EditorsNote: fixes “Vaitai” and “Tretter” in notes
Rodgers tosses two TDs as Packers defeat Eagles
PHILADELPHIA -- Wide receiver Davante Adams had a feeling he was going to have a good game on Monday night, although he admitted he didn’t expect it to be quite this good.
Adams caught five passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 27-13 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
“We’ve been struggling some on offense and we needed people to step up tonight,” he said. “Of course, we expect No. 12 (quarterback Aaron Rodgers) to do that every week, and he did it again. I‘m just glad I was able to step up, too, because we really needed this one.”
That’s because the Packers had lost four straight games and were in danger of falling completely out of the NFC North race, and even though the Pack (5-6) still trail Detroit (7-4) and Minnesota (6-5) in the division, at least now they’re still in striking distance.
“We just needed to get a win and we didn’t care how we did it or who we did it against,” Packers linebacker Nick Perry said. “To come in here, a tough place to play against a good team, and to respond the way we did makes us all feel good about the rest of the season.”
The Packers led 14-10 at halftime and each team kicked a field goal on its first possession of the third quarter, with the Eagles’ Caleb Sturgis hitting a 50-yarder. But then the Eagles made a major mistake -- defensive lineman Fletcher Cox was called for roughing the passer on an incomplete third-down pass, giving Green Bay an automatic first down.
The Packers took advantage of that penalty and moved in for another touchdown, on a 1-yard run by fullback Aaron Ripkowski, which made it 24-13 with 13:53 left to play. They added a late field goal and the Packers scored on all three of their second-half possessions, which ate up a total of almost 17 1/2 minutes.
“It was a bang-bang play, but I still can’t do that, especially when we were ready to get off the field,” Cox said. “One thing you can’t do is give Aaron Rodgers another series with the ball, and he made us pay for my mistake.”
Rodgers played with a sore hamstring in the second half and, at one point, backup QB Brett Hundley started to warm up. But Rodgers finished the game and completed 30 of 39 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game, Rodgers said his leg was still sore, but “I’ll be good to go” when the Packers play Houston next Sunday.
Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a good start, but then he and the Philadelphia offense sputtered. Wentz completed 24 of 36 passes for 254 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
“We struggled to get into a rhythm,” Wentz said. “In the second half, we couldn’t stay on the field and they did a good job.”
The Packers took the opening kickoff and drove for a touchdown, and they made it look easy. The Pack cashed in when Rodgers hit Adams for a 12-yard TD for a 7-0 lead with 9:51 left in the first quarter.
But the Eagles came right back with an impressive drive of their own, led by receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who had four catches for 53 yards in the drive, which almost matched his season high for an entire game -- he had five catches for 55 yards against Dallas in Week 7. The Eagles tied the game when Wentz scrambled to his right and dove over for a 1-yard TD with 3:40 left in the opening period.
The tennis match continued on the Packers’ next possession, when Rodgers rifled a 20-yard TD pass to Adams, who made a diving catch in the end zone to make it 14-7 with 14:53 left in the second quarter.
The offenses cooled down after that, although the Eagles added a 48-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis right before halftime, and the teams went to their locker rooms with the Packers leading 14-10.
NOTES: A late scratch for the Eagles was RG Brandon Brooks, who was hospitalized Monday with an undisclosed illness. Rookie Isaac Seumalo started in his place. The Eagles were already without RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee). ... The Packers played without four injured starters -- G T.J. Lang (foot), C JC Tretter (knee), LB Jake Ryan (ankle) and LB Blake Martinez (knee). ... RB Christine Michael made his debut for the Packers. He was claimed off waivers from Seattle on Nov. 15 after rushing for 469 yards and scoring six TDs for the Seahawks. He carried the ball once on Monday night, gaining 4 yards.