Green Bay Packers: 5 Reactions to first loss of 2019 season

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

3. Defense isn’t quite elite yet

You couldn’t look anywhere — even at the things I was saying — leading up to this game without finding someone gassing up the Green Bay Packers defense. Leading up to Week 4, they had been one of the more dominant units in the league, showcasing their offseason additions and how effective they’ve been. That went by the wayside against Philadelphia, though.

For starters, the Packers pass rush that had been highly impressive in the first three weeks was largely ineffective against a good Eagles offensive line. The likes of Za’Darius Smith, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith were blanked on Thursday night as Carson Wentz was not sacked once. Yes, it was a tough matchup but great defenses succeed even in tough matchups.

On top of that, the one weak spot of the Packers defense, stopping the run, showed up again. It felt as if Doug Pederson and the Eagles were daring Blake Martinez and the run defense to try and stop them and they couldn’t. Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders gashed Green Bay for 159 yards on 26 carries on the night.

While defensive coordinator Mike Pettine needs to find ways to disguise his scheme to better defend the run, the players in Green Bay also need to step up. If you’re going to be a contender, you need to beat good teams that match up well with you. The Packers didn’t do that on Thursday night and need to be better in such matchups as the year goes on.