Welcome to the News Editorial section of PackerChatters.com where you will find Green Bay Packers news updates throughout the year. Packer fans editorial's, pre and post game reports, draft talk and more.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Game Review: Packers @ Eagles
by Mark Lawrence
The Green Bay Packers travelled to Philadelphia today, a stadium where the Packers have not won a game since 1962 - before the birth of any player currently on the roster.
The Packers were completely dominated on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Eagle defense managed to hold up respectively against the run long enough for the Packers to turn one dimensional. Then the Eagles DBs all but shut down the Packers WRs. In the 2nd quarter, backup center Gary Ruegamer was injured and replaced by 3rd stringer Scott Wells, an unsigned free agent rookie. Unfortunately, Wells was not up to the task of playing a championship caliper team, and it showed. His pass protection was poor, and Favre's sack count on the year was nearly doubled. Favre was shut out from throwing a TD pass for the first time in 35 games, ending the NFL's second longest streak.
In the 4th quarter Favre was pulled in favor of Craig Nall, who moved the ball nicely against a garbage time prevent defense, and put up 2 meaningless TDs.
On defense, the Eagles WRs dominated the Packers DBs. Donavan McNabb had a career day, throwing 32/43 for 464 yards, 5 tds, no ints. His previous high was 385 yards passing in a game. Obviously the Eagles staff watched the Packers / Rams tape, and saw how to expose the Packers secondary. Until garbage time when McNabb was pulled in favor of Koy Detmer, the Eagles barely ran the ball at all - why bother when your quarterback throws completions on his first 13 attempts, and it's well into the 2nd quarter before he throws his first incompletion.
The Packer's secondary quickly saw that their pass rush was insufficient to allow for man coverage, and that Al Harris was simply not able to shut down Terrell Owens. So, the Packers pulled back into a zone, where we saw clearly that the Packer's rookie DBs are simply not assignment sure in zone coverage.
Many Packers fans, me included, had thought that this was clearly a playoff team, possibly a championship level team. Today we saw that the NFL has four championship quality teams, and the Packers are not one of them. This defense is simply not adequate to win playoff games on the road, and it's all but impossible to see how it will get to that level in the remaining 4 weeks. While the Packers continue to be very likely to make the playoffs, it seems certain that they are doomed to another early exit.
Next week, the Packers host the Detroit Lions, a game which normally would be a relatively easy game for the Packers to win. However, Ruegamer injured his ankle. If this is a high ankle sprain, he's likely to miss several games, perhaps the rest of the season. We can expect, in this case, to see Scott Wells go through a game or two of teething pains, and to see the Packer's running game adversely effected for a similar period.