Rodgers tosses 2 TD passes, Packers beat Eagles, 27-13

- Aaron Rodgers showed Carson Wentz what an elite quarterback can do for his team.

   The two-time NFL MVP had a dazzling performance in a game the Green Bay Packers desperately needed to win. The rookie QB was inconsistent and made a costly mistake for the Philadelphia Eagles. 
 
   Rodgers had 313 yards passing and threw two touchdown passes to Davante Adams to help the Packers beat the Eagles 27-13 Monday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.
 
   Wentz was 24 of 36 for 254 yards and threw an interception in Green Bay territory. He also was sacked four times. 
 
   Wentz didn't have starting running back Ryan Mathews the entire game, and No. 1 receiver Jordan Matthews missed most of the second half.
 
   "The way he started the game was exceptional," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "After that, playing with so many guys out, I thought he managed it extremely well. He stayed calm. He stayed on point."
 
   The Eagles and their fans hope Wentz can someday be on Rodgers' level.
 
   "I think his ceiling is extremely high and Eagles fans should be very excited for the future," Rodgers said.
 
   Rodgers was outstanding from the start, leading Green Bay to consecutive TD drives. He made perfect passes to Adams on both TDs and another on a 50-yard gain in the third quarter.
 
   "There's a big difference between 4-7 and 5-6 for sure, but I hope there's not a ton of relief because we still have a lot of things in front of us we'd like to accomplish," Rodgers said. "This is a step in the right direction, a game we needed to take care of business, but we have a short week with Houston coming in and we have to have a similar performance."
 
   Here's some things we learned from Green Bay's win over Philadelphia:
 
   NO MORE DOMINANCE AT HOME: The Eagles were 4-0 and outscored opponents 108-38 at home before Rodgers and the Packers came to town. The Browns, Steelers, Vikings and Falcons combined for the same amount of TDs (three) as the Packers had against the Eagles.
 
   DEFENSE RISES UP: The Packers had allowed 89 points in the past two games and at least 30 in each of the previous four, but they overcame injuries and shut down Philadelphia. Clay Matthews returned to inside linebacker because Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez were sidelined. Matthews briefly left with a shoulder injury on the Eagles' only TD drive. 
 
   "I felt natural going back in there," he said. 
 
   BALL CONTROL: The Packers went 10 for 14 on third downs, 1 for 1 on fourth and dominated time of possession by an 11-minute advantage. They sealed the game with a drive that lasted 8:21 in the fourth quarter.
 
   "We have to get off the field on third down," Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills said.   
 
   WENTZ CAN RUN: After managing only 48 yards rushing in the first 10 games, Wentz scrambled four times for 33 yards. He had a 17-yard run on third-and-6 and got a positive gain after eluding a rusher who grabbed his facemask for a penalty on another third down.
 
   DYNAMIC DAVANTE: Adams caught five passes for 113 yards and two TDs. He made excellent catches in difficult spots when Rodgers made perfect throws. 
 
   "He's a playmaker. He's grown each and every week and it's fun to watch," said teammate Jordy Nelson, who had eight receptions for 91 yards. "The more guys we have out there to make plays, the better."
 
The Eagles emailed out these thoughts from Coach Pederson and players on both teams:
 

Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson

Offense scored 13 points. What held you back from any type of explosive plays?
“You know what, a lot of self-inflicted wounds tonight in all facets of the game. But offensively I thought we obviously started the game great, going down and getting seven points, matching their seven [points]. After that, again, just the self-inflicted stuff. Penalties hurt us. Obviously as the game wore on, I felt like the running game was efficient enough to sustain us. Too many little things. Just little detail things that caused us not to score more points.”

What is WR Jordan Matthews' status?
“I don't know at this point. I'll find out more in the morning.”

And G Brandon Brooks’ status?
“Brandon Brooks has an illness. As you know, we had to send him to the hospital this morning for more testing. I haven't got an update yet. He was very nauseated, throwing up, things of that nature all day. So we wanted to make sure that everything's okay. So there will be more testing. We'll probably find out more in the morning.”

What made you decide to sit WR Nelson Agholor from the game?
“Well, it came down to basically just letting him see the game with a little bit calmer eyes, you know, just a different perspective on the game. Obviously he handled it extremely well. It was obviously a 90-minute decision. Even during the week I was still going back and forth with it. Just to let him take a step back, breathe a little bit, and see exactly how he can help this football team going forward.”

Do you think he'll be active next week?
“We got to see and check on Jordan, make sure that Jordan is okay, evaluate the film, see how the other guys did. I'm not going to rule it out at this time.”

There seemed to be almost no pressure on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. He was never sacked, only hit once.
“Yeah, it was a tough day. You're not going to be in a position to win many games without the pass rush, and on the same side the pass protection. Obviously it starts with both offensive and defensive lines. Just too much time. You can't let a guy like Aaron Rodgers stand back there, he's going to pick you apart. You just can't hold up in the back end that long. Something we got to look at hard, try to get it fixed. We still got five weeks left. It comes down to just each guy, it's a pride factor, the next five weeks. But it's something we got to seriously evaluate.”

On the second challenge, didn't affect the outcome of the game, but you don't have any more challenges, you only gain two yards if it is overturned, what's the thought process on that?
“Well, the thought process there was to where they were on the field. Yeah, it might have been only a two-yard gain, but you take into consideration second-and-eight, second-and-10. Backs them up two yards. You still want to play the field position game, whether they end up punting it or going for it on fourth down. If you can stop them, get them off the field, just an opportunity to keep them in a second-and-long situation knowing, yeah, that obviously it was an incomplete pass, knowing you were going to be out of challenges. Just needed something to keep them really at a little bit longer yardage at that time and try to help our defense.”

By the end of the game you had six offensive players playing either a different position or out. Can any team afford that sort of attrition, expect to be functional when it has that many players playing different positions even from a week ago?
“Yeah, it's tough. In the National Football League, it's tough. We don't make excuses for it. It's a physical game. We know injuries are going to take place. But it's hard, especially with that many young players on offense. But at the same time I look at it, too, it's valuable for those guys that are playing. I still believe that we're obviously heading in the right direction as a team. It's great for those guys to play. At the same time, you know, it's hard. Each guy sort of has to have the ‘next man up’ mentality. But, you know, we all got to look at ourselves in the mirror and make sure we're doing the right things when we get those opportunities.”

How do you think your offensive line reconstituted? How did it do tonight compared to what you expected?
“I think overall they played pretty well, up until the last couple sacks there at the end. [G] Isaac [Seumalo] has been playing in these games the last couple weeks, just not starting. I thought he filled in extremely well. Been saying all along, he's a sharp guy. He knows the game plan inside and out. [G/T] Allen [Barbre] moving to right tackle, which was great for us because we gave him that experience back in training camp. He was able to have a full week of practice. I thought overall it was a pretty good day for them. We'll evaluate it and see where we go this next week.”

You say your team is going in the right direction. You've lost six of eight games. What makes you think that?
“Look at the effort. I think you might look at wins and losses. I got to look at the potential of the football team and the guys that we have. Are we there yet? No. Are we heading in the right direction? Yes. Again, it may not show up right now in wins and losses, but I see that potential. I see that there is no quit in this team. Everybody's fighting to the end. That's a sign that things are heading the right direction.”

Why was there a problem with your tempo game and your short defense against their short passing game?
“The ball was out so fast. That's the thing that Aaron does a great job with, the way he manages the play clock, gets his guys in the right position. Literally the ball's out. It's fast. It's just tough to defend. Then with the lack of pass rush can obviously hurt that. Yeah, it's just the quick release, getting the guys in and out of plays. It's obviously the sign of a veteran guy taking advantage of situations, taking advantage of what he's seeing defensively.”

How tough was that last Packers drive?
“That was hard. That was hard. We had them in a third-and-long. Could have got them off the field at that time, given ourselves a chance right there, but we didn't do it. Then they went on and kicked the field goal there. Those are situations, again, that are hard to overcome. We got to find a way defensively to get them off the field, and then offensively, you know, we can't make the little mistakes that keep us off the field.”

It's a four-point game, you force a three-and-out, DT Fletcher Cox is charged with a personal foul. On that play what did you see and what's the message to Fletcher?
“Yeah, Fletcher and I talked. It was a good call. The head and neck area... Again, it's a tough situation for a defensive lineman because we teach them to go in with hands up, try to tip passes. Anytime you strike the quarterback in the head and neck area, you're going to get flagged. It's unfortunate. Those are the things that I keep talking about. Those are the mistakes that we're making, the little things that we're making that are big things in games. We have a chance to get off the field at that time and don't. It's hard to overcome.”

How did you assess QB Carson Wentz's play tonight? He obviously had a lot of moving parts he had to deal with.
“Yeah, again, I think it was a good performance. Obviously the way he started the game was exceptional and led the team down for the touchdown there, the opening drive. After that, you know, playing with so many guys, when Jordan went out, moving parts, things like that. Managing it well. We did a lot of hurry-up tempo. We tried to stay as aggressive as we could there with the tempo offense. Just getting the guys lined up. I thought he managed that thing extremely well. There were also times where he changed plays tonight because of pressure that the Packers were bringing. He was able to get us out of some stuff, get us into some good plays that were very beneficial. He stayed calm. He stayed right on point. He played pretty well.”

With all the injuries, do you need him to be more than what you were comfortable needing him to be earlier in the season? Are you having to ask too much of him?
“Well, you know, you get to this point in the season, I think you go into each game giving him a handful of things to manage for us, meaning in the run game, checks in the run game, checks in protection, in the passing game. Again, it's not all on him. I mean, you just let the offense work. The guys getting open for him, the protection, all of that comes into play. It's not just one guy. It takes a full 11. It takes the cohesiveness of that offense to work. Again, with so many different pieces and different spots, it's hard to get that continuity going.”

What determines your cornerback rotation for a given series? What factors determine who is actually in there?
“A lot of times, with the corners, it's much like the defensive line. In [CB Leodis McKelvin’s] case, with him being injured, and trying to keep him healthy for the entire football game, [CB] Jalen [Mills] got much-needed reps in there as well. The other thing, too, is just allowing Jalen -- he's a little bit more of a physical corner. He can do a little better in the press. Leo is a guy that is steady, he's not going to make a ton of mistakes for you. He's going to pretty much do his job, his assignment, stay pretty consistent that way. Jalen just gives you a little bit more of a physical presence over there. That's kind of the way he was even back in the off-season for us.”

Eagles QB Carson Wentz

On whether he was surprised the Eagles were not able to move the ball effectively against the Packers defense:

“Maybe a little bit.  I thought we just struggled to get into a rhythm.  Early in the first half, I think we had three drives and one of those was a two-minute drive.  [In the] second half, I think we just couldn’t stay on the field; a couple times we struggled to get in a rhythm and they did a good job.”

On his third quarter interception:

“It just sailed on me.”

On whether the hit he took earlier in the drive affected his intercepted pass:

“No.”

On the impact of losing Eagles WR Jordan Matthews to injury in the second half:

“I think we have the ‘next man up’ philosophy around here.  Obviously, it’s tough with a guy like Jordan, to lose him, but we felt confident with the next guy up.  Again, we just struggled to get in a rhythm.”

On why Eagles WR Dorial Green-Beckham was targeted less in the second half:

“It’s hard to say that we went away from it.  It’s just the way that they started playing some different coverages, I think more importantly.  I thought DGB played a great game.  I think we’re getting a really good connection.  He’s competing his tail off and he’s doing a good job, so I think that’s a good sign for us.”

On the Eagles’ offensive line play:

“We’ll have to obviously watch the tape.  I thought they did a good job with some of the communication up front on some of the pressure looks they were bringing.  I thought they did a pretty good job.”

On whether he was surprised that Eagles WR Nelson Agholor was deactivated prior to the game:

“I didn’t really think too much of it.  That’s not for me to speculate on, I just play with the guys they put out there.”

On whether the additions of WR Bryce Treggs and WR Paul Turner affected his rhythm:

“I don’t think so.  I think we feel pretty confident in those guys going forward and I think we felt confident with them throughout the week.  But I think overall, as an offense, we just struggled to get in a rhythm.”

On his reasons for why the ball sails on him at times:

“Bad throw.”

On how he was notified that Agholor wouldn’t be playing in the game:

“I think we found out yesterday. We weren’t sure what was happening. We were seeing [WR] Paul [Turner] get some more reps throughout the week in practice. I wasn’t really sure. It honestly didn’t stress anybody out because that is just the way it is. We just have to play with the guys that are out there. But I, and I know a lot of guys, still have a lot of confidence in him. I think he is going to be a big part of us going forward still.”

On how he approaches the challenges of team injuries and players underperforming:

“Yeah, I don’t think it’s so much that. I will obviously have to go back and watch the tape. I think the Packers did a good job of mixing up their coverages. Early on, I thought we did a really good job; obviously, the first drive went right down and then they played some different coverages. I‘d have to go back and watch, but I’m pretty sure I missed a couple guys. I think I had some guys open down the middle and some different things that I just have to be better with.”

On what it will take for them to get out of this funk:

“We just have to stay the course. We can’t dwell on it. We just have to keep plugging along. We can’t throw in the towel.  I know the guys in that locker room and that’s not going to happen. I think our effort is always there. We just have to keep fighting, keep believing, and we can’t change our preparation.”

On how important Agholor will be if they end up losing Matthews for a period of time:

“Like I just said, I think for Nelson, I know I haven’t lost confidence in him. I know guys on this team haven’t either. I think it was just one of those things. Coach Pederson made the decision. But personally, I still believe he is going to be a big part of this team and he’s going to make some good plays for us.”

On his success running the ball today and if he saw something he could exploit coming into the game:

“Yeah I think it was a little bit coming into the game.  I think they played a lot of two-high, two-man underneath, where guys were getting out of there. So there were some good running lanes underneath.”

Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood

On whether he thought the Eagles would run the ball more tonight:

“Yeah I think so, but I think that came with them having the ball so much and then us being down. We started having to pass at a point. I think that was the plan going into the game and we started to do it, but we only could do it when we were on the field. We weren’t on the field a long time.” 

On whether it was frustrating being on the sidelines with Green Bay controlling the ball:

“Yeah, it’s definitely frustrating every time, just seeing them walk down the field and kind of do a good job.  So I think it kind of got to us and I mean we can’t help if we’re not on the field, so we just have to pick it up.”

On how the offense is affected when QB Carson Went runs the ball more:

“I think it’s great. Teams will start to respect it and kind of start to put guys on him and it will open something else up. So I think him running and showing the defenses he can do it, it probably won’t leave him hanging anymore.”

Eagles WR Dorial Green-Beckham

On the receiving corps being shorthanded after losing WR Jordan Matthews to injury:

“It’s big. Everybody has to know everybody’s position for times like this. It’s tough to have a receiver go down, but it’s all up to us. We have to go out there and know every position and go out there and play.”

On whether the Packers defense took away some of the Eagles’ routes and how the team can overcome that:

“Really just game planning.  When the ball is thrown your way, you have to make opportunities. You have to come up with big catches. One thing that I came out here and did – I played hard, came out here and fought and made the catches that were thrown my way.”

On whether it was frustrating to sit on the sidelines while the Green Bay offense was out on the field:

“I mean our offense didn’t have a lot of opportunities. Green Bay was holding the ball all through the quarter. They eliminated chances for us. We’ve got to be better ourselves and overall we just have to play together as a team. When situations don’t go the way as planned, we’ve got to figure out a way to win.”  

On whether he was surprised the Eagles weren’t able to move the ball more against the Packers defense:

“Yeah, I was surprised. They were giving us everything that we needed, we just had to execute. Starting up front, starting with the receivers, starting with everybody. We just have to play together as a team, be better on ourselves each and every week at practice, and eliminate mistakes.”   

On when he knew WR Nelson Agholor wouldn’t be playing tonight:

“Well, we really weren’t sure. It was something that we talked about, but once we knew that [WR] Paul [Turner] was practicing and being up, we kind of were just going with what was given. We could have used him. We don’t have too many receivers. We just have to be critical on ourselves and go into practice and eliminate all the mistakes and know every position.”

Eagles TE Zach Ertz

On the frustration experienced by the offense in tonight’s loss:

“It’s frustrating. Every time you lose a game it’s frustrating. It’s hard when you feel like you have to play with a little sense of urgency because you feel like you have to score. [Green Bay] is a great offense and we knew that going in. They’re a powerful offense and we knew that we were going to have to score some points. Unfortunately we didn’t score enough points tonight. We just were not able to find a rhythm and that’s the bottom line.” 

On whether Wentz might have been shaken up after taking a hit on the play prior to the interception:

“That guy is as tough as nails. He is in there battling and he doesn’t care how many guys were trying to hit him. He’s going to come out slinging no matter what the situation is with the line, the tight ends, the running backs, or the protection. That’s why guys love playing for him and with him. He’s going to battle each and every play and he’s going to fight until the end. With him, he never thinks we’re out of the game. I think as players, you love playing with guys like that.”


On why the offense was not able to sustain drives consistently:

“We just couldn’t really find any rhythm. We were like facing 3rd-and-thousands it seemed at times. Any time you’re in 3rd-and-10+ the playbook is extremely limited. You’re going to be in chip protection with a tight end and a back a lot of the time, so that pretty much erases two threats when it’s that long. But we just didn’t make enough plays. Guys were busting their butts like we do every week, but we just did not execute.  I thought we did pretty well in the run game, but when you fall behind 10 points, it’s hard to continue with the run game because you have to open the game up a little bit. We’ll watch the tape and learn from it.”


On the decision to deactivate WR Nelson Agholor:

“It’s out of my control. Obviously I had no part in that. I think Nelson is going to take it as a learning experience. That’s the only way you can look at it from Nelson’s perspective. I don’t know what he said about it or anything like that, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he reacts this week in practice. I expect him to rebound in a positive way.”


On dropping to a 5-6 record overall after starting with three straight wins:

“It’s tough because in the NFL you invest so much every week to win games and unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that the last couple of weeks. We still feel like we have a good team. That’s the most frustrating thing because if we were a bad team getting blown out of these games it would be one thing. But these games have come down to a possession here, a possession there. We just haven’t executed in those games, so it’s frustrating obviously.”

On whether there are enough talented players on the roster to complement QB Carson Wentz:
“We’re going to battle with the guys that we have regardless of who is out there. The defense and special teams have been playing at a high level and the offense has done some good things. But obviously we have to pick it up in some areas, myself included. I haven’t played perfect by any means. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the guy in every situation as the go-to, and on one of the third downs tonight I had a drop that I catch every time. I feel like we have the guys in this room to make a push.”

Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins

On a message from himself or other leaders on this team after a loss like this:

“At this point you just show up to work. You go about correcting some things. Obviously, the story line is really the same. It’s just us hurting ourselves in a lot of different things – some ill-timed penalties and just not executing. I think what we do see is a team that plays hard. We go out there, we compete, we prepare. We’re just not getting it done on game day, so it’s tough. You just want to make sure that the team stays together and that we just continue to prepare and continue the process.”

On how surprised he was about the way they played on third down tonight and what the problem was:

“A lot of the third downs were third and short. They were able to get rid of the ball real quick when we tried to pressure.  We had a couple third down penalties. They just flat-out made some plays. A couple like where [CB] Jalen Mills breaks it up and it falls into [WR] Jordy Nelson’s hands, so it was just a rough day.”

On why they weren’t able to make the adjustments eventually on the short passing game:

“We went back and forth. When we did try to tighten up and get some single high, they hit us with some big plays over the top. It was constantly trying to play cat and mouse and disguising some things. At the same time, it’s not often you see an offense that’s patient enough to just have a twelve play drive where no plays are over four or five yards. It usually doesn’t happen. All you’re waiting for is really one negative play and most times when we got it, they either converted on third down or we got a penalty or something that got them out of that hole. When you‘re playing a quarterback like that, mistakes cost you.”

On if this was the most frustrating defensive performance of the season:

“Yeah, I think so. We’re one or two plays here and there on every drive where we’re off the field. It was just one of those things were we knew we had to be patient. We knew he was going to run around and make plays. We would have to just hunker down and eventually make a stop, so we knew the drives would be long but we just couldn’t find a way to get that one play.”

Eagles DT Fletcher Cox

On his roughing the passer penalty on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter:

“I mean when you play as hard as I play and aggressive as I play, stuff like that happens.  I did talk to the referee, he said it was just one of those things where it was close so he had to call that, that’s how they’re protecting the quarterbacks.”

On the defense’s performance:

“I think it could’ve been better, including me.  I had two dumb penalties as I always call them; I had offsides and roughing the quarterback.  But overall I think we could’ve been better and we’re looking forward to next week.”

On the Packers’ third down success:

“Yeah, which means we didn’t play good on first and second down.  They had a really good game plan.  He [Packers QB Aaron Rodgers] was picking the ball up, throwing it.  They made more plays than we did, and we have to get them in third and long instead of third and short.”

On whether the Eagles have to win-out this season

“We need to win next week.  I think that’s the most important thing.  We can’t look ahead about the rest of the season – we have to win next week and start 1-0 from there.”

Eagles CB Nolan Carroll

On what happened on the second touchdown pass:

“Right when I turned my head around, the ball was coming in. I am thinking it was going to be up high and the ball came in lower. Even 17 [Davante Adams] said that the ball just landed in his lap.”

On seeing that QB Aaron Rodgers was on top of his game:

“It was frustrating for us because they were just moving the ball down the field and just dinking and dunking. We have to try and get them in third and long situations but when we look at the sticks, it is third-and four, third-and-two, third-and-one. There is only so many things you can call in situations and we got on our heels and it was hard the rest of the game.”

Eagles CB Leodis McKelvin

On if the plan on defense was to play press coverage, off, or mix it up:

“We didn’t play off the majority of the game…We tried to play our press and tried to compete with them and challenge them.”

On Green Bay being 10 for 14 on third downs and if it’s tough to win a game if you can’t get off the field on third down:

“It is very tough to win the game when we stay on the field for the majority of the game. It is hard to get off the field and it is hard to win games when you can’t get off the field. It is hard to win games when you are playing bad technique. It is hard to win games when it becomes third-and-five and you jump off-sides. We just beat ourselves overall from the front line to the back end.”

Eagles CB Jalen Mills

On the Packers’ offense tonight:

“We have to get off the field on third down. [Packers QB] Aaron [Rodgers] had a couple where he scrambled and there was an offside on third and five. We just can’t make those little mistakes. When [Rodgers] starts scrambling, we have to latch on to those guys. Those guys run the option routes and get open and he finds those receivers.”

On Rodgers throwing into tight windows:

“This is the NFL. Especially going against a quarterback like that with the great receivers they’ve got, they are going to make those tough catches and he’s going to make those tough throws. Each and every play you have to have the mindset that the next play you are going to dominate your opponent.”

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy

Opening statement:

“That was a very good team win for us. Obviously we needed it. We knew coming in here and I can’t say enough about our locker room, just staying the course. The two big focus points for us as a football team was winning the turnover ratio, and winning the field position battle. I think those were the two big keys to the victory tonight. If you look at the first half, both offenses only had the ball for three possessions. The turnover in the third quarter was huge for us stealing the series from the Eagles. Offensively, we knew we had a big challenge with their defensive line, and our offensive line was outstanding tonight. [Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers was outstanding especially playing through the injury there from the third quarter on. On the one-on-one matchups on the outside, the defense was key down the stretch. Our special teams took on the best return unit in the league and came up big. I think we had three stops inside the 20. We obviously pinned them back there on the punt. A good quality football win for us. We made it to 5-6. I think like everybody that wins on Monday Night on the road you already kind of flipped the page. We were on a short week here getting ready for the Texans. I’m proud of our football team. I’ve said it all along, particularly this past month answering the questions. They’re a great bunch of men to coach. This is all about character and culture. We got this game here in Philadelphia and we will build off of it.”

On what this win will do for the morale of the team:

“I’ll tell you what, it’s something they will never take for granted. Winning is hard. Wins are very difficult in this league and we haven’t had the feeling in five weeks. We missed it. It felt good. It’s a product of December football. We’re getting ready to go into the toughest days of the season and you need these wins. I think anytime you have adversity in life, there is a learning experience. I think we will be a much better football team because of what we went through. The fact of the matter is this is one win. We’re 5-6. We need to stay the course. We look at this as a launching pad, definitely a game we can definitely build off of.”

On whether Aaron Rodgers’ confidence impacted the team:

“His positive attitude has been consistent throughout his time. He’s grown as a quarterback since starting in 2008. He’s grown as a person all the way through. It’s just like anything in this business. What goes on inside is the reality sometimes. That’s not expressed correctly or incorrectly. It’s not really for us to judge or so-forth. It’s part of our business. He’s an excellent leader and always has been. It’s definitely something we will build off of.”

On whether the turnover ratio had to do with a lack of confidence from Eagles QB Carson Wentz:

“That’s a good point, but there are other factors involved. I think the young man is going to be a fine player for a long time in this league. You need to take care of the football. Aaron [Rodgers] has done it for a long time. It’s always been an emphasis and something he’s particularly good at. We have that confidence every week when we play. It definitely hasn’t been our strong point to come up into this game and once again we are plus one. We need to build on that. You have to take care of the football in this league and take it away. The numbers and statistics will speak for themselves.”

On the fast start to the offense with two touchdowns in the first quarter:

“The biggest thing is you have to stay in the fair-able down distance. You learn from your past game Monday. You can’t take it much past that. Okay, you didn’t have a fast start. Well the real question is, ‘why didn’t you have a first start?’ You’re looking at it so-forth and I think they key to us on our third down statistics were we stayed in favorable third down distances. And with that we converted. So it wasn’t like we were looking for magic plays that have a great first drive. If you look at it they were very basic plays that we came out and ran the ball and we were in a sub-personal group in their base defense so they had an overload box and had better edges then we did. It’s important to get your offensive linemen playing against those defensive lineman to set their pads so you get after and get going. We started the game we felt would be the best to build off of. It wasn’t about a bunch of new plays or anything like that.”

On QB Aaron Rodgers’ keeping plays alive:

“Well, it is a key component of our passing game and he is extraordinary. The way Aaron can extend the play and the length of how he does it. There is also some danger in it too because that was also the play he was injured on, but it is all part of how we play and how we train and taking care of his strengths, particularly against their defensive front. I can’t say enough about their defensive front and I had a lot of respect for them coming in here. We knew the ability to extend plays and try to keep them on the field. They have a disciplined substitution pattern where they do a good job of getting those guys in there and keeping those guys fresh. It is all a part of the game plan and things you are trying to do.”

On last drive with 10 minutes left and keeping ball for eight minutes on offense:

“Definitely, it was a four-minute offense. We were just trying to keep [QB] Aaron [Rodgers] in clean plays. They almost had a few plays where they had a free hat at the exchange point. Unfortunately we had the holding there because I thought we had a chance to put the game away and just finish it there with the double-post route off the full fake, and obviously they had eight guys at the line of scrimmage, so just excellent execution. It starts up front. Aaron was aware of the defense and I thought [RB] James [Starks] did an excellent job of taking care of the football.”

On Rodgers getting balls out quick and whether that was an emphasis going into this game:

“Well yeah. You throw the football. You throw it quick. You throw it off of run action. We always start with the run game and then protection. Really everything we do is more about how to protect the quarterback and establish the right route calls against the one-on-ones that they are giving us on the outside. Good defense, well-coordinated. I have a lot of respect for [Eagles Defensive Coordinator] Jim Schwartz. This was a plan and it worked. I thought our execution offensively was outstanding. And not to be redundant, but staying favorable in down-and-distance.  ”    

On what medical staff did to help Rodgers’ injury:

“He was taped. I can’t tell you the type of tape or the angle of the tape.”

On concern of Rodgers’ injury limiting him:

“I can’t tell. We won’t know until tomorrow.”  

On defense giving up touchdown on first drive and settling down after that:

“Definitely, I mean that was the beginning of the game and you have to look at the fact that you’re playing on the road. They did some good things on that first drive particularly in the coverage that we were playing and the breaking routes they hit over the middle. So yeah, we had a chance to settle down into that. Once again, there are a lot of things that happen over the course of a game: adjustments, guys going in and out, [LB] Clay [Matthews] coming back from his injury and so forth. You just have to keep fighting through those things.”

 

On WR Davante Adams:

“I thought Davante Adams was key for us. Just the one-on-one opportunities that he had and ones at big times too. He was definitely a focal point for us at key times of the game. You know third down and all of a sudden that four-minute drive there, which was a critical first down that he got there too. Davante is playing the best football of his career.”

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

On their fast start and how they accomplished that:

“Well, we converted 3rd downs.  That was the key.  We were right on 3rd down the entire game.  [It was an] odd game with the number of possessions.  Six true possessions and a couple kneel downs.  I mean, that’s really rare.  We had sustained drives which was great.  We punted once and that was from a backed up (?) situation where we got a couple of 1st downs.  The offensive line dominated I felt like.  No sacks… we did a good job of getting us some rushing yards.  But again, 3rd downs were the key for us.  We started fast.  We hit our first six and that obviously helped us take the lead and give our defense some confidence.”

On if the film study last week helped them be successful on 3rd downs against Eagles defense:

“I don’t know if it’s just this defense.  It’s just the distances.  We had a number of 3rd and manageable distances.  Now, we did convert some 3rd and longs, but we had a number of 3rd and 3-7 [yards].  Obviously we had a high percentage of conversions, and guys made plays.  We had a hot  to [WR] Randall [Cobb] on a 3rd and 7.  We peeked early and they brought strong pressure, and he caught it.  [RB] James Starks, second to last drive, with a great catch a couple of yards short of a 1st down, but broke a tackle and got the 1st down.  So we had guys with extra effort… [WR] Jordy [Nelson] had a juggling catch on a 3rd and 4, and obviously the 4th and 5 toe tap was spectacular so it was keeping us in good distances.”

On if the 2nd TD pass to WR Davante Adams was done in practice:

“Maybe not that exact thing.  We had Randall and Davante both in the same area there, but Davante was getting open a lot tonight.  So we are just trying to put him in situations where he gets the ball.  He was making some great plays for us.  Obviously the big 3rd down conversion play where he broke a few tackles there in the 4th [quarter], and set up our last touchdown.  But that was a great catch by him, and obviously it was a big play for us.”

On what happened to his leg:

“Yeah, I hurt my hamstring on our first drive in the second half there as I was extending the play.  I was a little tight in the first half for some reason.  I don’t know if it was sitting around the last two weeks.  These night games… we do a lot of resting.  I’ll be good to go though.”

On the final drive of the game:

“It’s got to be one of the most gratifying drives that we’ve had here in a long time.  It wasn’t the prettiest, but when we are converting on 3rd down and converting on 4th down, it’s very fun to see those guys confidence grow.  And we talked about it in the huddle every 1st down could take two minutes off the clock.  We didn’t expect to take that much time off the clock.  But it was one of those special drives where we just found a way a number of times.  And again, extended plays to Jordy who had great protection on 3rd down and obviously on the 4th down he made a nice play.”

On the tent on the sideline he kept going into:

“I just didn’t want to be getting taped up on the television.  Obviously when I walked out and saw the camera right in my face I knew there was probably some sort of mini story growing.  But I had to drop my drawers a little bit to get taped up and just wanted to do it in privacy of the tent.”

On what the offense did to extend the final drive:

“The big one was the extended play to Jordy.  I think it was 3rd and 9 or 10 there.  We had a good call on it, they were playing coverage zone and I had kind of a slicing rush across my face to start it. And I had to move to extend it and keep the pocket alive for close to 4 seconds.  It allowed me to move and find Jordy which was a big play for us.”

On getting the win after the losing streak and the confidence that comes from that:

“Yeah, I mean it’s been a rough four weeks.  We hadn’t played a complete game yet maybe this season, so this was a great effort in all three phases for us: offensively controlling the ball and 3rd downs, defensively getting the turnover and holding them in the second half, and on special teams not giving up any big plays.  [P] Jacob [Schum] had one punt that got down on the one yard line.  [K] Mason [Crosby] made his kicks so that was big for us.  We’ve got to give the defense a lot of credit and the big fellows up front.”

On the play of Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz:

“I had a nice conversation with him before the game. I also talked with [Offensive Coordinator] Frank [Reich] his coach, and [Head Coach] Doug [Pederson], I have known for a long time and they say what it seems from the outside. He is an amazing kid, very cerebral beyond his years. His athleticism is what stands out in there. Just seeing in person tonight, he extends plays with his feet. He was hit with a facemask and still was able to get an additional eight yards. That’s a big weapon as a quarterback. But also, he can stand in there and make plays from the pocket. I think his ceiling is extremely high and Eagles fans should be very excited for the future.”

On the value of getting a win after a four game losing streak:

“It just helps get you off the snide. It has been a rough stretch. You know, we are human. You lose a few of those games in a row and that doubt does creep in about whether or not you can actually finish games off. For us to finished the game off like we did on offense with our last two drives and then defensively for us to come up with the stop and then to finish out the game with a couple of sacks was good for our confidence.”

On the expanded role of FB Aaron Ripkowski:

“I think he is talented and he deserves to be on the field for us. He has made a number of plays for us. He did a good job on check downs, he did a good job running the ball. He is a tough dude and he has earned the right to be out there as much as possible. I think today, we went with a lot of ‘20’ personnel which is two running backs and three wide receivers and its tough because you take [TE] Jared [Cook] off the field who last week made a lot of plays for us. But you put Rip on the field, and he has been playing very good for us. So I am proud of his approach because last week he had less than 10 snaps and then this week he had a number of snaps, his approach was the same both weeks.”

On if this win saves the season:

“It is a big difference between 4-7 and 5-6 for sure. But I hope it is not a ton of relief setting in because we still have a lot of things in front of us that we need to accomplish. This was a step in the right direction and a game we needed to take care of business. We have a short week and we have Houston [Texans] coming in and we have to focus on them and have a similar performance.”

On the neutral-zone penalties on the Eagles:

“I wished [C] Corey [Linsley] would have snapped it. But no, it’s a great play by [LT] David [Bakhtiari]. They were doing it to us, Carson was doing great with his cadence and it was nice to get one back.”

On the tight window for the second touchdown to WR Davante Adams:

“Obvious I did not think it would be that tight when I threw it. [CB] Nolan[Carroll] did a good job closing in on the ball. I did not see it get caught because I was on my back. I heard a small cheering in the crowd so I figured that it was either something good happened or it was incomplete. I only saw it on the replay and it was a fantastic catch. This is not surprising to me as he has done this in practice and he is healthy this year.”

On having a 71% third down conversation rate, the highest rate of any team this year in a game:

“It is the most efficient game we have had this year by far, without a doubt. We had a couple of games in the past, at Chicago and at Minnesota, where we did not punt the entire game but we had not had this type of performance with the sustained drives. You kind of know that after the first quarter, the game was going fast and every possession was going to count. I am proud of our approach. In a game like this, you have to have great protection and that is directly because our line held firm in the middle going up against two interior rushers like [Bennie] Logan and [Fletcher] Cox.”

Packers WR Jordy Nelson

On converting the 3rd and 12 in the fourth quarter:

“It was a great play call and it worked out the way we wanted it. We did a good job getting down the middle of the field and running the linebacker out. I felt like I was open so I just sat and tried to give [Packers QB] Aaron [Rodgers] a target. We were able to get the first down and take another two minutes off the clock so we could keep running it.”

On the Packers’ final drive:

“We just executed and made plays, and that’s what it comes down to. We stayed ahead of the chains, and mixed up runs and passes. [Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy] did a good job of staying aggressive to win the game on offense. That was an opportunity we had as an offense to really take control of the fourth quarter there. We needed to finish it out and we did a great job.”

On snapping a four-game losing streak:

“It’s great to win no matter where it is, but especially on the road in a hostile environment. [The Eagles] have played extremely well here this year. It’s a way to get a win and hopefully start something great, and we’ll see what happens down the stretch run. We’ll enjoy it for a little bit then get back to work and see if we can get another one.”

On the team’s resilience:

“We all believe in what we can do. We’ve been close but I don’t think we’ve been able to play a complete game. Tonight I think we played a complete game with special teams, offense, and defense. If we can do that and take care of the ball, we’ll always be in a situation to win the game and that’s all you can ask for.”

On Packers WR Davante Adams:

“He’s out there making plays every week and making the most of his opportunities. He had two incredible catches tonight including the one for a touchdown. I don’t think he could see the ball very well with how the defender was playing him, but he stayed focused and stayed in bounds to catch it. On the deep ball, that’s one of the most difficult catches a receiver can ever make. That was a big play for us. He’s a playmaker. He’s grown each and every week and it’s fun to watch. The more guys we have out there to make plays the better.”

Packers WR Davante Adams

On how he feels about today’s win:

“Felt pretty good about it. We obviously were put in some pretty good positions by 12 and made the plays. [WR] Jordy [Nelson], [WR] Randall [Cobb], everybody contributed today.”

 

On how important it was to get this win:

“It feels great. It’s been like a month since we had one, so we knew this was one we had to have. We’d rather have them all, but we put ourselves in a pretty difficult position, but came on the road and then got a big win today.”

On whether he buys into the mentality that the team can win out:

“I mean, it’s the Green Bay Packers. It’s not unrealistic to say we want to win every game of the season. So the worst way to look at it is ‘We gotta go undefeated.’ But you have to go 1-0 each week. The scores don’t carry over to each week. We have the guys in here. We’ve shown, especially tonight that we are capable of completing the game. We just have to do it and finish it for a few more games here.”

On how starting fast and getting the first touchdown affected the game:

“It’s huge. We snowball off that. The more we can score on the first drive and get our defense going and get the confidence built up early, we’ll be able to keep rolling.”

On the long, sustained drives the Packers had today and how that helped the defense:

“It helps the defense out a lot. For one, it keeps them off the field. Like at the end there to seal that game, that’s things we gotta have right there. [QB] Aaron [Rodgers] did a good job controlling the game, the tempo. So we just have to continue to do the same thing.”

On whether his first or second touchdown catch was tougher:

“Probably the second touchdown because I couldn’t see the ball until the last millisecond. It got caught in the lights for a while and then it dropped out and I was able to get it.”

Packers RT Brian Bulaga

On the offense converting 10 of 14 third downs in the game:

“That’s big, especially when you’re playing a good team like this. They’ve been so good at home; I think they were averaging about nine points a game here or something like that and 220 yards passing with the quarterback? I mean they’re very good here, so we knew we had a really big challenge on our hands.”

On what contributed to the offense having a better rhythm throughout the game more than past weeks:

“I don’t know what contributed to it; I think it was how we got into a good rhythm with the ‘no huddle’ to start the game and kind of flow through that. You know when Aaron [Rodgers] gets into a rhythm and he starts finding guys and the receivers are doing a great job of getting available for him where he could find the open guys and make great throws too. You mentioned quick plays but we also took our shots too and converted on a lot of shot plays down the field which was big. That’s the offense that we’re all accustomed too, having a good rhythm, having a good tempo, getting up to the line, and getting into good plays, running them and making plays.”

On what he thought about the fourth quarter drive that spanned over eight minutes:

“What it was, was trying to keep getting first downs. Always when we’re backed up like that our goal is to get a first down to try and get out of our own shadow there. That’s the first challenge and once you get that first down then you’re like alright let’s get another one and essentially every time you get a first down you can eat up about two minutes of clock within the set of downs. So you kind of look at it that way and just understand the situation, the down and distance. We even had a couple of penalties on that drive that we overcame which was big. We understood the situation, just try to eat as much time as we could and obviously if we can get points which we did, that would close it out.”

On whether that was the drive of the year:

“It was one that we needed, kind of the way the game was, that was a drive that we needed, and we needed that game. I don’t know if it was the drive of the year or not, I think it was just one of those situations in the game that we needed to have and we got it done.”

Packers C Corey Linsley

On what the attitude of the team was given the situation:

“You know, when you’ve got a group of guys like us, where everybody in the locker room, from the top down, is working their butts off and just trying to make this thing work and doing everything they can to fix what they need to fix and try to make this whole machine go. I thought we did a heck of a job doing that tonight.”

On if they tried to put everything on the line tonight:

“The thing about putting everything on the line like that, when you say must-win games, it’s like you just have to go 1-0 every week. You’ve got to take it week by week, because a must-win implies that things happened in the past and things might not happen in the future and it’s a lot of stuff that goes into defining a must-win win. So it’s just 1-0 every week and that’s the mindset that we had this week.”

On converting a high percentage of third-down attempts during the game:

“It’s just guys making plays. I mean, it’s a team win. The team did a great job of protecting the quarterback, running the ball and doing well on first and second down. I mean it’s everybody stepping up to the plate.”

On if it’s a turning point for the team with third-down conversions or if it’s just week to week:

“The issue with us getting third-down conversions is on us. It’s on us to take it on and be accountable for it, where everybody looks in the mirror and says, ‘What can I do better to make this thing work?’ I think when you’ve got a great group of guys in the locker room, like we do, eventually it’s going to click and I think tonight it did.”

Packers LB Clay Matthews

On moving to inside linebacker:

“I felt natural going back in there. Picking up the terminology with a week’s notice was tough, but I thought for the most part it was business as usual. Fortunately we got a big enough lead early in the game to where they could bring me a little bit more. I didn’t have to sit there and play a true, traditional inside linebacker. I played it for a year and a half, so I feel like I was where I needed to be. If it wasn’t for my shoulder, I feel like I would have been a little more involved in plays later in the game.”

On this week’s preparation:

“We didn’t do anything differently with preparation. We took it upon ourselves to see the status of this team. You can’t use injuries as an excuse but the reality is we got some guys back tonight that really helped make some of those key plays when we needed to, and ultimately that was the difference. We were making stops as opposed to giving up those big plays in weeks prior. The offense came out firing on all cylinders, especially on that first drive and we had the momentum moving forward throughout the game. We could dictate the direction of the game which we haven’t had in many weeks.”

On the offense sustaining long drives:

“It was great. Any time they can keep us on the bench and run that clock down, it helps us out on defense, especially when they are putting points up on the board and not just going three and out. The biggest thing was that those drives were turning into points, and the defense did just enough to put them in a position to not score points.”

Packers LB Julius Peppers

On if he can exhale for the first time in a month:

“No, not really. We have five more games to win. It’s not time to exhale. It’s time to lock in and focus in on the next opponent and get ready. We’re going to take this thing one at a time and we feel like we can do it.”

On if he thinks the defense took a step in the right direction tonight compared to weeks past:

“I feel like we executed better. We played better, so you can say that. We took a step. It’s something to build on. It’s a little shot of confidence to get another win. We had to win it.”

On how big the take away from S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was:

“It was a big play in the game. It definitely got us the momentum. The back end really played well for us tonight. A lot of contested balls, they contested receivers on every route we had and tighter coverage. A lot of credit to those guys in the back that helped us up front.”

On the back line guys being able to help his game:

“It works hand in hand. It goes all together. We help each other out. You have to have good rush to have good coverage, and you have to have good coverage to have good rush. You can’t have one without the other. That’s how it works.”

On how he stayed the course this week with all the white noise going on outside:

“We don’t really pay attention to a lot of things outside of the building. We focus in on the work. That’s what gives us our confidence – our preparation. We know we prepare well. We focus in and that’s what gives us the confidence, not any talk or anything that’s said outside.”

 

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