Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles walked into Lambeau Field with their backs against the wall, needing to knock off the unbeaten Green Bay Packers to avoid a 1-3 start to the season. The Eagles knew it wouldn’t be an easy task, but the team rallied together after a couple of narrow defeats to earn a 34-27 road victory on Thursday night.
The win was a total team effort, made possible by the defense’s goal line stands, the rushing combination of Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard, big plays on special teams and a balanced passing attack led by Carson Wentz and No. 86.
“Every player on this team deserves it,” Zach Ertz said. “It takes an entire roster to do that and that’s what we did tonight. We were resilient. We were tough. We kept fighting. And we ended up on top. It was huge. A huge, huge win.”
The Eagles improved their record to 2-2 after their win in Green Bay, keeping them very much on track for a great remainder of the season. More importantly, Thursday’s win was an impressive display of football across the board for Philly.
Wentz tossed three touchdown passes and no interceptions against a Packers defense that had been one of the most impressive units in the NFL through the first three weeks of the season. Of course, the Eagles offensive line had a lot to do with the success in the passing game, as well as the running game. A week after the Packers recorded six sacks in a win against the Denver Broncos, they were held to none against Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce and the rest of the Eagles’ line.
Throughout the night, the Eagles ran the ball effectively, picking up crucial, timely first downs on the ground by handing the ball to Sanders and Howard. Their production in the run game led to more space in the passing game for playmakers like Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert. Jeffery and Goedert each hauled in a touchdown reception, and Ertz paced the Eagles all night with seven catches for 65 yards, keeping the chains moving and keeping the ball away from Aaron Rodgers.
After falling behind 10-0 early in the second quarter, the Eagles exploded for 21 points before the half was over, with the third touchdown coming courtesy of a Derek Barnett forced fumble on a sack of Rodgers. The Eagles took a one-point advantage into the locker room at halftime, and they would never trail again.
Philly scored their final points of the night on a 2-yard Jordan Howard touchdown rush, his third score of the game, to take a 34-27 lead with almost a full quarter to play. Rodgers and the Packers made several plays throughout the night, but when it mattered most in the red zone, the Eagles defense came up huge.
After a pass interference call mid-way through the fourth quarter gave the Packers a 1st-and-Goal from the 1-yard line, the Eagles defense stood tall four plays in a row, forcing a turnover on downs. Then, on the Packers’ final drive of the night, Philly needed another red zone stop to secure the win. Cornerback Craig James, who came in for an injured Avonte Maddox, broke on an in-breaking route by Marquez Valdes-Scantling, forcing the ball up in the air and into the arms of linebacker Nigel Bradham for the game-sealing interception.
In a back-and-forth game, the Eagles knew the Packers would make plays on both sides of the ball, but they were ready for the challenge and stepped up in the big moments to earn the win.
“We came up big when we had to,” Bradham said. “It was tough out there. Rodgers may be the best quarterback in the league. He’s tough. He makes all kinds of plays. So we had to just hang in there and when the opportunity presented itself, we had to make the play.”