Packers-Eagles: Early analysis
What has happened to the Packers defense? It's easy to excuse the Packers offense considering they had to again call on a backup quarterback due to injury. But for the Packers to win without Aaron Rodgers they need defense and special teams to help fill the void.
Special teams didn't factor in either way but there was no filling the void by the defense. The first half was decent defensively but the defense fell apart in the second half. While Nick Foles was 6-12 at the half he was a perfect 6-6 in the second half. These weren't all dink-and-dunk throws either. Foles completed passes of 45, 23 and 32 with two of those throws going for touchdowns.
But that was only half the problem. LeSean McCoy blew up the Packers defense in the second half with 114 rushing yards including 41 on the final possession. When the Eagles took over on that final drive with 9:32 left it was 27-13. To be sure, the Packers had a slim chance of winning at that point but how damning is it that the defense couldn't even get off the field and for the second week they were ripped apart down the stretch. Once again the playmaking just wasn't there for the defense. They finally forced a turnover but that was after giving up two long touchdowns to Riley Cooper, who also torched the Raiders last week.
It's hard to blame Scott Tolzein for this loss despite mustering just six points on four red zone trips. I thought he showed poise and made some nice throws. Not bad for a guy who was a practice squad player just seven days ago. But again, Tolzein alone isn't going to beat anyone in the NFL. It was going to take a team effort and that brings us back to the defense, which failed to hold up for a second consecutive week.
Mike McCarthy announced after the game that Tolzein will start against the Giants. So again, it's another week of wondering what the offense will look like after a week of preparation by the backup. But come next Sunday if the defense doesn't set up Tolzein for success the Packers will be looking at a third straight loss.