Pack's Big Three Puts On a Show.Posted:Dec 7th, 2020 3:38 pm
When you have the NFL's best QB-RB-WR combo, you can keep some warts hidden, like shoddy return coverage and the propensity to give up big plays (what is it about fourth and forever plays against the Eagles?). And when those three stars align, you get to watch dazzling playmaking and sometimes, a little history.
For virtually all 60 minutes against the Eagles, a Packers victory was never in doubt. But after Jalen Reagor's punt return cut the Pack's lead to seven and the offense was sputtering in the final minutes, I allowed myself to visualize the headlines trumpeting Jalen Hurts' miraculous comeback win, ushering in a new QB era in Philly.
But then, after watching Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams work their magic all night long, it was Aaron Jones' turn to apply the dagger, with his electric career-long 77 yard touchdown run, putting the final touches on Green Bay's ninth win of the season.
The Rodgers-Adams combo is as lethal as any in the league this side of Kansas City and when they're cooking like they were Sunday night, it was beautiful to behold. Adams did all the work on Rodgers' 400th career touchdown pass, fighting through old foe Darius Slay to will his way into the end zone. He told the media after the game that he told the other receivers beforehand that whoever caught #400 had to deliver the football to the QB, since Rodgers wasn't in possession of his other big milestone TDs. He delivered it with reverence.
But their biggest connection of the game came with the Pack backed up to the one. I still don't know how that 42 yard catch was made. The ball was under thrown a bit and Adams was blanketed. It triggered what turned into the Pack's first 99 yard drive since Rodgers' second season and effectively put the game out of reach at 21-3.
We expected the defense to have its way with the Eagles' 28th ranked offense, but I was a little concerned about the return of Zach Ertz and the fact that Philly had a come to Jesus meeting following last week's loss. I thought Wentz and the running attack might show signs of life. But the defense was up to the challenge. Interesting to hear that the Smiths and Kenny Clark approached Mike Pettine leading up to the game, asking him to simplify the game plan and allow them to get after the quarterback. Seven sacks later, it seems like it worked.
The defense got big nights from Kingsley Keke, the Smiths, Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage, who added a third interception in the past two games. But they'll need to continue trending in this direction, with a healthier and happier Lions offense next and then Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry on deck the following two weeks.
At 9-s at the three-quarter pole, the Pack are sitting precisely where you'd hope they'd be. The division is theirs, and the NFC's top seed awaits. If they win out, they'll most likely get it, since the Saints have a date with the Chiefs coming up soon. But it won't be an easy road for the Pack, and next week may be the trickiest, at a stadium where the barely avoided losing their third straight last season.
We know this, when the Pack's big three are on the field together, they can beat anybody.