Jordan Howard credits Eagles' O-line for big night

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The Philadelphia Eagles won a game in which Carson Wentz threw for just 160 yards, 262 fewer than his counterpart, Aaron Rodgers, in Thursday night's thrilling 34-27 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Buoyed by short fields, Wentz and the Eagles didn't need a high-yardage passing night for Wentz to throw three touchdowns in the win. Wentz's 160 pass yards were the fourth-fewest in a game in his career, two of which were during his rookie campaign, and the other was in a blowout loss in New Orleans last year. Wentz became the first Eagles QB with three-plus passing TDs and fewer than 170 pass yards since Donovan McNabb in Week 3, 2001, versus Dallas.

Facing a suffocating Packers secondary, Doug Pederson didn't need Wentz's arm to pile up yardage Thursday. He had a bigger advantage: an offensive line that opened holes wider than the Pennsylvania Turnpike and running backs that plowed for chunk gains.

The Eagles employed a game plan that some coaches daydream about in their free moments to ponder clouds. Philly rushed the ball 33 times for 176 yards while only attempting 27 passes for 160 yards in the win.

Jordan Howard, who spent the first three years of his career in Chicago, earned his first career win at Lambeau Field and was the recipient of huge holes. Howard gained 87 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 15 carries and added a receiving touchdown. Rookie Miles Sanders added in with 11 carries and 72 yards.

"I credit the offensive line," Howard said, via the team's official website. "They did a great job. They made it easy for me. The holes were there and I just took them."

Howard earned the most rush yards by an Eagle since LeGarrette Blount in Week 12, 2017 (97) -- the Eagles haven't had a 100-plus yard rusher since Blount in Week 4, 2017 (32 games -- longest active streak in the NFL). Howard also became the first visiting player in the Super Bowl era to score two-plus rush TDs and one or more receiving TD at Lambeau Field.

Despite the Packers entering Thursday with the second-ranked scoring D and a secondary that has stifled opponents, the run defense has been gashed.

Packers rush yards allowed 2019
Week 1: 47
Week 2: 198
Week 3: 149
Week 4: 176

"We knew they struggle with the run game and we knew we were going to pound the ball the whole game," Sanders told NBC Sports Philly. "...Doug [Pederson's] plan was to just keep pounding the ball and that opened more stuff and when we needed to pass the ball, we were able to do it and we got first downs. Big thanks for the O-line. They played their ass off the whole game opening up holes for us."

The Eagles' ground game had struggled through three weeks to start the season, averaging 2.5 yards per carry as they got off to a wobbly 1-2 start.

"This is what we should be," center Jason Kelce said after his O-line demolished Green Bay. "We utilized both backs to their strengths. We had a great game plan going in. We have the O-line to do it, we have the backs to do it, we have the unit to be a balanced offense. That's just how we function the best."

With a winnable game against the 0-3 New York Jets in Week 5 before tilts versus the Minnesota Vikings (2-1), Dallas Cowboys (3-0), Buffalo Bills (3-0), Chicago Bears (2-1) and New England Patriots (3-0) on tap, Thursday night's grinding win was massive for Philly's season.

"The running game was huge," Wentz said. "Riding the O-line and those two backs, that's huge. Huge for me. Takes a lot of pressure off me to be able to move the ball on the ground the way we did tonight."

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