GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jordan Howard busted up his old rival for 115 total yards and three touchdowns Thursday as the Philadelphia Eagles turned to the ground game for a hope-restoring 34-27 victory against the Green Bay Packers (3-1).
Howard, who spent the first three seasons of his career in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears, entered with three career touchdowns against Green Bay in six games. He doubled that total Thursday. The Eagles improved to 5-0 under coach Doug Pederson on Thursday night, evening their season record at 2-2.
A loss at Lambeau Field might have sent Eagles fans into an outright panic. But Pederson came out of the tunnel relaxed and smiling, and the Eagles got a strong effort by their offensive line to pave the way for 176 rushing yards against a Packers defense that ranked 25th against the run entering the game.
Not all the Eagles’ ailments were fixed — the defense continues to struggle against the pass — but they can at least breathe a little easier as they set their sights on a Week 5 home game against the New York Jets (0-3).
Pivotal play: Linebacker Nigel Bradham came up with an interception on second-and-goal from the 3-yard line with 28 seconds remaining. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ pass for Marquez Valdes-Scantling was broken up by Malcolm Jenkins and Craig James, who was called into action after Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox left the field on a stretcher moments earlier after being hit in the head by teammate Andrew Sendejo. Bradham hauled in the deflected ball, icing the game.
QB check-in: Carson Wentz overcame a slow start to finish 16-of-27 for 160 yards with three touchdowns. He got receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Dallas Goedert back from calf injuries, and threw a touchdown to each of them to help fuel the win.
Eye-popping stat: The Eagles are one of six teams this season that have trailed by at least 10 points in every game, per ESPN Stats & Information research. The other five teams have a combined record of 1-13-1 (through Thursday night).
Troubling trend: Philadelphia was blanked in the first quarter for the third time in four games. Slow starts are an epidemic dating back through all of last season. The Eagles were 31st in first-quarter scoring in 2018 with an average of 3.2 points. They are currently below that mark through four games, at 2.5 points on average in the opening quarter.