouldn’t have been Rodgers [or for that matter Favre]. QB will never be high on the shopping list during draft or FA until it comes time to thinking of replacing AR; there are greater priorities.

              The thinking that every position should be filled by a “name” is wishful and unrealistic. CAP and availability [shake the QB/RB/WR/TE/K/CB/S/LB/DL/OL tree and wait for one to fall out].

              Let’s fire somebody, that’ll make us feel better; but almost guaranteed not to improve anything. This is why I try to avoid mass transit–never know when someone is going to try to throw you under the bus.

  14. The defense, especially the secondary has been really disappointing. Special teams (or specifically field goal kicking) haven’t been special, at least for us, when we really needed them. The offense has been so crippled by injuries, and lost several vital players, the others have to play better than mediocre to crappy in order to go anywhere. And they’ve been mediocre to crappy. It seems they’re taking turns making the game changing screw-up while missing the changing play. Against the eagles their fumble recovery “chance” is nullified because they can’t kick a field goal cause they’re too far behind cause Crosby already missed two field goals and the secondary can’t locate the ball that’s right there, and they knock each other over like bowling pins. Arghhhhhh!!!!*!!@

  15. I am thinking that the Packers should start John Kuhn at quarterback for the first series! As long as the fullback position is going away and Kuhn is in his last year anyway!

    When he gets hurt near the end of the first series we can pull him and then put in Scott Tolzien! Why risk it?

  16. 6 times it was 3rd and 3 or less. 1 time Mashed Potato Mike ran the ball. 5 times they threw the ball with the backups backup!! 3rd and 3 or less with Lacy in the backfield and they are passing 95% of the time!! And he gets a game ball!! McCarthy has been a terrible play caller on 3rd and short his entire career, Even the run they did call was a fullback dive to Kuhn that barely made the first down because the entire world knew it was coming! Run Lacy on 3rd and short and Tolzien doesnt even attempt that throw that is picked! His 3rd and short playcalling from Sunday does not warrant a game ball and those details contributed to the loss! 5 passes! Unreal!

  17. One thing that I do agree with MM on: Scott Tolzein was fantastic on Sunday. Packer fans should be rejoicing that after 9 years of no quality back-up QB in GB, it looks like we finally tripped over one. This kid had moxie. The game was not too fast or too big for him. Now, PHILLY has a last place defense and that certainly helped but I was extremely impressed. He also made Bostick and Boink look great too. Was he perfect? No. But it looked like most things were easily fixable. This guy looked like a warrior to me.

      1. Spread has moved from 4 to 6.5 in Pack v Jints. Jints playing better defense but offense still not producing. OL looks weak. I think Pack will cover.

    1. Was this Flynn guy that set team records playing with the Pack more than 9 years ago; seems like just a few years ago to me. My mind must be slipping faster than I thought.

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