GREEN BAY, Wis. – What a difficult way to start a critical road game for the Eagles. Green Bay executed its offense at will, shut down Philadelphia's offense and scored on a punt return to lead Philadelphia 17-0 after one quarter at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay kicked a field goal to end its first offensive possession, moving into scoring position on an Aaron Rodgers 64-yard completion to wide receiver Jordy Nelson down the right sideline. Nelson was in single coverage against cornerback Bradley Fletcher and moved the football from the Green Bay 27-yard line to the Eagles 9-yard line.
Philadelphia's defense held in the red zone, though, as the secondary forced three incomplete passes, and the Packers settled for a 27-yard Mason Crosby field goal to take a 3-0 lead. It was a small victory for the Eagles' defense in the red zone.
Mark Sanchez and Co. came back on the Eagles' first offensive possession and picked up a pair of first downs on completions to Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, but the drive stalled when Green Bay's Letroy Guion beat right guard Matt Tobin and sacked Sanchez to force a third-and-13 play from the Green Bay 43-yard line. Sanchez threw incomplete for Darren Sproles and the Eagles punted.
Once again, though, Rodgers moved the football in the air. He converted a third and 9 with a 22-yard completion to Randall Cobb, who got open when Fletcher fell down, and then he went to tight end Andrew Quarless for 24 yards on a third-and-18 play that moved the ball to the Philadelphia 35-yard line and then found tight end Richard Rodgers for 19 yards on third and 10 to reach the 16-yard line. Rodgers beat safety Malcolm Jenkins across the field on the play.
Then Eddie Lacy bulldozed right for 10 yards to the 6-yard line to set up a first-and-goal situation for Green Bay. Rodgers didn't miss in the red zone this time, connecting with rookie wide receiver Davante Adams running a skinny post in front of Fletcher for the six points. Crosby's PAT made it 10-0 with 3 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Then it all fell apart. The Eagles were stopped on three plays – two LeSean McCoy runs and a sack of Sanchez – and Donnie Jones came in to punt. For the first time this season, the Eagles' special teams took it on the chin.
Micah Hyde caught Jones' 50-yard punt and beat gunner Josh Huff at the point where he caught the ball, and then burst into the open field, cut down the right sideline and went untouched for a 75-yard punt return for the touchdown as the Packers increased their lead to 17-0.
Rodgers was 9 of 14 for 158 yards and a touchdown as the Packers gained 172 total yards in the quarter. Sanchez was 5 of 7 for 70 yards and McCoy had 6 carries for 18 yards.
The quarter ended with the Eagles offense on the Packers 13-yard line with a first-and-10 situation.