Rapid Reaction: Green Bay Packers
November, 10, 2013
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
What it means: The Packers lost their second consecutive game and are now down to their third quarterback of the season. At 5-4, they are a game behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North and are facing injury-related issues on both sides of the ball. It's hard to conceive of the Packers as a playoff team at the moment.
Injury report: Starter Seneca Wallace departed after the Packers' first possession due to a groin injury, leaving Scott Tolzien -- who was in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers and a member of the Packers' practice squad until last week -- to navigate the majority of this game. The Packers also lost center Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), Don Barclay (undisclosed) and cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring), finishing the game with only two offensive linemen in the same position they were in when it started.
Tolzien time: All things considered, Tolzien played well -- and much better than Wallace did in relief after Aaron Rodgers was sidelined this past Monday night. You could make an argument for Tolzien (24-of-38, 280 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions) as the Packers' best option until Rodgers' fractured collarbone heals.
Defensively speaking: The Packers might have had a difficult time winning Sunday even if Rodgers had played. Their defense broke down repeatedly in coverage, allowed 155 rushing yards to LeSean McCoy and got no juice from the return of linebacker Clay Matthews -- who played with a substantial club protecting his injured right thumb and was ineffective in the pass rush. Cornerback Tramon Williams missed two interceptions on big Eagles passing plays, one a 55-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson, and receiver Riley Cooper broke open for touchdown receptions of 45 and 32 yards.
Challenge awry? Despite it all, the Packers had a genuine opportunity to get back in the game with 9 minutes, 32 seconds remaining. Referee Mike Carey ruled that receiver Jordy Nelson did not control the ball in the end zone on a fourth-down pass that would have made it a one-score game. Replays indicated the call was close, but coach Mike McCarthy's challenge was denied. The Eagles ran out the rest of the clock. In the end, there wasn't enough evidence to prove conclusively that Nelson controlled the ball underneath him.
What's next: The Packers will play next Sunday at the New York Giants at 4:25 p.m. ET.