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Eagles vs. Packers score, takeaways: Jalen Hurts dominates as Philly earns 10th win; Aaron Rodgers injured

The Philadelphia Eagles are the first team in the NFL to reach 10 wins on the season and continue to have a grip on the No. 1 seed in the NFC thanks to the 40-33 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. 

It was simply a dominating day for the Eagles on the ground as they rushed for a total of 363 yards and three touchdowns. That’s the second-most rushing yards in franchise history and the most by the club since 1948. Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders were the key cogs to that rushing attack as the duo combined for 300 yards. They are the first tandem in Eagles history to each have at least 125 rushing yards in a game. 

Philadelphia set that ground-and-pound tone early in this game as they jumped out to a 13-0 lead over Green Bay. In the first quarter alone, Hurts rushed for 103 yards and both Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell were able to find the end zone. However, the Packers were able to absorb those hits on the ground and counter, scoring on back-to-back drives to take the lead by the end of the opening quarter. The Eagles did gain the lead back just before the half and started to separate largely over the final two quarters. 

After forcing a three-and-out on Green Bay’s opening drive of the third quarter, the Eagles offense moved 86 yards down the field to add to its lead and continue its dominance out of the backfield. One major development in the second half that impacted the Packers was a rib injury to Aaron Rodgers. That forced Jordan Love to finish up the game, but the young quarterback was unable to fully bring his team back, despite throwing for a touchdown on his first drive of the night. 

Hurts finished with 153 yards passing and two touchdowns while adding a team-high 157 yards on the ground on 17 carries. Sanders was right behind him with 143 yards rushing to go along with two scores. Meanwhile, Rodgers completed 11 of 16 for 140 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks before departing. Love completed 6 of 9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown to Christian Watson. 

For a more detailed breakdown of how this game unfolded, check out our full takeaways below

Why the Eagles won

Naturally, the running game is the MVP for Philadelphia. They could get whatever they wanted on the ground and had a historic night doing so. Specifically with Hurts, he used his legs early and often and it was particularly helpful extending drives. On the opening possession and faced with a third-and-6, Hurts broke off a 28-yard run that not only moved the chains but put the ball inside the 10-yard line. He also had a 42-yard run on a third-and-2 play at the end of the first quarter that helped set up another touchdown. 

Meanwhile, the defense was able to apply pressure on Aaron Rodgers at a decent clip. Javon Hargrave was an unsung hero on Rodgers’ interception as the defensive tackle pressured him up the middle, flushed him out of the pocket, and into a rushed throw to Allen Lazard that was picked by Josiah Scott. 

Philadelphia also started to get home and sack Rodgers in key moments as the game went on. On consecutive drives (excluding the kneel down before the half), the Eagles defense registered sacks on Rodgers on third downs and forced the Packers to punt the ball away. Each time after those sacks and subsequent punts, the Philly offense found the end zone, furthering its lead. 

Why the Packers lost

Green Bay’s poor run defense rears its head in a big way on Sunday night. Coming into Week 12, the Packers run defense ranked 29th in the NFL in DVOA and it was clear why after giving up 363 yards on the ground on a 7.4-yards- per-carry average. Naturally, that was the main reason Green Bay finds itself at 4-8 on the season and all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. 

That said, the Packers did go toe to toe with the No. 1-seeded Eagles throughout the first half. It was the final two quarters of regulation that saw them get left in the dust. Specifically, Green Bay squandered several opportunities right at the start of the third quarter. The club was getting the ball back to begin the second half and Keisean Nixon was able to mount a stellar return for 52 yards that put the ball at midfield. Instead of capitalizing on that field position, the offense went three-and-out and Aaron Rodgers got hurt in the process. 

After the Eagles scored on their possession to further extend their lead, the Packers offense brought the ball to the Philadelphia 6-yard line. While Matt LaFleur was all set to go for it on fourth-and-3, a false-start penalty along the O-line pushed them back 5 yards, which forced the Packers to kick a field goal instead, cutting the deficit to 11. Meanwhile, Rodgers was able to finish that drive but was in noticeable pain on each dropback and didn’t return after that field goal.

Those back-to-back drives were where the Packers slowed just enough for Philly to separate. 

Turning point

The Packers offense didn’t skip too much of a beat with Jordan Love under center for the injured Aaron Rodgers. In fact, it only took Green Bay four plays to go 75 yards down the field to cut the Eagles lead to seven thanks to a 63-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson. While that caused a bit of a momentum shift toward the Packers, Philly was able to smother any realistic chances of a comeback with a 10-play drive that resulted in a clutch 54-yard field goal by Jake Elliott. Not only did that drive and field goal put the Eagles back up by two scores, but it also chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock and gave the Packers the ball back with just over two minutes to play in the game. 

Instead of simply needing to drive down the field to go for the tie or outright win, Green Bay was faced with the challenge of kicking the field goal and then praying for the onside kick to bounce its way, which it did not. 

Play of the game

For a game where there was a combined 73 points scored, there were surprisingly some standout moments on the defensive side of the ball. One in particular came midway through the second quarter when Jalen Hurts completed a short pass to A.J. Brown. As the wideout turned upfield, he was stripped and the ball was picked up by Packers rookie linebacker Quay Walker. He nearly took it to the house, returning the fumble 63 yards to the Philadelphia 13-yard line before going out of bounds. That then led to a touchdown by the offense, which tied the game at 20. 

As impressive as the run by Walker was, Jalen Hurts also did a good job slowing him down on the return. Just by getting in front of him, Walker was forced to make a cut, which gave Eagles defenders the ability to catch back up and prevent him from scoring. 

What’s next 

From here, the Eagles will hang home in Philadelphia and gear up for a Week 13 matchup with the Tennessee Titans, who just fell to the Cincinnati Bengals. As for the Packers, they’ll go back on the road and visit Chicago where they’ll take on the Bears.

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