Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 53, Eagles 20

For the second straight week, the Green Bay Packers hung a five spot on an opponent, this time beating the Philadelphia Eagles 55-20 on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

The normal author of this article is currently predisposed, so I’m filling in for him. I think we probably saw the game the same way, though.

The Packers appear to be firing on all cylinders right now, scoring on offense, defense, and special teams. As the weather is cooling down, the Packers appear to be heating up, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as they evened up with the Detroit Lions in the standings at 7-3.

Any time you score 53 points, there are plenty of game balls to go around. But, you can’t give one to everyone; I had to be choosy. Also, most mistakes came in garbage time when the game was no longer in doubt, so it’s hard to find faults except for one glaring one.

Game Balls

Aaron Rodgers

Is anyone playing as hot as he is right now? Once again, he made quarterbacking look like child’s play. He was 22 of 36 for 341 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, and a quarterback rating of 120.3. Also, he impressively scrambled for 32 yards while keeping drives alive.

At this point, it’s all a broken record. Or, for the youngsters out there who don’t understand that metaphor, it’s your skipping and repeating MP3. Rodgers is the best in the business and there’s not more to add every week.

Randall Cobb

While he wasn’t able to get into the end zone, he did lead the Packers with 10 receptions for 129 yards. His catches seemed to always be timely, extending drives and converting third downs. He would have had more yards if not for excellent defense against him in man-to-man.

Every game he plays, he is only driving his price up next year on the free agent market. Pssst…Ted Thompson, please sign this guy. Throw some money bags at him. I won’t mind too much.

Letroy Guion

That’s right, Letroy Guion. While he only had 4 tackles, his presence was well felt. He knocked Mark Sanchez into next week quite early in the game, and that undoubtedly had an effect on the game and set the tone early. Sanchez was rattled at times and he air mailed several of his passes in the presence of any rush. Furthermore, Guion sniffed out a screen pass to Darren Sproles on the goal line and chased him down, preventing a touchdown. He’s coming on strong for the Packers and he’ll be important down the road.

As a whole, the run defense limited LeSean McCoy to 3.8 yards per carry, and Guion’s beef up front contributed to that. Well done, Packers.

Lame Calls

Anyone on special teams not named Micah Hyde

Micah Hyde was a bright spot on special teams with his punt return touchdown, but the rest of the squad stunk up the joint. The Packers could very well have scored 58 points today, but the special teams left 5 points on the field. A botched snap on a PAT, a PAT block, and another botched snap on a field goal doomed the kick. Gotta clean that up down the road; those 5 points may be the difference against the Patriots and/or Lions.

Chip Kelly

Darren Sproles averaged over 11 yards every time he touched the ball, but Chip only called his number four times. Why he didn’t get the ball more isn’t my problem.

NFL on Fox

Thanks for flexing the Packers game to the afternoon slot so most of the country could see it. But, shame on you for dumping it in the third quarter to switch to the Cardinals and Lions, which no one cared about. I really was looking forward to watching this game.


Jay Hodgson is an independent sports blogger writing for and

Follow Jay on twitter at @jys_h.


36 thoughts on “Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 53, Eagles 20

  1. It was a great and dominating win, but Ted and Mike, something has to be done about the backup QB position. OK, so we don’t expect Flynn to come in and get a W when it’s already assured, but 3rd and 35? C’mon, man.

    The 2nd half of the last two games would have been invaluable reps for Tolzien. Can you at least activate the guy so he has a chance to get ’em, because long-term, Flynn isn’t the answer – the drop off from AR to anyone would be big, but not Grand Canyon big like it is with Flynn. Week after week, the guy shows nothing. And yeah, I get the whole 2nd team argument. I don’t expect 8 minute, full field scoring drives, but a couple of first downs and eat up some clock would be nice when it’s his turn to play.

    He is getting paid a million bucks a year, so expecting something from him isn’t unreasonable.

    1. Savage – 3rd and 35 was caused by penalties and nothing to do with Flynn. What is most important is that Flynn comes in and doesn’t hurt the team with turnovers. The rest was window dressing yesterday. I’m not making a case for Flynn as the backup but let’s be fair about what happened. Too great a win to focus on the meaningless garbage time anyway. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. We were spoiled by having the most reliable- if not boring- back up QB anyone could ever want for all those years in Doug Pedterson.

        Anytime a game got out of hand- in a good or a bad way- all Doug did was come in and manage the game effectively.

        That was nice.

    2. I agree…Tolzien will be this teams long term for the future or at least that is what it looks like at this moment. I think the only reason Flynn is in there right now is because they gave him a short contract and want to get their money out of him but if it came down to him being the back up for real heaven forbid Rodgers gets hurt…he would not get the job done.. Tolzien needs the reps so he can step in if needed and perform well.

      1. It just doesn’t really make any sense, though, Jeff. Do you think that TT is saying, “Y’know, this Flynn kid is going to play like crap and make me look like a donkey, but I wanna get my money out of him”? It’s one of those ideas that looks good at first glance, but upon closer inspection is doesn’t make sense, and no one ever does it.

        I don’t see any way around these two facts…

        1) Flynn plays because MM and TT honestly believe that he is a better player than Tolzien, and

        2) In his short appearances, Flynn has not looked good, and hasn’t even lived up to the very modest expectations that most people had for him.

        I would agree that the Packers should be looking for a better backup.

        1. I think the answer is probably more basic. Everyone who knows football knows Tolzein has clearly outplayed Matt Flynn but I think this comes down to Aaron Rodgers.
          Rodgers and Flynn are good friends. Rodgers probably prefers Flynn especially during road games where they can hang out as Rodgers is now the oldest guy on the team I believe.

          I think this is more about who Rodgers prefers over who is the better backup qb and I think Rodgers has the pull at this point in his career. It used to bother me early that Tolzein wasn’t the no. 2 but the way Rodgers is playing I don’t care much about the backup. I do know Tolzein will be our backup next year without a shadow of a doubt. This is another historic year for Aaron Rodgers.

          1. I’m not buying that for a second (especially the overused “anybody who knows football” argument, which isn’t really an argument at all).

            Even if it could be proven that Tolzein has “clearly outplayed Matt Flynn” – and I don’t know how you can do that based only on a few quarters of preseason ball, and without seeing anything at all of what happens in practice – do you really think that McCarthy plays Flynn for no other reason than that Flynn is ARod’s favorite roomie for away games? And he does this despite the fact that Tolzein is clearly better and everyone can see it?? You’re crazy if you do.

            Even if Flynn and ARod really do love bunking together so darn much, how does that compel McCarthy to play Flynn ahead of Tolzein?

            1. Marpag, think for a minute. Aaron Rodgers is the most dominating qb in the NFL.. probably of all time. I would think at this point he has some pull or say in who he likes as his backup if the choice is between Flynn and Tolzein..
              Rodgers and MM are almost like two brothers at this point. They love and hate each other at times but both realize they need each other and compromise is a two way street.
              Aaron Rodgers is now MIchael Jordan in his prime. I am quite certain Jordan had some “pull” or say in personal decisions with the Bulls. You don’t want to piss off Jordan or Rodgers. If they want something you give it to them. If having Flynn as your buddy on the road helps him play his optimum you don’t question him.
              I am not asking you to “buy it”. I am simply telling you this is probably the reason Flynn is no. 2 in my professional opinion. You are welcome to disagree. It’s just my theory because again, Tolzein blew away Flynn in every single game this preseason. It wasn’t even close. This is the only conclusion I can come up with. Flynn’s subpar play so far in mop up duty verifies it.

              1. Virtually everything you’re saying is just wild speculation. C’mon. This is the NFL. People do not play because they are ARod’s BFF.

                And even if they are bringing Flynn along solely to be “a buddy on the road,” how does that mean they have to play him in front of Tolzein? He’s still with them on the road…

      2. Tolzien is on a short contract too. Both Flynn and Tolzien become free agents at the end of this season. So TT needs to get his money out of both of them?

    3. While Flynn might not look the best if you only give him a snap or two at the end of a game. I remember the Patriot’s game he started, the Lion’s game he started and the Dallas game last year. I would take Flynn as my back up any day of the week.

      1. You mean Detroit game on Thanksgiving last year? Or Detroit game at Lambeau Field 2011? After he receive contract from Seahawks ad lost the job to rookie?
        He was better than Scott last year because he knew the system. Which is quite advantage, what do you thik?
        I believe Matt is nice guy, but he is ice guy, not capable QB back up…
        He was not good for Seahawks, Raiders and Bills as backup… That tells everything you want to know!

  2. Defense looking better. Time will tell against dominant running teams but we have to like what we’ve seen the past few weeks. There is a lot of season left. A lot can happen but the Packers arrow is certainly pointing up at this point. The NFC is looking pretty wide-open at this juncture. Need to keep the pressure on the lions and niner’s (Arizona will get the other bye).

  3. Hmmm….Cobb? I’m not so sure he gets a game ball. He had some nice stats, but he also had a couple of bad drops, one for a TD. At the risk of putting the head in the lion’s mouth, he’s reminding me a bit of Greg Jennings: a good player who’s faults get hidden by an All-Universe quarterbac. I’m NOT saying let him go, but just don’t be surprised if Ted doesn’t pony up top 10 WR money for him.

    1. I’m not one for making excuses, but Cobb had the ball knocked out a few times by good play by defensive backs. It’s also hard to catch a rocket when it’s cold out. So, I’m willing to overlook some of those incompletions because he’s normally very sure-handed.

      1. Jay – totally agree. Cobb has made some great catches, e.g., the one handed TD catch against the Bears just last week. FYI, Fox NY and Fox Philly, did not switch out of the Packers game. I saw every glorious second and all the post game interview. Special teams deserve the lame call for sure but I was very pleased that they did not allow any big kick-off or punt returns. They did a great job of holding down Sproles and nearly had a turnover on one of the KO returns. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

        1. Cobb didn’t have a drop. That was good DB play swatting the ball out. Now, Nelson did have a drop on what would have been a long reception, which is unusual for Nelson.

    2. “…he’s reminding me a bit of Greg Jennings: a good player who’s faults get hidden by an All-Universe quarterbac.” can’t be serious and I won’t take it that way..unless your name is Surely. 🙂

    3. Jay is right. He had the ball knocked looses a few times. Did you not see the catches he did make where he had to extend fully to bring in the pass? There is no way the Packers let Cobb walk. No way.

      1. Fair points, all, but I seem to remember exactly the same comments about two former receivers who the GBP would NEVER allow to leave: James Jones and Greg Jennings. I like Cobb a lot – who doesn’t – but I’m not entirely sure he’s the irreplaceable force that others think he is.

        1. Ted offered more money to Jennings than he got from the Vikings. That one is on Jennings–he wanted to leave.

            1. He’s getting outplayed on a weekly basis these days by a certain Charles Johnson…a late-round pick by the Packers last year who couldn’t make the team, ended up on the practice squad, was signed by Cleveland, and ended up on season-ending IR with a mystery ACL tear before being let go and signed by the Vikes this year.

              1. Yeah, I saw that Dobber. Man, that pissed me off. Charles Johnson looked damn good yesterday and Bridgewater was going to him big time. Yet another of TT’s guys gets plucked away by the damn Vikings.
                As for Jennings, I am sure he regrets it big time going there for an extra million or so. Just a few years ago he was almost a household name. He was able to do some small acting in a soap opera and even had a national tv ad for Old Spice. All the result of being connected to the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Now? he’s almost out of the league. For a preacher’s son he sure embarrassed himself with his selfishness (along with his stupid ass sista).

      2. Absolutely. He caught almost everything. Did someone forget the TD catch against the bears! No way is right, It is as close to a lock as possible.

  4. IMO Matthews should get the ball over Guion (though the NT played a great game as well).

    Clay Matthews was a struggling outside linebacker this year, especially against the run, constantly being overaggressive and, thus, losing contain and being taken out of the play.

    Moving inside, he’s automatically become the best player on this defense, and maybe one of the best inside linebackers in the game. He’s all over, he identifies plays, much, much faster than anyone and shoots the gaps much faster as well. We see just how bad Hawk is in comparison. Even against the pass, he’s positioning incredibly well, he hasn’t allowed a single completion so far. He’s also gotten 3 sacks in the last two games.

    I reserved my judgement last week, because the Bears is such a pathetic team. But against the Eagles, even with Sanchez?

    He’s the real deal, folks. Ballsy, ballsy move by Capers, and it’s paid off immediatelly.

    I don’t see it long, term, though, not because he can’t play, but because Peppers won’t be around for long, and it’s his presence that makes it possible. I believe we need one impact ILB in this future draft to be a great defense. And also a CB, because Tramon Williams is stinking up the joint, but that’s not as immediate a need.

    One thing, though. Not since the 2010 defense I’ve seen them dominate as they’re doing now. Just flying all over the field, constantly getting pressure, etc… And Matthews’ change is THE main reason.

    1. I dont think tramon is exactly “stinking up the joint,” but I am hoping TT lets him walk this year and gets House, Heyward and Hyde locked up.

      1. I think Tramon is a good CB. I would be fine with re-signing Tramon for 2 years at a reduced rate.

        I don’t understand the love for House. He has been a 4 year tease. He does flash. Sure though, I would sign House for back up money.

        1. That’s what I’m saying – for a “Packer-friendly rate” and see if he turns into the next Richard Sherman (without the mouth). He’s got the measurables and has flashed.

          But I’m not sure I want Tramon back – unless it’s at a substantially reduced rate. And even then. House, Hyde and Heyward need to play to get better.

  5. Jay – you can’t quite say that nobody cared about the outcome of the Lions-Cardinals game, can you? For Packers fans, it was the second most important game played yesterday. I agree with your frustration, but that is what the NFL Sunday Ticket is for. I watched both games after the switch.

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