Unknown Packers QB Tolzien comes up short

Eagles' Vinny Curry knocks off the helmet of Packers Scott Tolzien as he sacks him in third quarter. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Eagles' Vinny Curry knocks off the helmet of Packers Scott Tolzien as he sacks him in third quarter. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 12, 2013

GREEN BAY, Wis. - With one tiny word, Fletcher Cox may have spoken for everyone inside the Eagles locker room.

Cox, the Eagles' mammoth defensive end, had just helped his team cruise past Green Bay, 27-13, Sunday afternoon. He was asked about Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien, the man his team had vanquished.

"Who?" Cox said.

Who is right.

Tolzien entered the game having thrown zero - that's right, zero - NFL passes. Heck, Tolzien had been active just three times in his three-year career, and in each of those, he never put down the clipboard.

But with Packers starter Aaron Rodgers sidelined (collarbone), Tolzien moved up to No. 2 this week. And when Seneca Wallace - the starter Sunday - went out after the first series with a groin injury, the Packers were forced to turn to Tolzien.

Understandably, the Eagles were left scrambling to figure out a player they had never seen on film.

"We didn't watch one clip on him. None at all. Zero," Eagles safety Patrick Chung said. "I'm not even sure there are any clips. We were really preparing for Seneca, so we had to adjust on the run."

Tolzien had a solid showing, throwing for 280 yards and a touchdown. But Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin and linebacker DeMeco Ryans had huge interceptions, and the Eagles held Green Bay to its season low in points.

"I knew [Tolzien] was on the roster, but that's about all I knew of him," Cox said. "I expected Seneca to play the whole game, but obviously that didn't work."

Even with Wallace, the Eagles' game plan was simple: Stop Green Bay's powerful running game and make the Packers beat them through the air. That strategy only intensified when Tolzien entered.

And even though the Packers racked up 396 total yards, the Eagles made key red-zone stops in addition to the two interceptions.

Midway through the first quarter, with the Eagles leading by 7-0, Tolzien drove Green Bay 91 yards to the Eagles' 5-yard line. On third and 3, Tolzien threw behind Jordy Nelson, and Boykin intercepted the pass and returned it 76 yards.

Then, early in the third quarter, with the Packers in a 17-3 hole, Tolzien threw late over the middle for wideout James Jones. Ryans intercepted the ball, which led to an Eagles field goal and put the Eagles in total control.

"We felt like we gave up too many yards in the passing game," Boykin said. "But we were still able to keep them out of the end zone for the most part."

That they did, even though the Eagles knew very little about the quarterback on the other side.

"We just kept doing what we do, man," Chung said. "And to hold a good team like that to 13 points is pretty good."

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