The Green Bay Packers couldn’t capitalize on two straight and-goal situations to end their 34-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, and their playcalling is something that is being scrutinized.
In the first situation, the Packers were down 34-27 with around nine minutes left and threw four straight incompletions. In the second, they had the ball at the seven, ran Aaron Jones for four yards, and then Aaron Rodgers’ second-down pass was deflected and intercepted to seal the win for Philly.
How did Rodgers feel about the playcalls? The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman quoted Rodgers as saying after the game that he felt good about all four pass calls on the second-to-last possession.
Rodgers on turning the ball over on downs on goal line in fourth quarter after four straight passes: “I felt good about all four calls.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 27, 2019
During a media session at the podium after the game, Rodgers talked about the missed opportunities.
“We had chances. We had a lot of chances down the stretch. We moved the ball well, we just struggled in the red zone. Two field goals, four passes at the 1 and obviously the turnover,” Rodgers said.
The way Rodgers specifically called out the “four passes at the 1” makes us wonder whether he was second-guessing the playcalling and pointing out the lack of variety, or whether he was just recounting the chances he had and failed to capitalize on.
Once again, the Packers continued their trend of scoring points in the first half and sputtering in the second half. They punted on their first two possessions of the second half after putting themselves in holes with weak first-down run attempts on each possession. The Eagles’ rush defense is the second-best in the league, and they have the fourth-worst pass defense. Yet for some reason Matt LaFleur was playing right into their hands with the early-down runs. Then when they were at the 1-yard line, they could have spread out the formation and tried to sneak one in, and they didn’t even try that once.
Their entire approach makes you wonder what kind of studying of the Eagles they did and whether they have any intention of fixing their biggest weakness on defense.