Eagles beat Packers in bruising NFL encounter

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The Philadelphia Eagles picked off Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers late to seal a 34-27 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday in a bruising NFL clash that saw players from each team stretchered off.

Philadelphia linebacker Nigel Bradham seized the game-winning interception in the final minute as Rodgers tried to connect with Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

The ball bounced off Valdes-Scantling's chest and Bradham came up with it as the Eagles handed the Packers their first defeat after a 3-0 start to the season.

Less than a minute earlier, players from both teams were gathered around in concern as Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox was taken from the field on a stretcher after colliding with teammate Andrew Sendejo.

The two came together trying to tackle Packers tight end Robert Tonyan, who had just caught a pass, Sendejo's shoulder ramming Maddox who flopped to the turf.

The Eagles said Maddox had been transported to hospital as a precaution but that he had movement in all of his extremities.

It was the second frightening injury of the night. In the first quarter, Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams was stretchered off after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Philadelphia defensive end Derek Barnett.

He had already been contained by Bradham when Barnett charged in and made contact.

Williams, who was able to give a thumbs-up signal to fans as he was carted off, was also taken to hospital for evaluation and he too had movement in all of his limbs, the Packers said.

The victory ended a two-game losing streak for the Eagles, who improved to 2-2.

Philadelphia's Jordan Howard rushed for two touchdowns and caught another. His two-yard TD plunge with 14:13 remaining proved the game-winning score.

The Eagles defense, depleted by the injury departure of cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Maddox, held on. Green Bay had two attempts from inside Philadelphia's five-yard line to get the tying score and were thwarted both times.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz connected on 16 of 27 passes for 160 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers.

Rodgers made his first 10 passes and finished by making 34 of 53 passing attempts for 422 yards, two touchdowns and a fumble that set the stage for an Eagles scoring drive.