The strength of the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense has been its pass rush.
They had it in quality, with edge rushers Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
That had it in quantity, with 12 players recording at least one sack.
They had it in venue, with the Eagles ranking second in the NFL in home sacks.
The Green Bay Packers stymied that unit, and it played a huge role in a season-saving 27-13 on Monday night.
"Offensively, we knew we had a big challenge with their defensive line," coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. "Our offensive line I thought was outstanding tonight and Aaron Rodgers was outstanding."
In a total of 41 dropbacks, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t sacked. Not only that but, according to the official game stats, he was hit only twice.
“The Packers are now 3-0 on the season in games where quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not sacked,” notes Pro Football Focus in the weekly notes package it sends to Packer Report. “The Eagles are tied for third overall in the pass rush, but were stymied on Monday night as the Packers’ offensive line gave up no sacks, one hit and six hurries.”
The stud on the unit, as has been the case throughout the season, was left tackle David Bakhtiari. For the eighth time in 11 games, according to PFF, Bakhtiari did not allow a sack. For the seventh time, according to PFF, Bakhtiari allowed no sacks and zero or one quarterback hurries.
“Bakhtiari has now gone from the sixth overall tackle in the league to the third overall tackle after Monday night’s game and is one of only 10 tackles that has yet to give up a quarterback hit,” PFF notes.
Injuries have been a story line throughout the season for the Packers. The one injury they’ve handled well is at center. As expected, there’s been no drop-off in play between J.C. Tretter and Corey Linsley. Linsley was penalized once for holding against the Eagles but otherwise played well, especially with rookie Jason Spriggs filling in for veteran T.J. Lang at right guard.
“Linsley has come in and started four games since Tretter has been out with an injury and has elevated what was already top-tier center play,” PFF said. “Since taking over in Week 9, Linsley is the fifth overall center in the league and, with the exception of Week 11, has not graded lower than 80.8 in four games. He was the fifth overall center in Week 12 and finished with a grade of 81.5. In 286 snaps, Linsley has given up two quarterback hurries, no quarterback sacks, no quarterback hits and has one penalty against him. He also boasts the top graded pass blocking grade and 10th overall run blocking grade while being tied for the most snaps during those four weeks of starts.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.